award winning disposable kitchen grease filters product solution minimises fire risk in restaurants, motel and other commercial foodservice venues and protects the kitchen exhaust ventilation duct

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Kitchen Grease Filters Explained: Restaurant Exhaust Safety

Kitchen grease filters are one of the first lines of defense for restaurant safety. Kitchen grease is highly flammable, therefore replacing and maintaining a restaurant’s grease filters is an important step in reducing the risk of kitchen grease fires.

Most people think of grease as a liquid, but grease can also travel by vapours and smoke. If the exhaust effluent is properly filtered, a large percentage of this grease is removed from the air stream. This not only greatly reduces the amount of grease that will stick to the inside of the kitchen exhaust hood, it also reduces the risk of a grease duct fire and the need for kitchen exhaust cleaning.

kitchen exhaust ventilation filters

Kitchen Grease Filters Explained: Installation Process

Shepherd Filters are easy to install and offer a time- and money-saving solution. Quick for staff to change, our filters are disposed of in the regular waste bin within minutes. You have the peace-of-mind that our filters are:

  • Made from pure and naturally fire-retardant wool
  • 100% bio-degradable and therefore environmentally friendly
  • Straightforward – only change the filters that actually need changing

Change our filters before you turn equipment on or at end of day clean down once equipment has cooled, and you will never be disrupted again!

Hundreds of satisfied customers from Australia and all around the world have made the switch and enjoyed the benefits after following our step-by-step installation guide.

case study kitchen exhaust maintenance spending

Popular Burger Chain Case Study

This case study focuses on a popular burger chain that was experiencing problems with very high levels of grease accumulation in their kitchen exhaust and poor quality cleans by kitchen exhaust cleaners wasting their money,

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Hotel Case Study

This hotel was experiencing problems with grease accumulation in their kitchen exhaust, and poor quality cleans by kitchen exhaust cleaners wasting their money, leaving them with fire risk and a non-compliant system.

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golf club case study

Golf Club Case Study

This golf club was experiencing problems with grease accumulation in their kitchen exhaust, and poor quality cleans by kitchen exhaust cleaners wasting their money, leaving them with fire risk and a non-compliant system.

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Aged Care College Case Study

This case study found that aged care, college, and university facilities were experiencing grease accumulation in their kitchen exhaust and poor quality cleans by kitchen exhaust cleaners. This was wasting their money, leaving them with

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disposable kitchen grease filters from shepherd filters in action against fire and flame risk and reducing maintenance costs and great during covid

Below you will find the most frequently asked questions that we get about our disposable kitchen grease filters:

Based on the details you share with us, we will be able to determine if Shepherd Filters is the right solution for your business by covering the Four S’s:

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!

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.

Yes, filters are designed to retrofit to existing kitchen hoods.

Shepherd Filters come as pre-cut sheets in all standard sizes.

They are used in conjunction with a specially designed UL1046 stainless steel frame, making the filters easy to use and highly effective.

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:


The short video below covers several factors that determine how often Shepherd Filters will need changing:

Three fundamental factors include:

1) Hours of operation
2) Style & volume of cooking; and
3) Equipment in use

Although changing may be more frequent for some filters (and less for others), it takes just a few minutes a day.

Ultimately, filter usage and costs relate directly to your business’ turnover, saving you money and reducing your fire risk!

Our Filter Change Guide will ensure that you know when it’s time to replace a filter:


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:

Shepherd Filters Disposable Grease Filters

*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:

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.

The cost of a Shepherd Filter media is directly comparable to:

– Filter exchange service rates and/or
– In-house filter cleaning.

Yet by switching to Shepherd Filters, commercial kitchens large and small can all but eliminate the need for either of the above tasks! By stopping up to 98% of airborne grease right there at the filter, the potential for grease build-up inside the kitchen exhaust system is greatly reduced for the long-term. This also means the entire system stays cleaner for much longer = savings on routine duct cleans too.

CLICK HERE for some real-life examples based on a small cafe and a high-volume restaurant to see just how many ways there are to save on related costs.

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:

1) Particle filtration – To reduce the amount of grease and oil in the exhaust duct; and

2) 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


Shepherd Filters make no apology for the baffle aspect of the product and its flame barrier protection which, complies with Australian and International Standards.

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.

  • 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

Shepherd Filters Disposable Grease Filters IKECA

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.

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.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 96 is the standard for ventilation control and fire protection of commercial cooking operations.

Below we have listed some of their fire safety codes described in NFPA Code 96, specifically for kitchen grease filters:


This dramatic reduction of grease entering the kitchen exhaust hood system brings immediate savings in reduced labour costs of ongoing baffle filter washing, reduces the number of necessary kitchen hood cleanings, roof damage costs, and provides energy savings from cleaner rooftop equipment.

The overall result of the Shepherd Filters disposable oil and grease filters is less hassle and money savings for a commercial cooking operation. With the reduction of filter cleans, kitchen hood cleaning and the energy savings this attracts Shepherd Filters are being installed all over Australia and across the Globe, including New Zealand, Asia-Pacific, UK, Europe and the Middle East.

Shepherd Filters disposable kitchen grease filters are made from 100% fire-retardant and bio-degradable wool.

Shepherd Filters frames are made from high quality stainless steel and are designed specifically for ease of handling with kitchen exhaust systems. Our frames have easy-to-grip fold down handles and clamps to keep the face frame firmly attached for the wool filter.