Cooking Ventilation FAQs

1) Why do I need to carefully study my options when it comes to cooking ventilation systems?

There are a lot of reasons why you have to carefully consider your options, and these include safety and health concerns as well as the proper care of your kitchen appliances and cabinets. You need to find the best way to reduce and eliminate cooking contaminants and residues like grease, steam, smoke odors and heat. A cooking ventilation system must also help prevent accidental combustion in the kitchen, which might compromise the safety of your family.


2. What is MUA or Make-Up Air all about?

Make-up air or MUA is the fresh air that is introduced into the kitchen through the cooking ventilation system to replace or “make-up” for the stale air that is removed or eliminated and expelled through the kitchen’s exhaust system. Make-up air or MUA can be regulated during the summer and winter. You need a well-designed make-up air system to maintain the optimal performance of your HVAC system and cooking ventilation system.

3. How do I determine the right capacity and size of the cooking ventilation hood?

You must determine the power requirement and choose the brand or model of cooking ventilation hood that comes with different speeds for the air movement. Most manufacturers of appliances carry a range of hoods for specific range sizes.

4. Why is it important for the cooking ventilation system to be cleaned regularly?

Grease and other cooking residues tend to accumulate in the cooking ventilation system over time, and these can become serious fire hazards if such combustible deposits are not removed. This is the main reason why your insurance company, fire marshal and the Health Department stress the importance of regular cleaning of the kitchen ventilation system.

5. How often should I clean the cooking ventilation system?

The frequency will largely depend on the volume and kind of cooking activities that are done in your kitchen. If there is the tendency of higher buildup of grease and other fat residues, then you may consider a cleaning frequency of every month. The cleaning intervals for cooking ventilation systems normally range from monthly to annually. It would be best that you consult with your insurance agent or fire marshal for the safety standards that you have to meet.

6. Why is it necessary to duct the cooking ventilation system to the exterior part of the home instead of into the attic?

When you duct to the exterior part of the home, you improve the air quality not only in your kitchen but in the rest of the home as well. When you duct into the crawl space or attic, the expelled grease and moisture will tend to accumulate in these places. It is also essential that you minimize the turns in the ductwork to obtain the highest performance efficiency of your cooking ventilation system.

7. Do I have to provide for a fire suppression system in my kitchen?

You will have to provide for a fire suppression system if you have or planning to have griddles, fryers, wok ranges, char broilers, cooking ranges, etc. in your kitchen. The fire suppression device initiates a kitchen-wide shutoff of all fuel sources and extinguishes any combustion generated by the cooking activities. You do not need a fire suppression system if you are using pizza ovens, steam cookers and convection ovens in your kitchen.


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