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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Commercial Kitchen Ventilation and Extraction - What You Need to Know

There are a number of things to consider when installing commercial kitchen ventilation and there are several different types of systems available - but all must comply with the "Standard for kitchen ventilation systems DW172". A commercial kitchen cannot operate effectively without a properly designed and functioning ventilation system. Getting the design of the correct system for YOUR premises can be complex. All systems are operation and site specific - how you move the air, where you move it to and what you have to do with it to ensure compliance not only with the relevant legislation, but also any local building and environmental constraints.

The factors that may need to be addressed include not only physically moving the air, but heat, humidity, smoke, fire, grease and odour. There are various filter and safety systems available that deal with any or all of these issues and the best system for you will depend on your site, its surroundings and your budget. You may also have to deal with noise from the fan(s) and any planning issues relating to external ducting.

In basic terms a ventilation system comprises a canopy over the production area with a fan linked by ducting to a filter bank within the kitchen extraction canopy which draws the air out to the external exhaust point. The fan is sized in direct relation to the amount of air that has to be moved, where it has to be moved to (the exhaust point) and how quickly (depending on the type of food being cooked).

In addition, mechanical provision must be made to replace 85% of the air that is being extracted. This is called "Make up Air", the other 15% is made up by natural means - general kitchen areas and windows etc.

Within the design, careful consideration must also be given to ensure adequate access for cleaning of the duct and servicing of the fans.

If the production equipment is gas, in accordance with British Standard (BS6173) you will have to fit a Gas Interlock system. This system automatically shuts off the gas supply to the cooking equipment in the event of a failure in the ventilation system.

You may also want to consider the installation of a Heat Recovery unit which reclaims the heat (and some of the fuel cost) from your kitchen that would normally be blasted straight out through from your extracton canopy.


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