An endless debate in the world of commercial kitchen grease filters is whether metal hood filters are better compared to disposable ones. Metal filters have been the face of kitchen exhaust systems since day one. But just because something has been around for as long as we can remember, can we automatically assume it’s also still the best choice?
Here, we discover which are the main differences between metal and disposable hood filters in order to help you figure out which one is best suited for your business:
Grease Collection Rate
Make no mistake, both types of filters can do the job of protecting your kitchen exhaust system. Metal filters trap between 20-40% of airborne grease, yet Shepherd Filters provides a far superior performance overall by capturing up to 98%. Our disposable hood filters are efficient in trapping even the finest of airborne particles:
Exhaust System Build-Up Over Time
Despite primarily being designed to trap grease, majority of airborne grease still bypasses metal hood filters and starts to accumulate inside the remainder of the extraction system, namely the hood/canopy, ducting and fan. When used according to the Filter Change Guide, Shepherd Filters will intercept nearly all airborne grease that is produced from cooking activity. Using Shepherd Filters, therefore, ensures that exhaust system grease build-up is kept to a minimum for the long-term:
Obviously, there are huge differences between metal and disposable hood filters as far as maintenance is concerned. At a minimum, commercial kitchens must check their hood filter every month to see if they require cleaning. If they do, businesses can either engage a filter exchange company or clean them in-house. The first option can be costly and disruptive and the latter is time-consuming, labour-intensive and messy. The key advantage of disposable hood filters is that they are quick and easy to change in-house with minimal fuss, allowing staff to get back to what they do best.
Additional Cleaning in Peak Periods
If a business has been busier than usual, hood filters will most likely require extra cleaning. If done in-house, staff will have to make time within their daily routine or if using a filter exchange service, an additional exchange will need to be booked in. Shepherd Filters change in colour as they go, giving staff clear visual clues as to when it’s time to change.
Whether you engage a filter exchange service or clean metal hood filters in-house, there is no way of avoiding the use of harsh chemicals and copious amounts of water. This not only costs you money but is environmentally unfriendly. Shepherd Filters are made from pure Australian wool. Not only is wool a sustainable resource, but also 100% bio-degradable and therefore environmentally-friendly. Once a Shepherd Filter has reached the end of its life, it can be discarded in your regular waste bin as it will break down in landfill.
Cost Per Filter
Metal hood filters require a higher investment upfront. If cleaned in-house, business owners must factor in water usage, chemicals and the cost of labour. If using a filter exchange service, costs are calculated per filter and usually attract an additional site fee. Shepherd Filters will cost you less and come in packs of 50 with free shipping, so if you decide to invest in disposable hood filters then consider buying in bulk, which often comes at a more advantageous price per product.
Two factors will determine your change frequency:
Trading Hours – Are you a café with limited trading hours or a 24/7 operation? Have things have been quiet? If so, then filter exchange or in-house cleaning will be less frequent or if you’ve been busy exchange or in-house cleaning rates will increase. Even a change in the menu can affect your filters needs. In the case of filter exchange, your contracted schedule would need to be constantly monitored and modified to suit the ever-changing situation.
Equipment – Hood filters service different equipment, therefore, some filters will need more frequent exchange/cleaning than others (i.e. those above a grill will need more attention than those servicing a fryer or combi oven).
If using Shepherd Filters, your filter change frequency will automatically regulate itself and as they take less than 60 seconds each to replace, they will not greatly affect your staff in terms of disruption or extra duties.
Routine Duct Cleaning
As metal hood filters allow the majority of grease to enter the exhaust system to build-up, commercial kitchens need to have their routine duct cleaning done more frequently. This could be anywhere from monthly to annual cleans. With Shepherd Filters protecting your hood, routine duct cleaning will reduce in frequency dramatically. Moreover, the extent of the duct cleaning is minimised down to nothing more than a mini-clean. This will see you saving for years (and minimise your fire risk)!
Still not sure? Need more information? Contact us today!