Why Regular HVAC Systems Don’t Work For Restaurants

Posted on Jun 15, 2020

The past several years have underscored the importance of good air quality, especially in restaurants. Many restaurant owners and those managing commercial kitchens know the importance of keeping unwanted debris, grease, pollutants, and even scents out of the air in the restaurant. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness of air quality, so patrons at your restaurant are more conscious than ever before of the cleanliness and filtration. Because of these factors, you may want to consider upgrading your restaurant’s HVAC system, or at least assessing whether the system you currently have is right for your restaurant and kitchen.

Choosing The Right HVAC System

A restaurant is a unique business. Customers rotate through the building relatively quickly throughout the day. Meals are being prepared on hot stoves and in ovens, and the large numbers of pollutants in the air could impact air quality. When choosing an HVAC system for a restaurant, you want to ensure you take all these challenges into consideration.

  • Additional Pollutants – Cooking and preparing a large variety of food and drink can produce byproducts that contaminate air quality, including grease, heat, additional scents, and steam. The hood above your grill, stove, or fryers, as well as the exhaust system behind it, is a necessary part of your restaurant’s HVAC system to capture and trap the pollutants that are byproducts of cooking.
  • Temperature Control – Anyone who has cooked in a commercial kitchen knows that it can get hot. From the need to cool down this kitchen area to keep your guests in the dining room comfortable, you need an air heating and cooling system that is flexible enough to heat one room while cooling another, while being able to adjust to subtle changes throughout the day and year.
  • Climate Control – Standard HVAC ventilation systems bring air from the outside to replace the air inside. However, restaurants need strict climate control. For example, air brought in cannot have excessive moisture, as this would disrupt the climate in the kitchen, which already contains a higher level of humidity. This is especially important in Hawaii, where outdoor humidity is very prevalent. An HVAC system designed for use in restaurants accounts for this humidity control.

Quality Restaurant HVAC Systems

Having the right HVAC system for your restaurant is important for many reasons. Not only will it improve air quality, but it will help keep your business safe. Choosing an HVAC system that is the right size and power for your restaurant can ensure that your location has high-quality air, all while preventing disaster and protecting your equipment.

  • Preventing Explosions, Overheating, and Fires – Kitchens and equipment such as stoves, fryers, and ovens can produce lots of pollutants, including grease, steam, and heat. Having a proper kitchen hood and duct system in your restaurant can prevent these contaminants from building up in your HVAC system and potentially causing a fire, as well as removing hot air and circulating fresh air.
  • Improve the Quality of the Air in the Room and Building – Restaurants have many people coming and going, as well as busy kitchens, staff, and equipment. All of this produces contaminants in the air, which a proper HVAC system will filter out. Poor air quality can lower the quality of the food or dining atmosphere, as well as become a health hazard to your employees.
  • Protect the Equipment – If grease and pollutants build up in your kitchen, it can shorten the life of machinery and cause equipment to break down or stop working. This means money out of the business’ pocket and a loss of revenue from customers as you plan for repairs or replacements. A proper HVAC system will filter contaminants such as grease and debris, which will extend the life of your equipment.

Maintaining Air Quality in Your Restaurant

If you already have the proper HVAC system in your restaurant or commercial kitchen, great! However, this is not the last step. You should regularly maintain your HVAC system to ensure you’re getting the most out of your system and that your system is up to code. There are several pieces of regular maintenance you should do for your heating and cooling system.

  • Visual inspections
  • Changing filters 
  • Regular Maintenance and Cleaning – In addition to maintenance you and your staff complete on your HVAC system, you should also hire a professional HVAC system maintenance team to service your system on a regular basis. A professional service will be able to clean your kitchen hood and ductwork, as well as inspect the machinery, finding any potential issues that can be fixed before they develop into costly problems for your business.

Is it time for your regular restaurant HVAC system maintenance? Contact the team at AirPro Hawaii today to schedule your regular maintenance.

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