Commercial Kitchen Extraction vs Traditional Kitchen Ventilation

Commercial Kitchen Extraction vs Traditional Kitchen Ventilation in London

The technology in use for commercial kitchen Extraction and Ventilation Systems today might surprise you. In this blog post, we talk about kitchens designed specifically for food businesses and we also explore the key differences between traditional residential and commercial kitchens.

The differences are clearer than you might have previously thought when it comes to extractor fans, canopies and motors, and these are just some examples of the types of components which are designed and used for a variety of different purposes in kitchens today.

Overall you will gain a clearer understanding in terms of what is right and wrong for a current commercial kitchen, if you are thinking of getting a new commercial kitchen designed and installed or if you are looking for further information on repairs, installs and best practice.

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Drawing air from the kitchen and exhausting it to the outside

Traditional extraction systems are typically designed to operate by drawing air from the kitchen and exhausting it to the outside – not unlike a commercial kitchen where unwanted contaminated air also needs to be removed out of the kitchen.

Both types of kitchens include the use of a canopy hood over the cooking area, and the hood is connected to a duct. In a traditional kitchen the air is carried outside, whereas a commercial duct runs to an external fan and exhaust system. Commercial ducting and commercial extractor fans are often large and noisy.

commercial extraction system, inside a commercial kitchen, fan services ltd

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A commercial extraction and ventilation system is designed to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Heat recovery ventilation technology, recovers and uses heat from the air to heat up air before it re-enters the kitchen. As a result, there is a reduction in the overall amount of energy needed to heat a kitchen.

Variable speed extractor fans can be incorporated, so when there is less demand on a kitchen a fan be adjusted to function at a lower speed, and as a result, the energy consumption, noise levels and running costs reduce and are more beneficial to running costs.

Another Key Difference

Another key difference between traditional residential kitchens and commercial kitchens is the option for filtration. High efficiency filters are used in a commercial kitchen to capture hard to detect airborne particles and pollutants. This doesn’t mean that filters used in residential kitchens are ineffective – however, the high efficiency filters, can improve indoor air quality which in turn, reduces the risk of health problems for kitchen staff and diners.

  • commercial kitchen systems are designed to be more efficient
  • commercial kitchen systems are more effective
  • commercial kitchen systems are more environmentally friendly

Fees and costs of putting together and maintaining a commercial kitchen far outweigh the costs associated with putting a traditional residential kitchen into place.

To learn more about the evolution of commercial kitchen ventilation, check out our informative blog post titled, The History of Commercial Extractor Fans.

Commercial Kitchen Components – Extraction & Ventilation System Essentials.

Here are just a few examples of the different components used to create a commercial kitchen extraction and ventilation system. The specific design and configuration of a system can vary upon many factors a professional engineer can determine. For example:

  • kitchen layout and size can be different
  • local building codes and health and safety regulations are different to residential.

Commercial Extractor Fan

As mentioned previously, the extractor fan is an essential part and plays a key role in commercial kitchens, restaurants and other commercial food environments where food is cooked. The process: fan blades are moved by a motor and this enables contaminated air to be drawn through filters and along ducting safely to the exterior of a building. More details:

  • found on a wall or a ceiling
  • available in a range of sizes and capacities
  • accommodates a variety of kitchen and workspace designs
  • usually made out of durable materials, such as stainless steel or aluminum
  • durable enough to function efficiently even through the rigorous use in a commercial kitchen.

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At Fan Services, we know how important it is to keep your commercial kitchen extractor fan in top condition. If you’d like to know more about fans used in commercial kitchens, click here to read our blog post on What is a Commercial Kitchen Extractor Fan?

If you’re in need of fan and extraction system repairs, click here to read Commercial Extractor Fan Repair Near Me. To keep your extractor fan running smoothly, we’ve also written a blog post which includes Commercial Extractor Fan Repair and Maintenance Tips – click here to read it now.

In the event of an emergency, we offer Emergency Extractor Fan Repairs and Replacements << click here to learn more about how we can help if your kitchen suddenly breaks down. We pride ourselves on providing reliable and efficient Commercial Kitchen Extractor Fan Repair services for London UK – click here to explore more interesting blog posts on Commercial Kitchen Extractor Fan Repair.

Automated Controls

Automatic controls can be set up to automatically adjust fan speeds and airflow rates when required.  Adjustments are made in consideration of cooking activity to positively effect:

  • ventilation performance
  • reduced energy consumption.

Heat Recovery Ventilation

Heat recovery ventilation is a technology that can be incorporated into systems to improve energy efficiency. This technology can recover heat from the exhaust air and uses it to preheat the incoming fresh air. As a result, the amount of energy needed to heat the kitchen is reduced and so are costs.

Filtration – High Efficiency

Higher efficiency filters can capture airborne particles and pollutants that traditional systems might miss. This can improve indoor air quality and reduce the risk of health problems for all kitchen staff.

Smart Commercial Extractor Hoods

A smart canopy hood is designed for advanced sensing and control. Ventilation performance is optimised in real time. Airflow rates can be adjusted based on the cooking activity taking place. Some smart hoods have sensors that monitor temperature, air quality and humidity.

  • save energy and costs
  • reduce noise levels

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Energy Efficient Commercial Extractor Fans

A fan like this installed in a restaurant or other type of commercial kitchen, can help to reduce operating costs and the impact on the environment. This type of fan is designed to use less energy than traditional residential fans, and yet the correct airflow rates can still be sustained in order to keep a commercial kitchen free of unwanted impurities.

If you’re a restaurant owner or you have a food business such as cafe, takeaway, industrial catering, pub, you won’t want to miss our informative blog posts on What to do if Your Restaurant Extractor Fan Breaks Down and Planning a Restaurant Kitchen.

Fire Suppression System

A fire suppression system is designed to automatically detect and put out fires that occur in the extractor canopy or in the ductwork.

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Commercial Kitchen Ducting

Kitchen ducting is used to transport things such as smoke, air and other pollutants out and away from a commercial kitchen so it cannot be inhaled by kitchen staff. The ducting:

  • safely removes and helps to passage airborne particles from the kitchen to the outside of a building.
  • a pipe or channel or a network of pipes (long or short)
  • connects the extractor fan to the outside of the building via a vent in a roof or a wall.
  • ducting can also include dampers, filters and such.
  • made from durable stainless steel or other materials
  • can remain unaffected by high temperatures and substances that are corrosive
  • has to be installed to comply with local building code and regulations
  • prevent fire hazards and maintain good indoor air quality with adequate cleaning and proper maintenance

ductwork, duct maintenance. kitchen duct

Regular cleaning of your commercial kitchen extractor duct is crucial to maintaining a safe and efficient kitchen environment. You can also click here to read our blog post Commercial Kitchen Ventilator Duct.

Commercial Extractor Canopy

A commercial extractor canopy or hood is another essential part of a commercial kitchen systems:

  • made from materials such as stainless steel, aluminium or galvanized metal.
  • installation should be in compliance with building code and regulations.
  • available in different sizes.
  • should be cleaned and maintained regularly.
  • Helps to remove contaminants such as smoke, heat and grease.
  • Usually positioned above cooking equipment such as a cooker or a grill.
  • designed to move air through canopy filters.

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extractor hood for a commercial kitchen, commercial extractor hood, fan services ltd

Discover more about the differences between commercial extractor hoods and commercial extractor canopies by visiting this blog post.

Make-up air system

The make up air system usually works separately from the extraction system and includes filters to remove airborne particles.

  • Provides fresh air to a kitchen to replace the air that has been taken through the whole extraction system.
  • Maintains indoor air quality.

Makeup air is basically, air brought in from outside the building through a ventilation system. Having this in place, means that clean air from outdoors is brought in to ensure the best possible quality ventilation.

Extraction & Ventilation System Tips & Essentials

Looking for tips on troubleshooting your extraction and ventilation systems? Click here to read our blog post about Extraction and Ventilation Systems Troubleshooting Tips. At Fan Services, we know how important it is to have a high-quality commercial kitchen ventilation and extraction system in place.

If you’re not entirely familiar with what a commercial kitchen extraction system is or you need a refresher, don’t worry – click here to learn more. We’ve also written about the important components that any efficient commercial kitchen needs.

Want to learn how to run an efficient commercial extraction system? Click here to read our blog post on Running an Efficient Commercial Extraction System in London. We are committed to helping you get the most out of your ventilation systems – click here to explore all of our blog posts.

Components of a Traditional Residential Kitchen Extraction.

The complexity and design of an extraction system can vary, and this depends on the size and the layout. Set ups for both residential and commercial kitchens have differences, but have essentially connected parts. Those parts working in a seamless way together allow it to function efficiently so it can do what it is designed to do:

Canopy hood

The canopy hood is a prime component of a residential kitchen extraction. It is typically located directly above the cooking area and it’s designed to capture smoke, steam, grease, and other air contaminants that are released into the air during cooking. A canopy hood is usually made of stainless steel and has a replaceable, cleanable filter incorporated.

kitchen in a house to display to compare to a commercial extractor fan, fan services ltd


The ductwork will take unwanted air out of the building after being filtered by the canopy hood. The ductwork (ducting and the area around the duct is usually insulated to conserve heat loss and to reduce noise levels.

Commercial Extractor Fan

The extractor fan is a key component that turns and draws air through the canopy hood, through filters and out through the ductwork to the exterior of the building. The fan is usually driven by an electric motor.

Limitations and Benefits of the Different Kitchen Systems.

The ultimate aim should be to create a safer, healthier, and more efficient working environment for kitchen staff.

  • improve air quality
  • reducing energy consumption
  • choose practical, useful innovative solutions
  • have a positive impact on the environment

chefs cooking in a restaurant kitchen, fan services ltd

Here we compare traditional and commercial kitchen systems:

Capacity to remove pollutants:

Residential kitchen extraction systems typically have a lower capacity than commercial systems:

  • unable to cope with the similar quantities of grease, smoke and other unwanted contaminants in the air, produced in a commercial kitchen such as a restaurant. Unfortunately, this can result in poorer quality of air and escalated levels of air pollution in the home.


Residential kitchen extraction systems are often smaller and less powerful than commercial systems:

  • not consistent with capturing all of the smoke and grease which is usually produced when food is cooked.
  • there is a chance that with some systems there may be higher levels of pollution indoors.


Residential kitchen extraction systems often have shorter and simpler ducting systems than commercial systems:

  • this can limit effectiveness at removing airborne contaminants.
  • might be harder to clean and maintain – leading to grease buildup and pollutants.


Residential kitchen extraction systems tend to be quieter than commercial systems. Commercial systems are usually noisier due to the ducts and extractor fans needed in order to move air through the extraction system.

  • a noisier working environment means it can be harder to communicate, and noise pollution can be an issue unless it is mitigated.
  • this can be an advantage in a residential setting but it can also mean they are less effective because of inferior power or suction.
  • Noise reducing technology continues to improve: variable speed fans and smart hoods.

It’s important to choose the right type of ventilation system for your kitchen based on size, layout, space, and cooking activities that take place.

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Energy Consumption:

As mentioned before, Commercial extraction can use up a lot of energy. It’s worth mentioning that consumption is greater, when the kitchen is too big for its actual purpose. This can mean higher operating costs and not being environmentally friendly.

Today there are variable speed fans, heat recovery ventilation, and automated controls; all of which are able to improve ventilation performance.

Maintenance Requirements:

A commercial kitchen systems needs regular maintenance otherwise reduced performance may be noticed.

  • Clean the canopy hood and ductwork regularly
  • Replace filters when they need to be replaced
  • Inspect for any damage or worn parts
  • filters are easy to remove and replace – some can self clean

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There are risks of a fire if everything is not cleaned and maintained properly. Avoid the build up of grease in the kitchen hood and kitchen ducting.

Customised Kitchen Design:

A kitchen can be designed around the needs of the kitchen – this applies not just to a commercial kitchen but to a conventional residential kitchen as well:

  • customised canopy hood set up
  • customised ductwork
  • customised ventilation system

chefs preparing food in a commercial kitchen, fan services ltd

Which Commercial Kitchen Ventilation System is Right for you?

A lot of what you have already read, will go some way to answering some of the questions you have. However, food service business owners like you, will want the very best for your kitchen. A qualified commercial Extraction Engineer like Fan Services Ltd can provide valuable guidance on choosing, designing, supplying, installing what you need. Here are some additional factors for you to consider:

The Size of the Kitchen

This is a key consideration. A larger kitchen will require a system that can handle a greater volume of air, together with larger canopy hoods, more ductwork, and extractor fans that are more powerful. Conversely, a smaller kitchen may require a simpler, more compact system.

How Much Food Do you Cook?

Volume – a kitchen that cooks and produces a high volume of food will require a more powerful extraction and ventilation system to handle a greater amount of steam, smoke and grease.

commercial extraction system, inside a commercial kitchen, fan services ltd

What’s Your Budget?

The cost can vary and here are some factors that can affect the price you would pay to have a kitchen extraction system in place:

  • Size and layout – a larger kitchen will probably require a more powerful extraction system. Smaller more compact systems can cost considerably less.
  • Higher end equipment can be more expensive than more basic models – e.g…  stainless steel canopies, larger more powerful extraction systems.
  • More complicated to install: custom extensive ductwork, extensive modifications.

Investing in a high quality extraction system can have positive kitchen safety and hygiene connotations. You can have peace of mind knowing that your staff and customers are adequately protected from avoidable accidents and fires.

it’s always advisable to speak with a professional who will have the experience and the skills and will provide you with an quote.

Looking for expert advice on commercial kitchen extraction installation? Check out our informative blog post: Commercial Kitchen Extraction Installers.

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Building Code & Local Regulations:

Local building codes and health and safety regulations need to be considered. For example:

  • you may need to use a certain filter.
  • a specific fire suppression system might be needed.
  • Your local authority may ask for tighter compliance around the amount of noise that can be generated from your extraction system.


As mentioned previously, efficiency can affect the amount of consumed fuel / energy which could mean higher costs.










A Professional Restaurant HVAC Engineer Can Give You Valuable Guidance

A professional commercial kitchen extraction & ventilation engineer will provide the right guidance on maintenance requirements and other factors for the whole system not just parts of it. You will want to be 100% sure about choosing:

  • the right sized hood
  • correct fan capacity
  • ductwork design
  • and more…

Hood Size:

A professional Engineer will:

  • calculate the capture velocity. Capture velocity is the speed at which air must be drawn through the hood to capture steam, smoke and other air pollutants. The size of the hood can then be calculated based upon ‘the size of the cooking equipment and the capture velocity’.

Fan Capacity:

A kitchen extraction engineer will:

  • calculate the required airflow rate.
  • The airflow rate is based upon several factors including the kitchen size, the amount of cooking that takes place, plus the ductwork (how complex and how long the ducting will be).
  • choose an energy efficient fan that provides the right amount of airflow. All compliant with local compliance and regulations.

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Ductwork Design:

Ductwork design and length is critical to overall performance. A professional engineer has the expertise to:

  • design the ductwork to minimize resistance to airflow
  • design ductwork to meet local regulations – to meet the required standards for air quality, fire protection & corrosion resistance.

Overall, a professional engineer can design a system that is tailored to the specific needs of your commercial food business. By considering all of the factors here, and by working with a reputable ventilation company like Fan Services Ltd, you can guarantee the best possible outcome.

Do you have a commercial kitchen?

  • Caterers
  • Industrial
  • Fast Food chains and independents
  • Restaurants
  • Pubs
  • Cafes
  • Dark kitchens
  • Commercial food companies and self employed
  • Sports Event providers

Fan Services services includes:

Are you looking for answers to common questions about commercial kitchen extraction systems? Click here to explore our FAQ page if your question isn’t listed, let us know). From installation and repairs to maintenance and design, our FAQ page has the information you need to make informed decisions about your commercial kitchen ventilation needs.

Commercial Kitchen Extraction Leasing Options

If you’re looking to invest in a brand new commercial kitchen extraction system, be sure to read our blog post with recommendations on Commercial Kitchen Extraction Leasing Options.

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Fan Services – who are we? Contact us 0203 539 1475

Fan Services Ltd. is a specialist for all London companies that run on commercial kitchens. We work on business extractor fan systems every day, supplying, fixing, installing, and maintaining them. Also, we offer servicing for all commercial dining establishments like cafés, restaurants, pubs and takeaways.

Fan Services Ltd. has a lengthy history with an excellent reputation and is situated in the UK’s City of London. We offer services for the City of London, Inner London, and Outer London.

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We will assess and determining the best solution to meet your exclusive requirements. To the highest standards, we design, install, and maintain commercial kitchen exhaust systems.

Contact us we can help. You can use our hassle-free contact form. To discuss your needs, you can also send an email to or call our London head office at 0203 539 1475 or our out of hours number at 0759 500 3000. To learn more about the services we may offer you.

When it comes to commercial kitchen extractor fan emergencies, you can always count on us – Read more about Emergency Extractor Fan Repair for your Commercial Kitchen.

Our emergency call out service is accessible every day of the week, 24 hours a day. Don’t cut corners when it comes to your kitchen or your staff. We know what is required and we approach everything with a right first time approach.