Every restaurant owner knows how important the upkeep of the kitchen is. This is the place where you not only prepare the food but also where you show off the quality of your business. If you don’t pay close attention to all the details, and if you don’t maintain your equipment regularly, you risk losing your license, your customers, and ultimately, losing your business. The hood is one of the most important pieces in every place that prepares food, and this piece of equipment will either make or break your business.
As you already know, the hood needs to be regularly cleaned, but not many people know what regularly actually means. Some think that this should be done when there are visible issues, others believe that they need to inspect and maintain it every week, and the rest look for something in between. If you don’t know how to notice if your equipment needs to be washed, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we are going to talk about the most common signs that your restaurant hood needs to be cleaned.
1. There are visible stains
The first sign is probably the most noticeable one, and at the same time, the sign that we tend to ignore. We all know that there are almost zero chances for the kitchen to look spotless, and since this is the equipment that gathers all the grease, it is always going to be at least a little stained.
However, there is a difference between a few stains here and there, and a considerable amount of grease leaking down the vent. Note that if you can see the stains, and no matter if they are fresh or dried out, you need to clean the vent as soon as possible.
2. The parts are damaged
Another way to check if you need to get this part cleaned is to actually inspect it when you take it apart. Experts from alsco.com suggest that you need to closely inspect the filters and see if they are damaged or broken.
The filters are really fragile, and they can easily get damaged if there is too much grease buildup on them. Note that you should be really careful when removing the parts to clean the hood, and you should never use too much force. In case you cannot remove the parts, you should put the right type of product, let it sit, and then try to remove it without pulling or pushing too hard.
3. The fan is not working properly
The next thing we are going to talk about is the fan. As you already know, the fan is supposed to draw the smoke and the cooking smells, and if the vent has not been cleaned for a long time, it will not be working properly.
On the same note, the fan may stop working completely, and you will see that by the fact that it won’t be drawing any air in. Note that in most cases, this part is not broken, it is just clogged. So, the only thing you need to do is take the machine apart and clean it.
As you can see on websites like premiergrease.com/hood-cleaning, if you cannot do it on your own, or if you don’t know how to, you can easily collaborate with a professional cleaning service, and get things done properly.
Note that the professionals will take everything apart, clean it, and put it back up without causing any damage. In addition, you will get a warranty, so in case something does break, you won’t have to pay for it.
4. The fan produces unusual sounds
Sometimes the fan will seem like it is working properly, but you may notice that the sounds it produces are different than usual. Everyone who’s ever worked in a kitchen knows all the sounds that come from around them, and we are so used to them, that we will notice if anything sounds wrong.
If you notice that the fan is not turning as it is supposed to, if it is making any noise that is different than the usual noise, and if you notice any cracking or loud noises, you need to turn it off as soon as possible.
Note that you should never leave the hood on when it is making loud noises, and if you try to keep it working, it can easily break, and it may cause serious damage to the kitchen, or harm the people who are working there. So, no matter the cost, you should turn it off and get it cleaned as soon as possible.
Remember that most times, the fan is going to be perfectly okay, there won’t be any damages, and it is making the noises just because there is grease buildup. When the grease cools off, it hardens, and letting the hood work could easily cause damages or breaking.
5. There is a grease buildup
The last thing we are going to talk about is closely connected to all the previous signs. The grease buildup is the reason why the hood can get damaged, the reason why parts break, and why there are visible stains on the equipment.
Know that when buildup occurs, the fire hazard is extremely high, and the more you postpone the maintenance, the higher the chances are that fire is going to occur in your place of business.
Note that even if there is no fire hazard when the temperature rises, the grease will start leaking down in the food. This is the last thing you want to happen because the quality of your meals will drastically decrease, you risk your customers getting sick, and ultimately, you risk ruining your business.
These are some of the signs that you need to clean your exhaust hood, and that you cannot postpone this any longer. Note that you can do it on your own, or you are free to call a professional service. The good thing about professional services is that they are going to get things done correctly, properly, and they will give you more information on when you should do the maintenance and how.