When to Replace Your Ventilation System

When to Replace Your Ventilation System

The ventilation system in your commercial kitchen controls the air quality and prevention of a fire. System components include exhaust hoods, grease filtration system, pollution control units, exhaust systems, and make-up air systems.

This integrated system works to ensure your staff and customers have clean air to breathe and prevent a fire within your equipment or building.

It is imperative to keep your ventilation system properly cleaned and maintained so that your system is always running efficiently.  So, when is it time to replace your system?

Average System Age

Ventilation systems have an average lifespan of between 15 and 20 years, depending on how often it is used and how well it is maintained. If the kitchen is consistently busy and the system has not been properly maintained, the lifespan could be considerably shorter.

 Here are five signs it may be time to replace your system:

5 Signs Your System Needs Replaced

Grease Buildup:

  If the vent hood is not cleaned and maintained regularly, grease will accumulate and create buildup. This can make it almost impossible for professional cleaning to be effective. Heavy buildup will compromise the safety and effectiveness of the unit.

Excessive Airflow:

 An outdated system may begin increasing your costs. Older ventilation system design has to work harder and puts strain on the system.  If you begin to see increase in your costs, it may be time to replace your unit.

Production Changes:

Equipment modifications and extra workload, such as volume increase and new menu items may require upgrading or modifying  your ventilation system. A review of your system will ensure that it is sized appropriately and can handle these changes.

Kitchen remodel:

Any time you renovate your commercial kitchen, a reassessment of your ventilation system requirements is essential.   Modifications and/or replacement may be needed.

Reliability Issues:

Frequent break-downs and servicing of your ventilation system is a sign that your system needs to be replaced. If you are having continued loss of revenue due to down-time of a malfunctioning unit, your system should be replaced.


Proper cleaning and regular maintenance of your ventilation system can keep your system running smoothly for up to 20 years.  Your cleaning schedule should be dictated by the amount of volume your kitchen is producing.

Your system should be evaluated by a professional to ensure it is sized appropriately and functioning effectively. Contact Big Fish /R for a free quote, or call 512-653-1414.

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