Methods for managing and removing grease from hood systems have remained essentially the same for well over 100 years. Rapid grease build-up is a fundamental characteristic in commercial kitchen hood and exhaust systems. Until only recently it’s been all but inescapable, yet even today, it remains a serious management and safety dilemma.
The extraction of grease effluent into the kitchen exhaust creates a hazardous mess inside of the system, compromising HVAC hygiene, food safety and causing environmental problems. Accumulated grease also impairs the system’s operation and functionality, causing premature equipment failure and restricted airflow. Aside from being a biohazard that puts kitchen cleanliness and sanitation in jeopardy, this build-up creates a serious fire risk for operators, property owners, employees, insurers, and patrons alike.
Because of this, it’s essential that kitchen operators properly maintain their hood and exhaust systems in a clean condition. It’s so essential in fact that it’s mandated under a variety of safety regulations. Commercial kitchen operators must properly maintain their system in a safe, clean state, or risk fines, penalties, and even shut down orders from governing authorities. Keeping a system clean is an ongoing and costly exercise into the thousands of dollars annually, and include:
– Routine maintenance (duct cleaning)
– Repair services
– Replacement parts
– Kitchen grease filter cleaning/exchange
Kitchen grease filters are arguably the most important component in keeping commercial kitchen exhaust systems up to the expected regulatory standards. As one of the first lines of defence for restaurant safety, traditional metal kitchen grease filters trap between 20-40% of airborne grease. Yet the trapped grease starts to get extracted further into the exhaust system to join the other 60-80% if these kitchen grease filters aren’t cleaned regularly.
There are two main cleaning options:
Cleaning grease filters using a filter exchange company:
• Some filters are exchanged too frequently, others not often enough
• Filter exchange companies often arrive during service times, which can be disruptive
• In addition to this exchange service, in-house staff even need to wash filters between exchanges
Cleaning grease filters in-house:
• Time consuming and costly in terms of labour
• A waste of water and unnecessary exposure to unpleasant chemicals
• Environmentally unfriendly
• Can lead to frequent dishwasher breakdowns
• Not done well
Both methods include labour- and water-intensive, chemical-based cleaning processes administered by employees and/or professional cleaning services. Yet there is now a third option:
The Shepherd Filters solution is revolutionary within the kitchen exhaust & ventilation market by making it smarter, cleaner, safer, and more environmentally friendly. Compared to traditional metal grease filters, Shepherd Filters capture up to an impressive 98% of airborne grease!
This reduces the grease build-up that normally enters the plenum, ducts, fans, and roofs dramatically and in turn, minimises the risk of fires. Quick, easy to install and disposed of in seconds, changing Shepherd Filters is a welcome alternative to degreasing filters.
With grease build-up heavily-reduced between cleans, instant savings are made to:
• Labour/contractor costs associated with metal grease filters and exhaust systems
• Reduced frequency and complexity of kitchen duct cleans
• A reduction in water usage and harsh chemicals to maintain a clean kitchen exhaust system; and
• Cleaner fans and other extraction equipment, enabling efficiency, less upkeep and energy savings.
Proudly Australian-made and HACCP approved, Shepherd Filters are made from pure fire-retardant wool that is 100% disposable and biodegradable. Yet nothing compares to actual results in businesses large and small that trust Shepherd Filters daily:
Shepherd Filters stop you from having to guess when your system is dirty by changing colour. Users see first-hand the airborne grease that our product intercepts, which would otherwise travel through into the rest of the exhaust system.
When used in accordance with the supplied change guide, they will perform well, reduce your fire risk and ultimately, improve your exhaust system’s overall performance.