Hi! This is Hank Angell.

Thank you very much for your call. I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide you with information about Hood Cleaning and help you choose a Hood Cleaning company.

Hi! This is Hank Angell. Thank you very much for your call. I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide you with information about Hood Cleaning and help you choose a Hood Cleaning company.

I’m the owner of Hank’s Hot Washers Professional Hood Cleaning. I’ve been in the hood cleaning business for over 8 years. And in that time, I’ve learned that hood cleaning is the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about hood cleaning that I decided to offer this consumer education message so that when you select a hood cleaning company, you can make an informed, intelligent decision.

In just a moment, I’ll share with you six costly misconceptions about hood cleaning. Plus I’ll offer four recommendations. And I’ll give you seven questions you should ask a hood cleaner before you invite them into your kitchen.

If you’d like to contact me please fill out form on contact page to send me an email, or cal me at 208-339-1624.

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Misconception #1: 

You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your hood.

No the hood system of your restaurant needs to be taken very seriously, because an ineffective hood system can lead to higher maintenance costs, greater energy usage, and lowered building integrity, all of which cost you more money.

Here’s how it works: when the hood system has substantial grease accumulation, it has to work harder to exhaust grease-laden air, using significantly more current than normal. Tests show that the hood system with substantial grease deposits was using three times more current than the rating for the motor.

Beyond energy consumption, National fire codes (as listed in NFPA 96), local authorities having jurisdiction, and your insurance company require periodic inspection and cleaning of grease hood system. Cleaning frequencies depend upon type of cooking fuel and equipment and also cooking volume. Some restaurants in this area require cleaning as much as every other month. Most require semi-annual cleanings.

Misconception #2: 

The only reason to clean hoods is to get the grease out of the hood.

No. As mentioned in misconception 1, excessive grease build up in the hood causes the hood system to work less efficiently. However, that is only the beginning. An inefficient hood system allows excess grease particles into the kitchen and surrounding areas. That grease settles onto all other surfaces and then traps dirt, dust, and other particles wherever it lands. So, when the grease from the hood system accumulates on HVAC equipment, coolers, ice machine, and other equipment, dust, and dirt stick to the coils, condensers, and vents of the equipment which use more energy for the same performance. This raises the electrical costs of the restaurant, and shortens the lifetime of the equipment, which also raises the cost of maintenance and repairs.

Furthermore, when the hood system is not properly maintained and substantial amounts of grease are deposited in the hood system, the exhaust airflow can become severely restricted. This will cause negative air pressure in the restaurant which will bring outdoor air into the restaurant through any cracks or crevices. This causes the HVAC system to work much harder to keep the indoor temperature cool in summer and warm in winter. Again, this will increase costs for electricity, maintenance, and repairs.

The grease exhausted from the hood system also negatively affects the roofing material. As it begins to buildup on the roof, it destroys the integrity of the roofing material, leading to needed repairs.

Misconceptions #3: 

One method of hood cleaning is as good as another.

No. You can choose from two primary methods: Scrubbing and scraping or Steam cleaning, (hot water Pressure Washing)

First, I’ll explain the scraping and scrubbing process. Some cleaners, to try to avoid making messes in the kitchen use scrapers, putty knives, spatulas, and harsh scrubbers to remove grease from the metal surfaces. While this method removes some of the grease, small ducts, hard to reach corners, fan blades and deep areas of the fan, heat links and housings of the fire system all are left with un-cleaned grease deposits on them. They leave the inside of hood clean and shiny where you can see, but many parts are improperly cleaned to NFPA 96 specifications.  Workers still walk through kitchen, climb on appliances, and track grease that falls on floors etc. If you have ever cleaned parts of your own hood, you know how hard it is to get everything clean.

Second, and I believe the best method is steam cleaning. Upon arrival, technicians drape plastic over appliances to protect them from water and grease. Then a funnel is made with plastic wrapped around the hood to catch water and grease in containers to be properly disposed of at the end of job. Anything else that can be splashed on or contaminated by water and grease vapors is covered with plastic. A pressure washer that heats the water to between 150-200 degrees is used to clean the fan bowl, fan blades, all accessible duct work including access panels installed for cleaning purposes. Special nozzles and tools are used to reach hard to clean duct work. As water and grease are cleaned, the waste goes down the duct and is funneled into waste containers. The pressure washer is then brought into the building and used to clean the hood and plenum area. Filters are taken outside and also steam cleaned with pressure washer. When pressure washing is done, techs wipe down all surfaces to ensure visible shine and cleanliness, mop floors, and leave kitchen at least as clean as it was found. All filters are replaced and fans checked to insure they are working properly.

Misconception #4:

Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your hood system properly.

Not true. Many companies own hot-water pressure washers — but some cut corners and do not clean fans and ductwork. Some get on the roof and spray the fan, but do not clean it thoroughly. Some leave horizontal ductwork unclean because they do not open access panels in the ceiling or crawl space. The company may own good equipment, but the employees may not know how to use it correctly or purposely cut corners. This is why it’s important that you choose your hood cleaner carefully.

The best hood cleaning companies are those that show proof of thorough cleaning by providing photos of their completed work. I will make photos of our work available for you to view within 48 hours of our completion of the job.

Misconception #5:

The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire. Maybe — but not always.

The price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed.Before you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish. If you want the hood cleaner to clean only the inside of your restaurant, you can choose from many companies that only do part of the job or use poor equipment and methods. Or, you can even rent a machine and do the job yourself. On the other hand, if you want your hood system thoroughly cleaned — if you want to remove the grease from all areas of the hood system — then you need to hire acompany that uses a hot water pressure washer, and provides photos of the work performed.

Remember also that most hood cleaning is done at night after your establishment is closed. Most kitchen managers leave hood cleaners there with no company supervision. While this is normal and usually a fine practice, what if a hood cleaning employee has not been vetted properly by the hood cleaning company. This greasy job and odd work hours sometimes attracts less than reputable help. To ensure the safety and protection of your facility, I suggest using a company that gets background checks done on all their employees.

One other cost factor to consider is that a hood cleaning company is performing fire prevention services that if done incompletely or incorrectly and a heaven forbid a fire happens, do they have the proper insurance coverage in place (Prior to servicing your hood) to cover their liabilities.

So remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed.

Misconception #6:

Any honest hood cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.

I wish this were true, but it isn’t. Consumers often think that one hood cleaning is the same as another. For example “Restaurant A” told me that they get their hood cleaned for 300.00. My hood is the same size as theirs. I expect the same price. But this isn’t always true. First, the size of the hood inside the building is only one factor to consider. The length of the ductwork, size of the fan, any bends or horizontal ductwork play a factor in consideration of price. Type of cooking also plays a role because different types of grease clean harder than others. Newer hood systems are easier to clean than old ones. Also frequency of cleaning is considered in determining cleaning. “Restaurant A” may be getting their hoods cleaned quarterly but yours only need to be done twice per year. Most honest cleaners will discount prices for customers who use their services more often.

So even though I can’t give you an exact quote over the telephone, here are things I consider when quoting a price.

First I consider the type of cooking media that is used. Certain types of grease are harder to clean than others. So before I can give you a quote, I need to know the type of grease you want cleaned. Second I consider the amount of grease accumulation. A hood that hasn’t been cleaned for a few years will take longer to clean than a hood that was cleaned within the last six months. Third I consider how much duct work there is to clean and weather I have to get into crawl spaces or ceilings to access horizontal duct work. Duct work is harder to clean than the hood itself.

To recap, I consider the type of grease being cleaned, the accumulation of grease, and the amount of duct work that has to be cleaned. So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different.

If you’re thinking about hiring a hood cleaning company, I offer these four recommendations:

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Recommendation #1:

Make a commitment to yourself to get your hoods cleaned regularly. The longer they remain dirty, the more grease escapes your hood system and contaminates all the other expensive equipment in your kitchen. Also your hood fan draws more power when it is dirty causing electric bills to go up. Your insurance company and local fire inspector require that your hoods be cleaned regularly and some insurance companies offer premium discounts for ensuring your hoods are cleaned regularly.

Recommendation #2:

List your objectives. Do you want only the inside of the hood cleaned which is something you could do by hand. Or do you want the grease removed from the entire exhaust system, including fan bowl, fan blades, duct work (both vertical and horizontal), hood, and filters, which will require a hot water pressure washer, special tools and chemicals, like I use. Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company, which is fully insured — or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers you the lowest price — knowing that company might not be in business tomorrow.

Recommendation #3:

Ask questions. The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are the questions I suggest you ask:

1. What method of hood cleaning do you recommend?

2. What type of equipment do you use to clean hood?

3. How will you ensure my entire hood system is cleaned to NFPA 96 standards?

4. How often should I get my Hood system cleaned?

5. What training have you had in cleaning hoods?

6. Are you insured? Will you send me copy of your liability policy?

7. Do you perform background checks on your employees?

Recommendation #4:

Once you’re satisfied that you’re working with an honest, competent professional, invite him into your kitchen and ask for a specific quotation in writing. A written quotation gives you the assurance that you know exactly what your job will cost –no surprises.

By following these four recommendations, you’ll gain all the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision. If you want a quick, cheap hood cleaning job, many companies in the phone book can help you. Or you can rent a pressure washer and do the job yourself. But if you want your hood system to be completely and thoroughly cleaned, including removing grease down to bare metal, from the fan, ductwork, hood, and filters, then I invite you to call me. I’ll be happy to answer your questions over the phone, or come into your kitchen and give you a free written quotation — without obligation of any kind. To reach me, call 208-339-1624. Or, if you prefer, just leave your name and telephone number after this message and I’ll be glad to return your call.

Here’s one last point: I know that many consumers are skeptical about hood cleaning companies. Before I got into the business, I was skeptical too. So in addition to dedicating my business to consumer education, I do one more thing as well. I guarantee my work. That’s right. I fully guarantee every hood cleaning job we do. If you are not happy with our work, we’ll re-clean the hood for free. And if you still aren’t pleased, you pay nothing. Not one cent. What could be fair? As a matter of fact, add this question to the list. Question #7 is “Do you guarantee your work?” Not all companies do — and it’s important that you have this information before you make your decision.

Thanks very much for listening. I hope you found this consumer message helpful. If you have questions or comments — or if you’d like to schedule a free, in-kitchen quotation, please leave your name and telephone number after the tone. I’ll return your call promptly. Or call me at 208-339-1624

On behalf of Hank’s Hot Washers Professional Hood Cleaning — I thank you for your kind attention. This is Hank Angell.