CaptiveAire Maintenance Recommendations

A Guide to CaptiveAire Hood Maintenance

A commercial kitchen ventilation system is an important component of any foodservice facility and must be properly cared for to ensure a smooth operation. Commercial hood cleaning is crucial to maintain functionality and efficiency, reduce the risk of fire and other hazards, and increase the lifespan of your ventilation system. Below, we outline the routine maintenance procedures recommended by CaptiveAire professionals and explain the potential dangers of improper hood maintenance.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Hoods

Routine cleaning of your stainless steel hood is an important aspect of the kitchen cleanup procedure at the close of operation. Removing dirt, grease, and smoke particles on a daily basis is a simple task that will reap long-term benefits for the lifespan of your vent hood. Here are some best practices for cleaning your hood and eliminating grease buildup.

  1. Carefully wipe away dust and dirt with a dry cloth.
  2. Dilute a 12 cup of laundry detergent with 1 gallon of warm water.
  3. With a cloth soaked in that solution, rub in the direction of the metal's grain.
  4. Wipe with a clean cloth soaked in warm water to remove cleansing solution.
  5. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
  6. Apply stainless steel polish.
  7. Empty and clean grease drain and cups regularly.
  8. If your hood is equipped with baffle filters, clean them in a dishwasher or soak sink daily.

Do not use iron wool or any other abrasive material to clean a stainless steel hood, as doing so can cause scratching that opens the metal up to corrosion. Additionally, do not use the following substances in or around the hood:

  • Chlorine and chlorine-based substances
  • Acids (hydrochloric, sulfuric, etc.)
  • Chloride-based substances

Cleaning and Maintenance of External Ventilation Components

Equally as important as the maintenance of internal elements of the vent hood, the external components must also be routinely serviced to ensure the entire system operates as smoothly and efficiently as possible. While the hood can primarily be maintained by kitchen staff, the more complex and hard-to-reach mechanisms should be serviced by professionals. Though those who work exclusively with commercial kitchen ventilation systems typically have all-inclusive knowledge of the cleaning procedures, below is a quick overview of the most important aspects that should be addressed during service.

  • Air intake filters should be cleaned monthly.
  • Belts should be checked for adequate tightness.
  • Clean the exhaust fan interior and wheel as necessary to prevent accumulation of grease that could pose a fire hazard.
  • Lubricate motors and bearings every 6 months.
  • All electrical connections should be inspected at least every 6 months.
  • Fire system must be inspected every 6 months.

The Importance of Maintenance

Routine commercial hood cleaning helps maintain proper function and efficiency, and helps prevent potential issues and hazards that could arise from improper cleaning or neglect. The most significant risk associated with improperly maintained ventilation systems is fire. Because the hood's purpose is to trap the grease and smoke that rise while cooking, it accumulates thick layers of grime quickly, especially in high-volume commercial kitchens. If caked-on grease gets hot enough, it can ignite, causing a dangerous fire that can put your employees and customers at risk and potentially result in catastrophic damage to your facility.

In addition to being a fire hazard, a dirty, overloaded vent hood can't perform as efficiently at trapping new grease and grime. Poorly-cleaned filters can reduce exhaust rates, resulting in improper capture and containment of heat, smoke, and grease. Smoke and odors not absorbed into the hood are released into the air inside the building, overloading your HVAC system and lowering the air quality. Also, an overworked exhaust system is at a higher risk for mechanical failure and complications. The fire suppression system’s mechanical linkages could become delayed or interrupted completely by grease clogs in the system, which can mean it doesn't respond when it's needed.

Fire codes, safety regulations, and often insurance companies require commercial kitchen ventilation systems be kept clean and well-maintained. Avoid costly fines, violation consequences, and insurance penalties by making sure your hood is cleaned regularly.

CaptiveAire Self-Cleaning Hood

CaptiveAire offers a fully automatic, self-cleaning hood that uses a spray bar that extends the full length of the hood to wash the unit down on a regular basis. This system can be implemented with wall canopies, sloped wall canopies, and backshelf models offered in CaptiveAire's premier line.

  • The Hot Water option is designed to clean the hood with an automatic daily hot water cycle. To achieve the most effective cleaning, the hot wash cycle is designed to be conducted after the daily cooking operations are completed and while the hood is still warm. The system can be easily customized to operate on your desired schedule and the wash time can be adjusted to meet the level of cleaning required.
  • The Cold Water Mist option emits a mist that cools exhaust gasses and removes grease vapors while the hood is in operation.
  • The Cold Water Mist with Hot Water Wash option combines these two systems by cooling the gases during operation and washing after operation is complete.