Q. What is a hood filter (sometimes referred to as a baffle or baffle filter)?

A. Hood filters are visible when you look into your hood system and look like a metal square with grates on them.  They allow air to flow through while catching grease particles that have become airborne.  These must be ANSI/UL listed to meet fire code requirements (NFPA 96).  Ensure that when you purchase new ones for your system they are stainless steel and “Listed”.

Q. Why are filters not included in your hood cleaning price?

A. The National Fire Code (NFPA 96) requires that your filters be kept grease-free at all times.  For some restaurants this would require the kitchen staff to clean them once a week and for others a daily cleaning may be required to be up to code.  This means that your filters should be the only part of your hood system that is already grease-free when the hood cleaning technician arrives.  They can be added onto the service for an additional fee however if the kitchen staff are behind on cleaning them it can add hours to the service and in most cases will not come fully clean.

Q. Why is my kitchen smokey?

A. This is most commonly an issue with your exhaust fan not pulling enough air or your filters are clogged with grease.  If it is a matter of your filters you simply need to clean them.  If it is your fan it may need some maintenance.  Like any machine it needs regular maintenance.  It can be as simple as needing a new fan belt which we can assist you with or as urgent as needing a new fan motor which we can refer you to a licensed HVAC repair company if you do not already have one.

Q. Is the back wall included in the hood cleaning service?

A. If the back wall under your hood is made of stainless steel, we will wipe it down with degreaser and polish it as a courtesy.  If your wall has excessive grease build up and requires anything outside of being sprayed down with degreaser and wiped down, then it is not included in your hood cleaning service, but many be included for an extra fee.  If your back wall is anything other than stainless steel, we will not clean it (for example: tile, glass, etc.).

Q. What should I expect from a kitchen detail?

A. Kitchen details/deep cleanings can take 1 or multiple days depending on the size of the kitchen.  This process will not make your kitchen equipment new, but it will remove the grease.  This service is a reset of the included items to bring them back to bare metal.  We are often called out once a year or right before a scheduled health inspection.

Q. What should I do the morning after a hood cleaning if the exhaust fan is off?

A. Usually, the hood cleaner would turn this back on but if for any reason it is not, check the switch in the kitchen then check the breaker (sometimes labeled as KEC fan or hood fan inside the breaker panel).  If the first two are turned on and you still don’t have the fan working most times the fan will have a switch on the roof and often this looks like a little red tab that you slide.  If none of those work, call an HVAC repair company right away.

Q. What to do if the fan is on but it’s not pulling air?

A. First have the fan belt checked and replaced if necessary. You can call us to schedule a fan belt service.   If that fails, call an HVAC repair company.

Q. What should I do if I find one of my pilot lights off?

Ensure that the gas is turned on at the lowest setting and use a lighter or the ignition button to relight the pilot.  If you are unable to relight the pilot than your thermocouple has most likely gone bad.  It will seem as though whoever turned off the burner broke it in some fashion, but this is not the case.  Because the thermocouple ignites the flame you won’t know it is bad until you have turned off a burner and can no longer turn it back on.  This is normal wear on equipment that is running often 24/7 and they do need to be replaced when they have reached the end of their life.  This is when it is time to call a repair company to have the thermocouple replaced.  Hood cleaning technicians MUST turn off certain gas equipment, so they do not start a fire or injure themselves.

Definition: “A thermocouple is made up of two dissimilar metals that create an electrical charge when heated by a burner flame. The electrical charge flows to the end of the thermocouple to power an electromagnet that controls the gas valve, also called the thermostatic valve.”

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