Even in cooler climates, temperatures in commercial kitchen spaces can easily top 100 degrees. Small, contained spaces combined with open flames make for an uncomfortable and sometimes unhealthy work environment. High temperatures can be a significant danger to commercial kitchen workers—heat stress can be caused by high air temperatures—and bringing these temperatures down to healthy levels presents a difficult challenge. Despite the challenge, it’s possible to do. Here are the best ways to control the temperature in your commercial kitchen space.
Vent Out Heat and Cooking Effluent
Kitchen workers are prone to heat stress in kitchens that utilize open flames, fryers, and many other cooking devices that produce heat and effluent. When left to linger, heat and effluent increase temperatures in kitchen space. The problem is that many kitchen hood systems are not reactive enough to begin venting out heated air and effluent as soon as it appears. Other kitchen hood control systems run at high levels all throughout the day, wasting energy and driving up operational costs.
One of the best and most efficient ways of removing heated air and effluent from a kitchen environment is demand control kitchen ventilation (DCKV). DCKV systems run efficiently, only running fans faster at higher cooking demand speeds, when the presence of smoke and effluent is detected. Smarter DCKV systems, like the Melink Intelli-Hood®, combine optic and temperature sensors to react quickly to hot air and cooking particles, creating a fast-reacting ventilation system that can help bring down temperatures in your kitchen space.
Make Sure Building HVAC Systems Are Efficient
Kitchen hood exhaust fans can help control temperatures, but your first line of defense is your building’s HVAC system. This means that inefficient HVAC systems will result in higher temperatures that create uncomfortable and unsafe work environments. Many things can cause your HVAC system to not run efficiently, including being:
- Old or outdated
- Improperly sized for your facility
- Not properly maintained
- Not set up or installed properly
- Not properly routed (ducts and air vent placement)
- Improperly balanced
It’s important to stay on top of your HVAC systems performance in order to maintain healthy airflow and temperatures in your facility. This is the benefit of TAB (Test, Adjust, Balance) and Building Commissioning (Cx) services. These services improve and ensure energy efficiency and building health for your space by ensuring your HVAC systems are designed, constructed, and maintained with engineering and energy best practices in mind. When they aren’t operating at peak efficiency, reports will be delivered to help you get there, whether that means adjusting your HVAC system or replacing it with something better.
The “Don’ts” of Cooling a Commercial Kitchen Space
There are many mistakes staff and managers make when trying to cool down a kitchen. These include:
- Running fans: it may seem counterintuitive, but fans only blow hot air around the kitchen. They also collect dust and other particles, pushing them around food preparation areas.
- Leaving equipment on when not in use: it not only wastes energy, it also produces more heat. It helps to replace older refrigerators and freezers with more energy-efficient ones that produce less heat.
- Ignore make-up air requirements: ensure your system is bringing in the right amount of air to replace that which is vented out from your kitchen exhaust hoods. Replacing displaced air is important to keeping down temperatures.
- Neglecting equipment and vents: keep your equipment properly maintained and ensure vents are clear of dust, dirt, debris, furniture, etc.
Need help controlling the temperature in your commercial kitchen? Melink has all the solutions you need. Get in touch with our team today.