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Make up Air in Kitchen Exhaust Systems

Feb
29
2016

Make-up Air Feb, 2016 how much cialis

If our job as CECS professionals is to clean Kitchen “Exhaust” Systems of grease to prevent fires why should we be concerned with Make-up Air? First of all let’s define Make-up Air. Make-up Air is used to replace air being drawn out of the Kitchen by the Exhaust System. canada online pharmacy viagra

It has two basic purposes: buy viagra online free cialis cost

1) It reduces energy costs free task management. Without Make-up Air the Kitchen Exhaust System would pull only the “conditioned” air out of the building, forcing the HVAC systems to run continually to keep the building at acceptable comfort levels, (kind of like having a fan pulling into the building while the door is open.)

2) Without Make-up Air the Kitchen Exhaust System could keep the kitchen under negative pressure. Like a vacuum the exhaust system can only draw out what is available to draw in. It cannot exhaust to design specifications when the room is under negative pressure. viagra rx can you buy generic viagra store

While the first purpose stated has importance it does not concern us in terms of fire protection. The second purpose, however, does. If the Make-up Air system is not working properly and results in a, “negative pressure kitchen” then the Kitchen Exhaust System cannot work in accordance with design. This will result in grease laden vapors accumulating at faster rates in the system. Suppose you submitted a proposal to service an account four times per year. You based that recommendation on the requirements spelled out in NFPA 96 and your own observations of what is needed. After you have serviced the account a time or two the fan belt breaks on the Make-up Air system. This sets up a chain of events that may not be immediately noticed. First, the Exhaust system may have less air to draw, therefore it is not working at optimal capacity. Grease laden vapors begin to accumulate in the Kitchen Exhaust System at a faster rate. Instead of the system needing a service in three months it is needed in two. The building is at risk of fire two months after your last service.

There is another potential problem in terms of fire safety. In the same scenario the fan belt breaks on the Make-up Air System, the Kitchen Exhaust System is working at less then design specifications for the reasons stated. Now at peak hours the grease vapors overflow from the hood and are not all captured by the exhaust system. Where does that air go? I have seen it happen that it ends up going up the Make-up Air duct. Hot air rises, and the Make-up Air duct can act like a chimney to draw the hot air. This can end up being a very dangerous problem over time. While kitchen exhaust ducts are specified to be 16 gauge black iron, the make up air duct does not meet that requirement. It is designed only to bring fresh air into the space. It is not designed to remove grease vapors, nor is it equipped with the fire suppression system that is in place in the exhaust duct. A fire starting or reaching here could spread undeterred.

What can we do? What should we do? I think it is important that part of our service should be to at least inspect Make up Air units and duct systems periodically. This will mean finding the units, which are not often in the same area as the exhaust fan, making sure the system is working and the fan belts are in good condition. Putting a hand over the air outtake of the Make-up Air in the kitchen and “feeling” air coming in is not an adequate way to inspect the system. Since our service does not take place during peak hours the exhaust system will not be “overwhelmed” with heat and vapors and will therefore draw air from the make up air duct even if it is not running making it seem like air is being pushed into the space from properly working system when it may be simply being “pulled” from the exhaust. Part of the inspection should include looking at the Make-up Air ductwork ,making sure there are tight connections and that air is being blown into the specified kitchen area and not the other spaces such as the ceiling plenum.

Of course this overall inspection should be noted in your report to the customer with any recommendations that may be needed for repair, protecting your customer and yourself from potential fire and liability.

Brian Murray, ASCS buy tadalafil online viagra pills

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