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Exhaust hoods

Tired of big electric bills? Optimize exhaust hoods

Have you considered the role the exhaust hood plays in your commercial kitchen? Many restaurateurs haven't. You know you need to turn on your exhaust hood at the beginning of the day to keep the kitchen from filling with smoke, and you know you need to shut it off at night.

But did you know an inefficient exhaust hood could be shooting hot air out of your ventilation, possibly bothering guests, wasting energy and costing you money?

How much money? That depends on such factors as:

  • Whether your ventilation system is sized correctly for your kitchen and running efficiently.
  • What equipment you have under your ventilation hood -- for example, a fryer versus broiler.
  • Where your restaurant is located, and whether the temperature is seasonal or not.

Remember, it costs you money to heat or cool air in the restaurant. An inefficient ventilation system can force your costs up by blowing air into the atmosphere after you've already heated or cooled the air. Take the simple steps below and you could save hundreds of dollars a year -- or more.

Simple steps to save energy

  • Ensure cooking appliances are pushed as close as possible to the back wall, maximizing hood overhang.
  • Utilize end panels where practical. See video below.
  • Minimize HVAC air velocity being directed toward the exhaust hood. For example, convert 4-way diffusers to perforated grills or fabric diffusers.
  • If the hood is a short-circuit design, close off internal make-up air supply and reduce the exhaust rate accordingly.

It doesn’t take much to conserve. Here are some more useful resources to consult:

Video: Optimize exhaust hoods

More Resources

  • Walking the Talk: Reports from the field: Restaurateurs and suppliers talk sustainability.
  • Ask the Expert: We connect you with industry experts for answers to your questions.
  • Watch: Conversations with sustainability innovators.