Tips for improving air quality and energy efficiency in commercial kitchens

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19/10/2023

Tips to Improve Air Quality and Energy Efficiency in Commercial Kitchens

if you own or run a commercial kitchen in London, the health and well being of your customers and kitchen staff is essential . Good hygiene and cleanliness can’t be stressed enough, but you should aim towards having a kitchen which is energy efficient.

In this year of 2023, there has never been a more important time to improve energy efficiency while improving air quality. The dangers to the environment feature heavily everywhere as heightened focus is placed on reducing carbon emissions and improving the quality of air that we breathe. Within commercial cooking spaces in restaurants, cafes. takeaways, industrial kitchens and similar, in London, the cost of running a commercial kitchen has significantly increased. The rising cost of oil and gas has added to the problem.

So, becoming more energy efficient in the catering industry as a whole, is a way to save money without compromising on kitchen air quality. Over 19,000 million kWh of energy is used by the UK catering industry every year. You can lower costs and business overheads through improved energy efficiency while improving air quality. Here are some useful tips and strategies.

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Have you installed grease traps?

You don’t look forward to cleaning out clogged ducts. Having a build up of excess grease can lead to fire hazards and extraction system reduced air flow.  When you have a correctly designed and installed grease trap that’s reliable, any greases and oils are caught before they even enter the extraction system. This means much cleaner, healthier air and the energy being used is done so more efficiently.

Do you monitor and track the energy you use?

Are you regularly tracking energy consumption? Why not? Doing so means you will be able to spot common patterns of usage. You can then make adjustments quickly so energy isn’t being wasted or used in the wrong places. When kitchen equipment isn’t performing correctly you will spot this early to give you an earlier option of replacing what is damaged or broken. Usage can easily be compared against industry standards.

Is your system air flow & extraction optimised?

Without ventilation and air flow working as it should in your commercial kitchen, reducing energy consumption and maintaining optimum air quality will be very challenging to achieve.  Key is to removing hot air and as many pollutants as possible from the air. Fresh air has to be circulated efficiently around the kitchen and one suggestion would be to have a variable speed extraction system set up.

What does that mean exactly? Well, if you are cooking more often and for more people, fan speed and motor speed can be adjusted to reflect higher demand and vice versa. This is basic guidance, however, when this course of action is followed, you will notice and improvement in air quality. So, you will therefore use less energy, and kitchen noise levels will be less.

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Renewable energy benefits the environment

As you can see there are various ways to make energy usage more efficient. Another way is to use renewable energy sources where possible. The long term benefits can be gained with a short term financial outlay. Investing in renewables for your commercial kitchen, is great for PR and informs people that you are taking responsible steps to improve the environment (and your own environment).

Is the lighting in your kitchen energy efficient?

The lights and light fixtures for kitchen equipment are switched on all of the time pretty much – from the start of a food service, right through to closing time. Lighting consumes a lot of energy and has an impact on overall kitchen energy costs. In recent years there has been a shift towards using LED bulbs and these are found to be more cost and energy efficient.

Is it possible to shorten cooking time and reduce heat?

Cooking for less time means not as much heat is produced. Ask yourself this: can your cooking methods be adjusted, swapped, changed or substituted to use more energy efficient equipment. Are you covering pans with lids for example? You could switch off cooking equipment when it’s not in use. Hot air and pollutants in the air all come at a cost to health and the environment.

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Is your extraction and ventilation system designed correctly?

Proper air flow, the removal of contaminants, and energy efficiency are all essential. A commercial kitchen requires consistent and well distributed airflow. A well-designed ventilation system will ensure that excess heat, odours, heat and contaminants in the air are removed quickly. All air pollutants, can compromise air quality and they can also become a major fire hazard. Your system with its hoods and filters are meant to catch and remove anything unwanted from the air.

Designing the right system for your kitchen shouldn’t be something you do on your own. A professional technician or engineer is there to help to factor in layout, usage, floor space, equipment space, air flow and much more.

Don’t use low quality filters

Low quality filter usage equals a significantly impact on air quality and energy efficiency. Filters should be replaced regularly to prevent them from being dirty and clogged up. There are different types of filters for example: a white metal filter will remove oil and grease. Whereas a charcoal filter will dispose of unwanted odours and smoke. Key is to avoid rising energy usage and to prevent reduced air flow.

Regular cleaning and maintenance

Sometimes it’s very obvious when a ventilation and extraction system needs to be assessed and improved. Then again, it’s advantageous to have everything assessed from time to time to identify weaknesses and improvements. You can avoid issues with ducting, filters and extractor fans in order to maintain optimal air flow.

Accumulated grease in the ducts and filters is very flammable. Periodic maintenance will achieve for example: clean grease traps. Don’t put your kitchen at risk.  Have a structured maintenance plan. If you don’t have time yourself, you can hire a professional to do the inspecting and cleaning for you.

Everything can run smoother when your staff have been trained to clean the likes of fans, filters and ducts. Cleaning can be a real team effort so everyone knows they are making a contribution to the way the kitchen environment is.

 

 

 

BEST EXTRACTION SERVICES FOR COMMERCIAL KITCHENS IN LONDON

If you have a commercial kitchen we’re here to help:

Caterers
Industrial
Dark kitchens
Limited companies and self employed
Sports Event providers
Fast Food chains and independents
Restaurants
Pubs
Bakeries
Cafes

Fan Services Ltd – experts in the following services:

 

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Fan Services London 0203 539 1475

Fan Services Ltd specialises in repairing, installing, and maintaining commercial extractor fan systems for commercial kitchens in London, including restaurants and cafes. We are a long established company located in the City of London, UK, offering 24/7 services for the City of London, Inner London, and Outer London to get your kitchen back up and operational – quickly & efficiently.

We will assess your needs – paying great attention to detail – to find the best solution for your kitchen. Our services meet the very highest standards, and we are set up to provide 24/7 Emergency Call Out Services. Contact us at info@fanservices.co.uk or call 0203 5391475 / 0759 500 3000 for a free consultation. We’re here to assist you every step of the way.