General Kitchen Ventilation FAQs

Welcome to our General Kitchen Ventilation FAQs! Here, we provide answers to common questions about kitchen ventilation systems. Whether you’re a restaurant owner, chef, or concerned about air quality in your kitchen, you’ll find valuable information and insights to ensure optimal ventilation and safety. Explore our FAQs to discover solutions for maintaining clean and healthy air in your kitchen environment

What is a cooking odour?

Cooking odour is made up of grease, smoke and odour whose proportion varies depending on what is being cooked.  Flame grilling and char-grilling produce a high level of grease, smoke and gaseous odour whereas combi-oven cooking produces a relatively low amount of gaseous odour.

What type of odour control equipment should I use?

The type of odour control depends on the type and volume of cooking.  Char-grilles produce a high level of cooking odour containing grease, smoke and gaseous odour and it is recommended to consider a combined ESP-UV system for effective cooking odour control.

If plant space is limited, consider using Coil Filters in the canopy as well as Canopy Mount UV for the effective control of grease and odour.

For low to moderate gaseous odour it is recommended to treat with Xtract ozone injection.

If it is not possible to extract to the outside and you are cooking with electric equipment only, a Recirculation Tower is a great option.

Can you assist with my planning application?

Plasma Clean Air works with restaurant owners and operators, building service consultants & specifiers, contractors and local council planning officers and environmental health officers to help specify the correct equipment to treat cooking odour.  All of our equipment and equipment schemes are compliant with EMAQ+ ‘Control of Odour and Noise from Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems’ and we offer an Odour Control Assessment in line with this guidance.

Why is proper ventilation essential in a commercial kitchen?

Ventilation helps remove heat, smoke, grease, and odours from the kitchen, maintaining a comfortable environment for staff and customer whilst ensuring air quality and safety.

What are the primary components of a commercial kitchen ventilation system?

Components typically include the kitchen canopy, also known as the cooker hood which houses grease filters, ductwork, exhaust fans and it is best practice to use makeup or supply air to ensure proper airflow and cooking fume removal.


What are the main methods to control cooking odours in kitchen ventilation systems?

To reduce grease build up and fire risk in the kitchen ventilation system it is recommended to employ some form of grease control including high efficiency grease filters, canopy or duct mounted UV and electrostatic precipitators.  This equipment will also dramatically reduce cooking odour and will prevent nuisance complaints from neighbouring properties.

There are also dosing systems available which are designed to spray special grease-eating enzymes into the extraction system.  This reduces grease build up and can dramatically reduce the number of TR19 duct cleans by half.

How does kitchen ventilation control odour, grease and smoke?

Ventilation systems capture cooking odours through the kitchen canopy which is equipped with grease filters.  Other odour control equipment is employed including Canopy Mount UV, Duct Mounted UV, Ozone Injection, Electrostatic Precipitators and Activated Carbon.  This equipment is combined to treat the air and remove grease, smoke and odour.  The clean air is then exhausted to the outside.

If it is not possible to extract to the outside, Recirculating Filtration Towers can be employed, however this can only be employed with electric cooking equipment.

How often should filters be cleaned or replaced in a commercial kitchen ventilation system?

Filter maintenance frequency depends on usage and the type of cooking done. Generally, filters should be cleaned or replaced regularly to maintain optimal efficiency and prevent grease buildup.

Grease filters in the canopy can be cleaned by kitchen staff and it is recommended to use a fully trained service engineer to maintain more specialist equipment such as electrostatic precipitators, UV systems and ozone injection equipment.

What are the regulations or standards for commercial kitchen ventilation systems?

Compliance varies by location, but in the UK the common standards and guidance published by the Building and Engineering Services Association (BESA) are TR19 Grease, which covers kitchen ventilation duct cleaning, DW172 Kitchen Ventilation Guidance which provides a specification for kitchen ventilation installation and DW144 which defines ductwork specifications.

Guidance aimed specifically at kitchen odour control includes EMAQ+ / DEFRA Guidance ‘Control of Odour and Noise from Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems’. Westminster Council has also published guidance on ‘Prevention of odour and fume nuisance from commercial kitchen exhaust systems’ and ‘Westminster City Council Environmental Health Department’s recommendations for premises running a commercial hot food use operation’.

Can inadequate ventilation impact the health and safety of kitchen staff?

Yes, poor ventilation can lead to increased exposure to airborne pollutants, heat stress, and reduced indoor air quality, potentially causing health issues for kitchen staff.

How can I determine the right ventilation system size for my commercial kitchen?

Consulting with HVAC professionals or engineers experienced in commercial kitchen setups is crucial. They can assess the kitchen’s size, equipment, and cooking volume to recommend an appropriately sized ventilation system.

What maintenance practices can help extend the lifespan of a commercial kitchen ventilation system?

Regular TR19 cleaning of the kitchen ventilation system and Planned Preventative Maintenance of kitchen odour control equipment, and addressing any issues promptly are vital to ensure the longevity and efficiency of the ventilation system.

Remember, specific needs and considerations may vary depending on the unique aspects of each commercial kitchen. Consulting with professionals in this field can provide tailored guidance for individual requirements.

Is it necessary to arrange regular servicing of the odour control equipment and what are the benefits?

Regular servicing or Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) of odour control equipment keeps it operating at maximum efficiency.  Failure to keep it maintained will result in loss of efficiency and the equipment may stop working completely, resulting in the build-up of grease in the ductwork and the associated fire risk.  Cooking smells will also escape outside resulting in complaints from neighbouring properties.

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