Kitchen grease filters are the first layer of protection in a commercial kitchen’s grease management and exhaust ventilation system. Their purpose is to prevent flames and flammable debris from entering the exhaust duct. They do so by capturing airborne grease produced from cooking equipment. If this grease is not captured, it would build up in the ventilation system and become a major fire hazard.
Kitchen grease filters are not only necessary, but they are also required in order to meet regulatory guidelines, satisfy insurance policy providers and are routinely enforced by fire and health inspectors. They may not be the most exciting thing you’ll ever see in a kitchen, but a well-maintained set of filters provides many other benefits including lower utility costs, less strain on the exhaust system motor, and a cleaner, cooler (more hygienic) kitchen.
Below you will find the most frequently asked questions that we get about our disposable kitchen grease filters:
Shepherd Filters are disposable kitchen grease filters made from 100% wool, which is naturally flame-resistant and bio-degradable. It is, therefore, safe to dispose of in your regular waste bin!
Because wool fibres break down, it is the obvious choice for anyone concerned about the environment (and much safer to use than cleaning chemicals).
Wool may be ignited if subjected to a significantly powerful heat source, but does not normally support flame and will instead smoulder, usually only for a short time.
Wool’s flame-resistant properties make it an ideal fibre for kitchen grease filters, helping to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
Wool is also a fabulous product for absorbing oil (grease).
Wool has the right properties for the job!
Yes, filters are designed to retrofit to existing kitchen hoods.
Shepherd filters are pre-cut in all standard sizes to use with a specially designed UL1046 certified stainless-steel baffle frame, making the filters easy to use and highly effective.
To ensure your kitchen exhaust stays clean, we need to start that way. Therefore, every new Shepherd Filters installation is timed to coincide with your next routine hood cleaning date.
Shepherd Filters should be installed immediately after your next routine duct clean, which must incorporate the entire system (hood/canopy, ducting and fans).
To learn why this is best practice, we highly recommend you take a moment to read our brief ‘Before You Install‘ guide.
In terms of food safety, as the Shepherd Filter has no direct contact at all with the food produced, there would be no risk.
Keeping kitchen extraction systems free from grease build-up with the use of kitchen grease filters ensures that high HVAC hygiene standards are maintained, which is important in food preparation areas and required by food safety standards and local council regulations.
Shepherd Filters will not alter the hoods function, operation, or infringe on the certification of the existing hood.
The single most important thing you can do to keep your systems safe is to regularly inspect and keep the system free from grease.
If you think your kitchen exhaust hood ventilation system does not meet current standards or represents a fire risk, you should contact SHEPHERD FILTERS to arrange an obligation-free fire risk assessment.
Our product has been tested, listed and certified to all or more of the same standards that your current metal filters have been subjected to. With that said, the liability should not change at any level.
A clean system protected by the Shepherd Filters solution means you can greatly reduce the frequency of extensive hood, canopy and duct cleaning. This will see you saving for years.
With Shepherd Filters, airborne grease is heavily reduced from entering the kitchen hood exhaust system by up to 98%. This offers immediate savings by dramatically decreasing both the labour costs associated with cleaning metal grease filters and the number of kitchen duct cleans.
A simple mini spot inspection and clean only when required is all you will need to do.
In general, insurance companies require that kitchen exhaust systems be kept clean (not necessarily to be cleaned). So if the Shepherd Filters are used as per the filter change guide, a much cleaner kitchen exhaust duct and canopy will be the result and the frequency of kitchen duct cleaning will therefore reduce significantly.
Ultimately the responsibility is on the restaurant/food outlet owner, facilities manager and/or hotel engineer. Before your next clean, make sure you:
- Engage a reputable kitchen duct cleaner
- Know exactly what they are going to clean
- Know how much it should cost; and
- Check the work prior to payment!!! Why?
Shepherd Filters may be changing the way grease is managed in kitchen exhausts, but we are so concerned by the state of some systems we see, and the risks operators are taking not checking the work of the kitchen duct cleaner. Educate yourself and read about our experience with fake cleans.
- AS 1668.2 E6 Kitchen Exhaust Hoods Incorporating Grease Removal Devices
- NFPA 96 Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations
- UL1046 Flame Test
Shepherd Filters is proud to be a Member of IKECA and AIRAH
Our Filter Change Guide will ensure that you know when it’s time to replace a filter. The best time is generally in the morning before equipment switched on.
If your laminated guide is missing from the wall, please contact us immediately and we will send you a new one.
For more on this, watch the short video below:
The frequency and colour of the filter will be affected by the equipment being used and what is being cooked. See below for an indication based on the cooking equipment that may feature in your kitchen:
*Times may vary due to hours used per day and types of cooking.
Here is a quick demonstration on how a Shepherd Filters kitchen grease filter is replaced:
Shepherd Filters capture up to 98% of airborne grease before it enters the exhaust duct without restricting airflow, when the wool filter media and frame are used together.
Easy to use, our products come with the peace of mind that they have been:
• Airflow tested
• UL1046 flame barrier tested; and
• HACCP approved
Shepherd Filters is the result of many years of development, receiving the UL 1046 standard in 2006, as well as AS1668 and NFPA 96. Shepherd Filters is patented in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. It is protected in numerous countries due to the specific natural formula of the product in regards to weight and loft. This formula optimises the capture and containment of grease particles without a restriction of airflow to the exhaust hood system. Click below for a copy of our:
Wool is an excellent fibre when it comes to fire safety as it is naturally flame-resistant.
Wool may be ignited if subjected to a significantly powerful heat source, but does not normally support flame and will instead smoulder (usually only for a short time).
For more on this fascinating fibre, visit ITWO.
Shepherd Filters’ baffle frames comply with UL1046, which is part of Australian and International Standards. The Shepherd Filters solution is sold globally and our number one priority is to provide our customers with the very best in grease capture and fire safety technology.
Within overseas markets (such as the USA and Europe), baffle style grease filters are the only design that meets stringent standards and codes for fire safety and grease drainage. Honeycomb-style grease filters DO NOT MEET these criteria are NOT SOLD in these markets.
In detail, the purpose of a kitchen grease hood filter is two-fold:
- Particle filtration – To reduce the amount of grease and oil in the exhaust duct; and
- Fire safety – To prevent flames from entering the duct
Within Australia, kitchen grease filters are typically manufactured to meet the following current Australian Standards:
- AS/NZS1668.2 -2012: The use of air conditioning and ventilation in buildings – Mechanical ventilation (local exhaust ventilation of kitchens)
- AS/NZS1668.1-2015: The use of ventilation and air conditioning in buildings – Fire and smoke control in buildings (kitchen exhaust hood systems); and
- AS1530.1: Methods for fire test on building materials, components and structures – Combustibility test for materials
These standards have been designed to help lower the likelihood that a cooking flare-up will cause ignition within the exhaust hood (grease fires).
A number of international standards and codes regulate hood grease filters overseas. These include:
- UL 1046: Standard for Grease Filters for Exhaust Ducts
- NSF/ANSI 2-2014: NSF International Standard / American National Standard for Food Equipment; and
- NFPA 96: Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations
In short, Shepherd Filters make no apology for the baffle aspect of the product and its flame barrier protection which, complies with Australian and International Standards.