Cleaning your Kitchen Exhaust Hood

In addition to the regular daily cleaning your employees perform on a day to day basis, it is imperative that your Kitchen Exhaust Hood System is cleaned regularly. This is essential to the safety and cleanliness of your restaurant or kitchen as the grease deposits left behind are both a severe fire hazard and a health risk due to mold and bacteria growth and is required by the Fire Department annually at a minimum.

Our Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning is done per NFPA 96 Standards and our Technicians are certified by by the MFS Tradeschool.

Below are some common questions we encounter when discussing Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning with clients.


How often does my system need to be cleaned?

Frequency of cleaning depends on the type of restaurant or kitchen, how often it is in use, and how much frying takes place during operation.

  • Monthly Cleaning is required if you serve solid fuel cooking or smoking.
  • Quarterly Cleaning is required for kitchens or restaurants with high volume, 24 hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking.
  • Bi-annual Cleaning (twice per year) is required for moderate-volume cooking.
  • Annual Cleaning is required for low volume cooking, churches, day camps, seasonal businesses, or seniors centres.
Does our commercial kitchen still need to be cleaned if we rarely use it?

Yes, it still needs to be cleaned at least annually. Kitchen exhaust systems are designed to collect a lot of grease. The fan within the system continues to pull out polluted air through the canopy filters to extract steam and vapor. Impurities such a grease and oil accumulate on the surfaces of the exhaust system, causing a fire hazard if not professionally cleaned. Unfortunately, even regular cleaning done by staff is not enough to ensure a completely safe exhaust hood system.

Additionally, if your exhaust system sits unused for long periods of time, this grease that accumulates becomes stagnant and turns into a tar-like substance. This residue encourages mold and bacteria growth in your system and the subsequently the system will take longer to clean. This build up, can also cause unbalancing of the fan, disrupt airflow, and release airborne particles into your facility. This is why we recommend cleaning your system at the end of your operating season if you operate seasonally.

Why can't our employees clean the hoods?

Per NFPA 96 guidelines, “the entire exhaust system should be cleaned by a properly trained, qualified and certified company”. Certified companies, like Red River Furnace and Duct Cleaning, are equipped with the tools, chemicals and expertise to properly and thoroughly clean the system. Most fires originate from the kitchen area, and spread quickly into the exhaust system and onto the roof. NFPA-96 guidelines require commercial restaurant kitchens to keep a grease-free and fire safe system which can only be accomplished by a certified hood cleaning company.

Do you need roof access and does the roof get cleaned?

Most of the time our Technicians will need roof access in order to properly clean the exhaust fan itself and the duct work leading to it. However, if your exhaust fan is located on the side of the building, then roof access is not required. The cleaning includes all aspects of the exhaust fan duct work and the fan, but does not include cleaning the roof itself. 

What is included when cleaning the hood?

A standard kitchen exhaust hood cleaning service is considered “cook top to roof top.” It begins in the kitchen, where the cooking equipment and other surfaces not being cleaned are covered with plastic to protect them from any falling debris. The filters are put in a cleaning solution to soak and the plenum (the area behind the filter bank) is scraped clean. Then the Technicians start to work from the top down. First the exhaust fan cover is removed, then the duct shaft manually scraped. Chemical cleaner is applied to the exhaust fan blades and duct shaft before being rinsed. Next the exhaust fan reinstalled before the Technicians return to the kitchen, apply chemical to the plenum, canopy, and backsplash. Next these components are rinsed, the filters are reinstalled, and the canopy and backsplash are polished. Once the cleaning is finished, the plastic is removed, any mess created on the floor is cleaned up, and the exhaust fan is checked to ensure it turns on. Lastly, a new inspection sticker is placed on the kitchen hood’s canopy and a report is written up.

How long does the service take and what do we need to do to prepare?

A thorough Exhaust hood cleaning takes approximately 3 – 4 hours. There are a variety of factors that determine how long it takes such as the length of time between cleanings, the size of the kitchen, and the number hoods and fans.

You are not required to do anything to prepare for the hood cleaning! Access to the restaurant and roof will be arranged when booking.

What is a Hinge Kit?

A hinge kit is a set of hinges, normally 2, on the exhaust fan that enable the crew to open the duct shaft from above and easily move the fan to the side. This is part of a proper cleaning in order to ensure the duct is clean around the fan and the fan itself is cleaned. This procedure eliminates damage to the area around the fan and possible injury to the Technicians.

Can my hood be cleaned on a Saturday?

Kitchen exhaust hood cleaning is best done with the kitchen is cool and will not be needed or used for several hours, so it is best to do it late night or very early morning. We can do it on any day of the week.

Now you can rest easy with a name you can trust

For over 30 years Red River Furnace and Duct Cleaning has serviced Federal and Municipal government buildings, restaurants, seniors homes, schools, office towers, banks, hospitals, penitentiaries, doctor’s offices, etc.

Contact us today for a FREE Commercial Estimate for Kitchen Exhaust Hood Cleaning at your business! 

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