Choosing Your CaptiveAire Controls

CaptiveAire Control Options for Your Commercial Kitchen

Ensuring your commercial kitchen is properly outfitted with an adequate hood and ventilation system, like those provided by CaptiveAire, is necessary for the safety of your employees and customers. It is also crucial to being compliant with many laws and regulations in your county, city, and state. Because the dimensions and requirements of ventilation systems vary between commercial kitchens, CaptiveAire hoods are made to each operator's individual specifications. When you are deciding which restaurant exhaust hood your commercial kitchen needs, you'll have to choose from two types of controls and determine if you need a utility cabinet.

Standard Controls or Demand Control Ventilation?

CaptiveAire's standard controls, which turn fans on when they register a specific temperature, are compliant with IMC Code 507.2.1.11 requirements for automatic fan operation.

"Type I hood systems shall be designed and installed to automatically activate the exhaust fan whenever cooking operations occur. The activation of the exhaust fan shall occur through an interlock with the cooking appliances, by means of heat sensors or by means of other approved methods. A method of interlock between an exhaust hood system and appliances equipped with standing pilot burners shall not cause the pilot burners to be extinguished. A method of interlock between an exhaust hood system and cooking appliances shall not involve or depend upon any component of a fire extinguishing system." - International Mechanical Code (IMC) 507.2.1.1

An operator who wants to get the most out of his or her system may opt to upgrade to a Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) package. Those turn fans on and off according to the demand of the current cooking load rather than a temperature setting. This enables the system to use less energy by handling fewer cubic feet per minute of air while prep tasks are being completed prior to service and while equipment is cooling down at the end of the night. The amount of energy saved will be displayed on the unit, so operators can track their savings as they add up.

Both types of controls feature an LCD-based user interface, which allows operators to monitor the electric gas valve, fans, and lights. The LCD screen and audible indicators also alert operators to failures and issues within the system. CaptiveAire also offers a cloud-based control system called CASLink, which includes comprehensive remote monitoring capabilities and an email alert system. That option enables operators to be check system status and be notified of issues when they're in other parts of their facilities or even off the premises.

Do You Need a Utility Cabinet?

When it comes to installing the controls for a new CaptiveAire hood, many operators benefit from choosing a utility cabinet. These cabinets, which are mounted onto the ends of the hoods, hold the controls for ventilation, heat, make-up air, and fire suppression systems, as well as the necessary connections for power, water, and the controls themselves. By placing these components in an aesthetically pleasing cabinet, they remain protected and easy to access without taking away from the look and feel of your custom design. Installing a utility cabinet, which in many cases allows components to be installed in the cabinet prior to the hood being installed, also reduces the amount of control wiring that needs to be completed on-site.

For most operators, hood-mounted utility cabinets are the solution recommended by the experts at CaptiveAire. It's important to keep in mind that hood-mounted utility cabinets stick out between 12 and 20 inches from the restaurant exhaust hood and will require a minimum of 18 inches of clearance to allow for opening the cabinet door. That can mean you need to allow as much as 38 inches beyond the end of your hood to accommodate the cabinet. If your kitchen layout does not provide adequate space for a hood-mounted utility cabinet, it may be installed in a separate location.

Operators installing a self-cleaning hood system who do not have room for a utility cabinet may wish to install a remote manifold and controls option, which can come with simple controls or a more advanced touchscreen.

  1. IMC Code. International Code Council. Accessed November 2017.