Not just a whole lot of hot air
Your kitchen exhaust system is pretty important. By reducing heat, steam and grease from your kitchen you’ll create a cleaner, safer workplace. Noise and odours from commercial kitchens are one of the most frequent sources of complaints to local councils. And from the compliance side of things, there’s workplace health and safety, along with the fire risk and its associated codes and practices.
Once your kitchen is built it’s often extremely difficult (and expensive) to change your exhaust system. So it’s worth getting it right upfront.
So where do I start?
The first consideration is what kind of food you’ll be cooking – a sandwich bar is going to have vastly different exhaust requirements to a charcoal chicken shop. Different cooking machines require different amounts of hood overhang to be legal. And then there’s future planning to think about – do you want to change your menu in the future? If so, you don’t want to have to re-do your entire exhaust system to fit an oven upgrade.
You also need to consider what type of wall and ceiling structure you have (island, corner, against a wall, ceiling heights etc.). And where are all those unwanted cooking smells going to go? Your neighbours won’t appreciate smoke wafting through their windows (don’t forget the people above you if you are in a high rise!).
From here we look to the Australian Standards to tell us precisely:
- What proportion of cooking particulates and odours need to be removed from your work place – the minimum exhaust or air rate.
- If fresh air intake is required to balance out air conditioning and ventilation factors (you don’t want drafts on your food all the time)
- Required distances from neighbouring properties and any physical building requirements to get the exhaust air out.
When you’ve established this information, it becomes a matter of achieving a design that fits, taking into consideration building aspects and the size of the duct that is needed to remove the air (remembering that smaller = noisier).
It’s worth planning and preparing for your exhaust system – it’ll make your life more pleasant. At Hiller we’ve got plenty of experience helping our clients choose their exhaust systems and getting council approvals over the line, so if you are looking for advice on which system to buy or a bit of extra technical expertise for your kitchen, bar or cafe fitout or design, we’re happy to help.
We have plenty of exhaust hoods on display in our warehouse. To speak with one of our consultants about the full range or to choose a hood that’s right for you, give us a call on 1300 161 350.