Why do I need a cleaning of the kitchen exhaust duct?

Grease and particulate buildup in the exhaust system is a fire hazard, and greatly impacts on the efficiency and lifetime of mechanical equipment. Reports claim that all over the world majority of restaurant fires originate on the kitchen cooking appliances and flare into the kitchen exhaust system. If the entire exhaust system is not cleaned, a significant risk for fire exists whenever cooking appliances are used.

How often should my kitchen exhaust system be cleaned?

How often the exhaust needs to cleaned depends on the type of cooking done in the kitchen, as a general layout the following suggestion has been made by the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association.

Type/ Volume of Cooking Frequency


Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations


Systems serving high-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking


Systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations


Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal businesses, or senior centers.


What components of a kitchen exhaust system should typically be cleaned?

Upon inspection, if the exhaust system is found to be contaminated with deposits from grease-laden vapors, the entire exhaust system must be cleaned. The entire exhaust system includes the hood, filters, fan and all associated horizontal and vertical ductwork. Hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances should be cleaned to remove combustible contaminants [Creosote] prior to surfaces becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge.

Why do I need access panels installed in my exhaust system?

Access panels are necessary to properly reach and clean all areas of the exhaust system. Sometimes at the construction of the exhaust system, the proper amount of access panels needed to maintain the cleanliness of the system may not have been installed. This prevents a complete cleaning of the system and increases the risk of fire. International standards recommend installation every 12 feet of ductwork

Why do I need to have hinges installed on my exhaust fan?

As an industry wide best practice it is suggested that all approved up blast fans be installed with hinges. A fan with fixed positions is far more stable and less likely to have problems with balance and bearing misalignment due to limited movement allowed during the cleaning and inspection process. Properly installed hinge kits may add to the strength of the base and assist in minimizing metal fatigue over the years in larger fans.