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Commercial Hood Systems - Central Restaurant Products

Restaurant Hood System: Why it Matters and Everything Your Kitchen Needs

The Importance of a Restaurant Hood System

restaurant hood system is an essential piece of equipment for a safe commercial kitchen. These ventilation systems are the first line of defense to preventing fires in the kitchen. Restaurant Hood Systems are designed to remove heat, smoke and grease laden vapors that are generated while cooking to keep your commercial kitchen running safely and efficiently. With proper airflow established, these systems also reduce odors, improve air quality, and lower energy consumption in your commercial kitchen. In addition to all of these crucial benefits, kitchen ventilation systems are required by fire and health inspectors as well as insurance providers.

Components of a Hood System

Vent Hood

Placed over cooking equipment. Designed to remove excess steam, water vapor, heat, grease, smoke, odor and flue gas from the kitchen environment. Available in two types – type I or type II

Hoods require hood filters. Filters are available in stainless steel, galvanized, or aluminum; Welded or riveted in construction.

Baffle Filter

Series of vertical baffles that live within the hood. The filter captures grease and drains it away into a container. Designed for easy removal for cleaning.

Exhaust Fan

Gets the air moving within the system – taking the “poor” air out of the kitchen. Installed on the outside of the building.

  • Belt Drive Fans
    • Driven by belt and motor pulley
    • Friction caused by belt can decrease efficiencies and cause more repairs
  • Direct Drive Fans
    • Blade fan wheel directly attached to axle
    • More efficient system with less moving parts and maintenance

Make-Up Air Unit

Brings in clean air to circulate through the kitchen to “make up” for the grease laden air being suction out by the fan. Installed on the outside of the building.

Variety of Hoods

Hood systems are made in a variety of types, styles, sizes, and shapes to best fit restaurant kitchens around the world. There are two primary types of hoods, as well as 6 styles.


Type I          
  • Used for the collection and removal of grease and smoke
  • Always include listed grease filters or baffles for removal of grease
  • Required over restaurant equipment that produces smoke or grease-laden vapors. This includes: fryers, ranges, griddles, broilers, ovens, tilt skillets, etc.
Type II           
  • Considered general hoods for the collection and removal of steam, vapor, head and odors, where grease is NOT present
  • May or may not have grease filters or baffles
  • Typically used over dishwashers, steam tables, and the like
  • Can sometimes be used over ovens, steamers, or kettles if determined that they do not produce smoke or grease laden vapors


Wall-Mounted Canopy Mounted flush with a wall and used for all types of cooking equipment located against a wall
Single Island Canopy Ceiling mounted over a single line cooking island and used for all types of cooking equipment
Double Island Canopy Ceiling mounted over a back to back cooking island and used for all types of cooking equipment
Backshelf Hood Used for counter height equipment. Normally located against a wall, but are also used as freestanding units
Eyebrow Hood Used for direct mounting to ovens, as well as some dishwashers
Pass-Over Style Hood Used over counter-height equipment when a plate pass-over configuration is required

When Are Hood Systems Required?

Hood systems are required in commercial kitchens where heating elements are used. Over stoves, fryers, grills, tilt skillets, etc. The size and type of system required depends on the type of equipment being used and the number of cooking units. Note that manufacturers now offer some ventless hood options where the units are self-contained with powerful fans. These units open up opportunities for kitchen design and use of the unit.

The size and style of restaurant hood system needed for a kitchen varies greatly depending on the equipment used and local codes. It is best to work through your specific kitchen layout with an industry expert for assistance purchasing the correct system. Our team of knowledge and friendly product consultants is always ready to help at 800.215.9293

What Hood Filter Does My Kitchen Need?

Two things to consider when selecting the right hood filter for your commercial kitchen are the volume of product being cooked and the visibility of the kitchen to customers. A high volume kitchen requires a heavy-duty filter to withstand the abuse it will be receiving, so a stainless steel or galvanized filter would best. Additionally, if the kitchen is visible to customers, a shiny filter such as stainless steel would be most attractive. Of these two considerations, the durability of the filter should be the primary concern.


  • Stainless Steel
    • Most durable and easiest to clean
    • Best for high-volume operations
    • Attractive, shiny finish
    • Most expensive material option
  • Galvanized
    • Strong and long lasting
    • High performance at an affordable price
    • Stands up to degreasers and cleaning chemicals
    • Metal may become discolored after using cleaning chemicals
  • Aluminum
    • Light weight and affordable
    • Prone to corrosion and damage
    • Attractive, shiny finish
    • Cannot use harsh degreasers and cleaning chemicals


  • Welded
    • Baffles are made from the same single piece of metal as the frame
    • Back and front are welded together
    • Rigid and durable design – won’t easily bend
    • Heavy duty and long lasting
  • Riveted
    • Made of multiple pieces held together by rivets
    • Series of individual baffles inside filter
    • Somewhat flexible allowing rivets to loosen over time
    • Less expensive, but less durable option

When Should Hood Filters Be Replaced?

There is no standard time frame of when hood filters should be replaced. While the filter could last a couple of years in some kitchens, it could last only 6 to 8 months in another. Factors to consider:

  • Type of filter
  • Type of operation
  • Level of maintenance

It is important to inspect hood filters on a regular basis for wear or damage. When a filter is damaged, it cannot effectively do its job and becomes a fire hazard. If a filter is worn, clogged, damaged, or has excessive grease build up, it should be replaced right away.

When purchasing a new hood filter, it is important to know that the actual size of the filter is about half an inch less than the size listed.There is no standard sizing for hood filters. Keep baffles vertical to measure your filter and know that the vertical dimension is followed by the horizontal dimension.


  • Actual size: 9-5/8″ x 15-3/4″ x 1-3/4″
  • Filter size: 10″x16″

Hood Filter Cleaning

Regular upkeep of your hood filter keeps your kitchen safe. If the filters are ignored, grease can build up and cause a number of problems including poor air quality, excess heat, increased utility costs, and fire hazard. A regular cleaning schedule will prolong the life of your filter and overall system, but keeping a safe and clean kitchen.

  • Dishwasher
    • Run commercial dishwasher on highest temperature
    • Avoid harsh cleaners
    • Inspect that all reside was removed before drying
  • Soak Tank
    • Investment that saves time and labor
    • Fill soak tank with water and add safe cleaner
    • Soak filter overnight and rinse in the morning before reinstalling
  • Hand Wash
    • Use hot, soapy water and non-abrasive sponge
    • Avoid using harsh chemicals
    • Dry immediately after washing

Time to Shop!

Have more questions? Or ready to design your restaurant hood system? Call us at 800.215.9293 for one on one assistance! You can also browse online at our full line of hood systems and components!

Image from MorgueFile

Flood Safety: What to do when your Restaurant is Affected

Image from MorgueFileMajor flooding has taken place everywhere from Australia to Louisiana (and just about every place in between) in recent years.  During and directly after these experiences people from around the country and even around the world pitch in with dollars for flood relief and places to stay.   While this is a huge comfort and a wonderful gesture to help our neighbors and friends get back on their feet, what happens when it’s time to go back?  Many residents are aided by groups like Habitat for Humanity or other volunteers in order to get their homes back into livable shape, but what about your favorite restaurant?   Once the community is built back up, people will be looking for places to eat to take their mind off their troubles for a while.  Here we come to the restaurant owner, who has to begin building back up his or her livelihood that may have been severely damaged, in order to start not only serving customers, but building their own lives again.

While there are many sources for handling flood damaged homes, not as many exist for restaurants.  To remedy this, here are 4 major tips to get your restaurant back up and running and one very important bit of advice to look into before anything happens.

1)    Before the flood, Northern Counties Insurance, instructs that “all electrical equipment and stock is stored at least four feet above ground” when and where it’s possible.  This could help later (depending on the depth of the water) in preventing damage to some major items.  However, if lifting all major electrical appliances isn’t possible, at a minimum Sylvane.com recommends elevating your Electrical and HVAC systems, “at least 12 in. above the expected flood elevation to help protect against water damage.”

2)    The most important thing to do before any other work can be completed is to turn off your main power and gas.  The State of Rhode Island Department of Health advises, “If accessing the main power switch means entering standing water, call an electrician to have it turned off. Never turn power on or off yourself or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water. “

3)    After the flooding has ceased and electricity and gas have been shut off clean up can begin with the extraction of the water.  While this can be done using a heavy-duty water pump, it may be easier, more convenient and safer to hire a water extraction service.   During this time it’s also important to wear protective gear and ventilate the flooded areas to decrease exposure to bacteria and other harmful elements.  Walls may also need to be inspected professionally to estimate the damage done and to see what may need to be replaced since they can often later develop mold due to the standing water.  It’s also very important to disinfect all counters and surfaces prior to use.

4)    In a restaurant setting, once all damage has been taken care of the next most important item of business is how to handle the food that remains in the kitchen.

  1. Frozen items

Depending on the length of the flood and how long the power was
out is a good indication of what can or cannot be kept in terms of
frozen items.   To ensure accuracy, the USDA suggests keeping an
appliance thermometer in the freezer/refrigerator to be able to
quickly assess the situation.  The USDA continues saying “If the
appliance thermometer stored in the freezer reads 40 °F or below,
the food is safe and may be refrozen.”   However, if the food has been
above this temperature for more than 2 hours for meat, eggs, etc. or
4 hours for other refrigerated items, they should be thrown out.

The USDA site also includes a helpful chart for such items if you aren’t
sure if an item should be discarded.

  1. Non-refrigerated items

If the item is not waterproof, is in cardboard, or if a can shows any
damage such as swelling, rust or leaks it should be thrown away due to
potential contamination.

The final, most important tip is to remember to purchase flood insurance prior to any incidents.  While you may not realize your establishment is in a flood plain (or even if it isn’t), it’s always better to be safe than sorry.  Flood insurance can help with the costs associated with the tips above and while it cannot prevent the damage, it may be able to help you replace items that will keep you in business for years to come.