How Ventilation Impacts Air Quality in Restaurants
In recent years, the connection between our air quality and wellbeing has become clearer than ever. Especially indoors, unregulated air can be filled with contaminants that negatively impact health—causing sickness and even chronic conditions—and create general discomfort. That is why ventilation is critical.
Clean air is extremely in important restaurants, where constant cooking fills the air with all sorts of unwanted substances. That’s why ventilation is a key part of any HVAC system, as it helps maintain a safe and comfortable restaurant environment for employees, customers, and even for the food itself.
Having high standards of ventilation can provide a lot of benefits to a restaurant business, beyond simply keeping air free from smoke and other pollutants. In this blog post, we delve into why prioritizing these systems helps enhance the overall customer experience, and how neglecting HVAC equipment can pose serious business risks.
Better air quality.
Cooking causes smoke and other toxins to be released into the air, and in a commercial kitchen with constant work being done, these particles can add up to a significant degree. If your restaurant isn’t ventilated enough, it can lead to a dangerous atmosphere for workers who spend hours a day breathing dirty air. It can also affect customers, especially when there’s little separation between the kitchen and dining areas, and negatively impact food safety.
Studies have confirmed that many commercial kitchens emit high levels of dangerous pollutants that may leave employees and customers vulnerable to adverse health effects, especially those affecting the respiratory system.
An efficient ventilation system can help remove these toxic particles and gases and improve overall air quality for employees and visitors. a
Improved safety with less grease and mold.
Breathing toxic air isn’t the only health hazard posed by poor ventilation. Grease is also released into the air during cooking, and without being filtered out, it can build up and leave a coat across kitchen equipment and other surfaces—even walls and ceilings! Grease is highly flammable, so even an invisible buildup presents a serious fire hazard. Grease can also act as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that threaten food safety and attract pests to the kitchen.
Often grease buildup happens across a kitchen because the hoods meant to ventilate the space become covered in grease themselves. That’s why it’s critical not simply to have a good ventilation system in place, but to enact regular cleanings that keep things clear.
Better humidity regulation.
Ventilation has another important job: removing humidity. Keeping kitchen air from being overly moist matters for several reasons. Firstly, high-humidity air encourages mold and mildew to thrive. If left unchecked, it can also damage equipment and of course, be uncomfortable for employees.
Maintaining optimal humidity levels through ventilation can keep the air clean, improve the functionality of cooking appliances, and even help with temperature regulation.
From a culinary perspective, humidity levels can also impact taste and freshness of food. In one case study, a Dunkin’ location that had an ultra high-performance HVAC system installed found that the improved humidity regulation actually led to better tasting donuts.
Keep things smelling fresh.
Compared to airborne toxins and fire hazards, aroma may seem like a small concern, but a musty-smelling kitchen can make workers uncomfortable and unhappy. Plus, if stagnant odors aren’t contained, they can permeate a dining room as well and create an unappealing environment for customers. Ventilation removes many of the particles that cause bad smells and can ensure your kitchen and service areas are fresh.
Ventilation is a key part of fostering a healthy atmosphere in a restaurant, from the kitchen to the dining area. The best way to maintain good ventilation is by having a high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in your restaurant locations. A high percentage of businesses are operating with outdated HVACs that are working overtime to heat and cool and are dirty and clogged, preventing optimal air quality.
Unfortunately, many restaurants are running on tight margins and don’t have the upfront capital to spend upgrading their HVAC system. Fortunately, Budderfly provides these upgrades—along with energy saving technology, simplified utility billing, LED lighting, and so much more—all with no upfront cost.
To learn more about ventilation and how Budderfly and modernize your kitchen equipment and lower your energy consumption, contact one of our experts today.