The City of Oklahoma is the county seat of Oklahoma County ranking the 27th among United States cities in population. Lying in the Great Plains region, it has one of the world’s largest livestock markets. Oil, natural gas, petroleum products, and related industries are the largest sector of the local economy. The city is in the middle of an active oil field and oil derricks dot the capitol grounds.
Many people ventured into food businesses due to its strategic location and large population. A very good business to start here is kitchen hood cleaning. You can have a lot of potential customers like restaurants, homes, hotels, airports, churches, pubs and many more.
What is Kitchen Hood Cleaning?
Kitchen hood cleaning is the process of removing greases that have accumulated inside the exhaust systems of commercial kitchens. Commercial kitchen operators must comply with this to be NFPA-96 Standard compliant. Exhaust systems must undergo inspection at certain intervals, with constant usage, to know if sufficient grease has accumulated and if cleaning is already necessary.
Exhaust hood cleaning requirements and best practices are stated in NFPA-96 Standard section 11.4, including the frequency of cleaning for all the types of commercial kitchens:
- Monthly- These are for systems serving solid fuel cooking operations
- Quarterly- These are for systems serving high-volume operations, such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, wok cooking, etc.
- Semi-annually- These are for systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations
- Annually- These are for systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal business or senior centers
How often your kitchen exhaust should be cleaned is based on your actual usage and the size of your exhaust system.
How does grease build up in your kitchen hoods?
Commercial kitchens create varying levels of grease exhaust depending on the type of food they cook. Solid fuel cooking, grills, wok cooking, and high volume fryer operations all create a greater volume of grease exhaust. Even low volume cooking operations will also have to deal with traces of oil, grease, and dirt accumulating over time on the surface of ventilation ducts.
Highly flammable creosote build-up from solid-fuel cooking such as a wood burning pizza oven can create a hazardous situation when combined with other grease deposits. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the combination of grease and creosote in exhaust ducts can be easier to ignite than creosote alone and can burn even hotter.
Even if you use the proper hood filters, a certain amount of grease will definitely find its way in. During cooking, fats, oils, and greases become vaporized and are drawn up to your exhaust system.
Why are access doors important?
Duct access doors will allow professional hood cleaners to perform a thorough “top to bottom” cleaning of the exhaust system. They help facilitate the cleaning, maintenance, and inspection of the exhaust system.
NFPA-96 sections 7.4.1 and 7.4.2 recommend the installation of openings large enough to permit thorough cleaning at a minimum of every 12 feet of horizontal ductworks and on every floor of vertical ductwork. It is also necessary to have access doors at every change of direction.
Methods of Kitchen Hood Cleaning
- Hand Scraping
This method is the more economical and is extremely effective when done properly. It’s accomplished by a person simply scraping the accumulation of grease from the walls of the exhaust system. Although scraping is an effective method of removing grease for the exhaust system, it’s not the most thorough method because there are certain areas which are unreachable due to human’s limit.
- Pressure washing or steam cleaning
This method is the alternative to scraping. Though the down point of this method is that it is more costly and time-consuming since it requires considerable preparatory work to control wastewater and more expensive equipment is needed. However, this method will clean ductwork down to “bare metal” which is the recommendation of the NFPA-96 Standard. This method delivers impressive results and provides an absolute thorough cleaning of every corner of the exhaust system.
Depending on your usage, your kitchen cleaning contractor may recommend doing both to ensure proper cleaning and maintenance of your kitchen systems. For example, they may recommend scraping once a month and pressure washing at least once in three months.
If you are living in Oklahoma City, you can try venturing in a kitchen hood cleaning business. All commercial kitchen operators need this service. This business will help you grow your income and you can learn a lot through your experiences from your clients.