No matter what you call them – extraction hoods, range hoods, or kitchen hoods – it is imperative that you clean them regularly. This is especially true if you work in the restaurant business, but even if you don’t it is so important to have a clean range hood in your kitchen. At the very least, it extends the life of the extraction hood. At worst, it can cause a whole host of problems.
A dirty range hood can form clogs of all kinds of debris, grease, and muck. A clogged-up machine never runs as well as a thoroughly cleaned-out one. Plus, when you run a dirty range hood, you may be allowing all that muck to escape back into your air, especially if you have a ductless range hood. Not to mention the pollutants that can cling to that greasy sludge and travel on it back out into your air supply.
Sounds gross, right? It can also be a fire hazard. Grease is flammable, so you definitely want to have as little of it around as possible. It is therefore so important to keep your extraction hood regularly cleaned, for proper ventilation if nothing else.
Of course, time slips past us when we’re busy, and while we may think we just cleaned our extraction hoods recently, it was actually embarrassingly months ago. Don’t let your extraction hoods become a disgusting fire hazard. Here at Ambient Edge, we can sign you up for a preventive maintenance contract to make sure your extraction hoods are as clean as possible for most of the year. Give us a call at (928) 433-2979 to schedule your free consultation.
Extraction Hood Filters
While some extraction hoods do not come with filters, most do. There are three kinds of filters we most commonly see in extraction hoods: fabric grease filters, metallic grease filters, and charcoal filters. You can determine which filter you have by consulting your extraction hood’s owner’s manual.
Charcoal filters only apply to ductless range hoods, so you may very well have one of these. This is because charcoal filters help clean the air to prepare it for recirculation in your kitchen. The remaining filters, as their names would suggest, are good at pulling both grease and oil from the air. Almost every extraction hood comes with a grease filter.
Fabric grease filters act like sponges in that they pull in and absorb grease and other particles from the air. As such, you can’t clean these. When they get overly dirty, you must replace them. The same goes for charcoal filters. You should replace these absorption-type filters every three to four months. You may need to replace them more frequently, depending on how often you use your range – as well as what you cook on it.
Metallic grease filters are different in that you can clean them. In fact, you must clean them often to keep your extraction hood running at full capacity.
How to Clean an Extraction Hood Filter
The first thing you should do when you attempt to clean your extraction hood filter is to set a reminder on your phone or calendar so you know when you last cleaned it, and when you need to clean it again (three to four months out).
As for the actual cleaning process, first fill a large pot or your sink with boiling hot water. The hotter you make the water, the more thoroughly the grease will dissolve. Add one to two tablespoons of dish soap and a few teaspoons of baking soda to the water, but make sure it has stopped boiling before you add the extras.
Next, remove the filter from your extraction hood, then soak either the whole thing or half at a time, depending on the amount of space you’re working with. Soak it for about 10 minutes. This gives the hot water solution enough time to dissolve the grease and muck more thoroughly. Use a non-abrasive scrub brush to pull off whatever remains, then rinse the filter off and allow it to dry completely. When it has completed dried, put it back into the range hood.
Need Help Cleaning Your Extraction Hood? Call Ambient Edge!
In this line of work, we see breakdowns all the time resulting from nothing more than just forgetting to clean a filter. A dirty filter can cause more problems than you can imagine, both for your health and for the lifespan and efficiency of your equipment. There’s no need for it when a quick preventive maintenance schedule is all you need to help keep you on track.
HVAC is what we do here at Ambient Edge. We know just what your kitchen needs and just how to clean it to keep everything running smoothly and safely for as long as possible. Plus, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our parts and labor. So, don’t hesitate to call us today at (928) 433-2979, and we’ll set you up with a maintenance schedule that ensures your kitchen hood never fails you when you need it most!