Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Keeping Your Kitchen Well Aired – The Benefits of Your Ventilation Ductwork, Cleaning and More

 When it comes to the health and safety within your commercial kitchen environment, ventilation is essential to take away the fumes, vapours and large amounts of heat that are produced within a busy commercial kitchen. Without adequate ventilation, either as a result of a system that isn’t quite fit for purpose, and because of poor or no ductwork cleaning, these fumes and hot air can build up to a critical point, and may result in the very real risk of a potentially lethal fire.

Your commercial kitchen ventilation system is highly complex, managing and regulating the air flow through specially installed ductwork, all in what is usually a very restricted space.

It is typically made up of an exhaust hood or canopy to capture the fumes, vapour and heat; ductwork to carry the contaminated air away to the fan; the fan itself which moves the contaminated air out of the building; and a way of making up the air to contain the right elements for safe combustion, either through a separate and independent system or via an existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning system within the building.

What to Expect From Your Commercial Kitchen Ventilation System
When it comes to what you should be looking for in an effective commercial kitchen ventilation system, these are many and varied:

·     Removing fumes – the fumes that are created when cooking food can be harmful to your health in large doses. Smoke from cooking, and especially from frying and grilling, can contain particles that are known to pollute the air and to cause cancer, as well as other pulmonary problems. Your commercial kitchen ventilation system will take away these fumes as they are created, drawing them up from the stove top and into the canopy above.

·     Taking away hot air – the hot air from your cooker will be taken away in the same manner as the fumes and vapours, replaced by cooler make up air brought back into the environment in relatively equal amounts. This helps to stop heat building up in the ductwork and potentially triggering a fire.

·     Keeping the air movement in the kitchen comfortable – in moving the heat, fumes and vapours, and the air that contains them, away from your commercial kitchen, and pumping cooler air back in, your ventilation system will also keep a more regulated, temperate air moving around your kitchen, rather than having areas of intense warmth and cool.

·     Preventing the risk of carbon monoxide accumulation – the air brought in by your ventilation system will contain the correct levels of each element to ensure that when your gas needs to be ignited, it works quickly and efficiently, and results in complete combustion, without leaving carbon monoxide behind.

·     Easy to clean – as a matter of course, your ventilation system will include sections that are not easy to clean, such as your ductwork and the internal workings of the canopy and fan. And with ductwork cleaning a legal obligation, when looking into your commercial kitchen ventilation it is a good idea to bear cleaning in mind.

·     Quiet and vibration free – older or poorly installed systems may be noisy, but high levels of noise may also contravene health and safety standards. A well maintained, correctly mounted ventilation system should not create high levels of vibration and should therefore be much quieter.

Commercial Kitchen Ventilation and Ductwork Cleaning – A Legal Requirement
As we have seen above, the vapours and fumes within a commercial kitchen may contain significant health risks if left to build up.  And as a potentially volatile place, with flames regularly being ignited, the harmful vapours can easily turn into a fire risk as well. For this reason there is strict legislation when it comes to commercial kitchen ventilation, with requirements for regular ductwork cleaning, as well as the rest of the system including every element of the canopy and fan. This cleaning should be carried out by a professional ductwork cleaning company, who will issue a full safety certificate with which you can prove you have met your obligations.

Ingot Services – Commercial Kitchen and Ductwork Cleaning Specialists
Whether for a small free standing site or for a large institutional kitchen, and from Michelin star restaurants through to cafes, Ingot Services have been working with commercial kitchen clients throughout he UK for over 25 years.

For kitchen extract cleaning, kitchen deep cleaning, canopy cleaning and for your ductwork cleaning (links to www.ingotservices.co.uk) , we are fully trained and qualified by the HVCA. So with us you can rest assured that we understand your commercial kitchen ventilation, and that we will work with you to ensure it is working as well, and as efficiently, as it possibly can.

Find out more about the ventilation system in your commercial kitchen and about the commercial kitchen services, including your ductwork cleaning services available from Ingot Services.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Importance of Maintaining Your Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) System

Each year thousands of workers in Britain develop occupational diseases from inhaling certain dusts, fumes or other airborne contaminants at work – all of which can be prevented by timely duct work cleaning and the installation of a local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system. The right ventilation system combined with regular duct work cleaning can help to clean the air in a workplace before people breathe in these harmful substances, which can lead to diseases such as asthma and lung cancer.

If your workplace produces dust, mist, fumes, gas and vapour then there may be a risk to the health of your employees. Therefore you should consider installing an LEV system.

Duct work cleaning – contact us now for a free, no obligation quote.

1.    Installation of LEV

An LEV is a ventilation system that removes dust, mists, gases and fumes out of the air so that they can’t be inhaled. An LEV will:
·      Collect the air that contains the contaminates
·      Make sure they are contained and removed
·      Clean the air and dispose of the contaminants safely

Legally business are obliged to control the risks from harmful substances (the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations). An LEV can help you achieve this.

Typically an LEV is made up of:
·      A hood to collect airborne contaminants at, or near, where they were created.
·      Ducts to carry the airborne contaminants away from the process.
·      An air cleaner to filter and clean the extracted air.
·      A fan of the right size and type to deliver sufficient “suck” to the hood.
·      Discharge – the safe release of cleaned, extracted air into the atmosphere.

LEV hoods come in a range of sizes: from tiny ones fitted to hand held tools, to large ones that are big enough to walk into. It is crucial that the hood matches the source you want to control as the most common reason for an LEV not working properly is an ill fitting or wrongly sized hood.

Selecting the right LEV supplier is crucial. Listed below are some pointers to help you with the process.
·      Request tenders, ideally from three contractors.
·      Provide a drawing of the area and the processes to be controlled.
·      Provide your specification for the work to be done.
·      Tell potential contractors about any environmental, fire and explosion requirements.
·      Ask potential contractors to visit the site to see the processes.

Once you have received tenders from potential suppliers. Don’t forget to ask potential suppliers the following questions:
·      What experience do they have of designing and providing LEV systems?
·      What are their professional qualifications, experience and memberships?
·      What other industries have you supplied LEV systems?
·      Have they got experience of providing LEV systems for your industry?
·      Can  they provide references and testimonials from past customers?

On installation the supplier should test the LEV to ensure it is working according to specification. Once commissioned and working you have a legal requirement to make sure your LEV system works properly.  To fulfill this you will need to regularly check and maintain the LEV system, including organizing regular duct work cleaning.

2.    Maintenance

Many employers buy an LEV system to protect their workers’ health but it doesn’t work. This may be because it is the wrong type or because it’s not properly installed, used or maintained.

One of the simplest forms of maintenance is regular duct work cleaning. Clogged or dirty ducts inhibit the ability of the LEV to suck out air at the required rate. And if the ducts are clogged with substances which are themselves harmful, then without regular duct work cleaning your LEV could be doing more harm than good.

Your supplier will provide you with a logbook and user manual. The logbook must be used to record all LEV checks and maintenance. The logbook should be kept for at least 5 years along with all examination and test reports.

Once your local exhaust ventilation system has been installed it is important to ensure that it works properly and actually protects people’s health:
·      It needs to be the right type for the job.
·      It needs installing properly in the first place.
·      It needs regular checking and maintenance throughout the year.
·      It needs testing thoroughly at least once every year.
·      It needs scheduled duct work cleaning at least once per year.
·      If you move the LEV, make sure it still works.
·      It needs an indicator to show it’s working properly.
·      You need to check that it works properly every time you use it.
·      You need to use it properly.

Each LEV must be checked daily for the following:
·      Does the indicator show the LEV is working properly?
·      Is it taking away all the harmful dust, mist, fumes and gas?
·      Are you close enough to it so it can do its job properly?
·      Are there any signs it is not working properly i.e. smells or settled dust.
·      Are there any unusual noises or vibration coming from it?
·      Has it been thoroughly tested, with a “tested” label that is within date?

Additionally most LEV systems need a thorough examination and test once each year (legally every 14 months) to make sure it works well and continues to protect your employees. This should ideally be combined with inspection of the ducts and scheduled duct work cleaning.  However, some need more frequent testing due to the nature of the processes they control.

3.    Training

You also must make sure that any employees operating the LEV are fully trained and the training should cover the following essentials:
·      The harmful nature of the substances you use.
·      How exposure may occur.
·      How the LEV system works.
·      Methods of working that get the best out of the LEV.
·      How to check the LEV is working.
·      The consequences of the LEV failing and what to do if something goes wrong.

Duct work cleaning – contact us now for a free, no obligation quote.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

How Does Your Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Work For You – Your Energy Efficiency, Duct Work, Cleaning And More

 As a duct work cleaning company, we understand Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, or HVAC systems (as they’re more widely known) very well. But asking many people what they think an HVAC system can achieve, we often find that while most can tell you that it involves pumping hot or cold air around a building, many don’t realise the benefits and haven’t thought about cost implications.

In fact, for a lot of businesses HVAC systems have some very useful benefits that may well outweigh the costs involved in installation and maintenance.

What Is A Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning System?
A heating, ventilation and air conditioning system does just what it says on the tin. Combining the warming, cooling and dehumidification of the air within a home or commercial property into one system, using structured duct work to distribute it throughout a given area.

The system may be powered via central air conditioning units, alongside which a gas or oil furnace sits, the pair providing cool air or heated air flowing through the same duct work, depending on demand. Alternatively it may work as a heat pump, combining both functions within the same system.

Both of these options will generally be made up of a condensing unit which sits outside the building, and another unit (the evaporator coil) which is placed within the building. These work by moving air between each other, either extracting cool air from the warm air outside on a hot day – literally by pumping it away from the warmer air it is sitting with, through refrigerant – to distribute around the building. Conversely, with a heat pump, the unit extracts the heat from the air outside (even on a cold day) to circulate through the duct work around your premises.

From Raised Energy Costs to Professional Duct Work Cleaning
If you have a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system within your premises, what are the ongoing costs?

In the UK the cost of heating our buildings probably accounts for nearly half of our energy bills, and with our planet warming and the demand for air conditioning increasing, your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will likely be running almost all year around. And electricity and gas prices are ever on the up.

Add to these rising energy costs the cost of maintaining your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, as well as the potentially increased water consumption if your system is using water cooled air conditioning equipment. Of course, with the raised profile of environmental considerations, especially within the commercial world, raising your electricity, gas and water consumption is even more of a barrier.

Legislation also demands that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is regularly maintained including duct work cleaning at least every two years – and by a professionally recognised company. This could be seen as an additional cost that is a step too far, but in actual fact, regularly carrying out duct work cleaning can make your system more efficient, reducing your HVAC running costs. And it can help reduce the possibility of having to cover the costs of damage should something go wrong, and take away the probability of fines for not carrying out your legal requirements.

So why choose a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system over heating or cooling each room within your property separately?

Clean Air, Ambient Temperatures and Enhanced Productivity
The popularity of HVAC systems is going from strength to strength, and this can be attributed to a number of aspects:  from global warming, giving us much more extreme external temperatures, advances in technology allowing for more energy efficient systems to come onto the market, and added concern for employee wellbeing.

And the benefits of having a heating, air conditioning and ventilation system within your commercial premises are many. It offers workers clean, fresh air, as well as an even, regulated temperature all year around – with the air conditioning working during the summer and heating taking over during the winter – helping employees to feel more comfortable in the workplace. The result of this most often leads to enhanced productivity and a positive impact on the bottom line.

By choosing  one of the newer, more energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems available today,  you may also benefit from reductions in your heating costs, as taking a ‘whole premises’ approach to your heating and regulating it with a programmable thermostat, can often be more efficient than piecemeal heating and cooling systems which can end up competing with each other and being more wasteful in terms of energy usage.

Ingot Services – Specialists In Duct Work Cleaning For Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems
With a sound understanding of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems – their workings and their maintenance – you can be sure that Ingot Services will help keep your HVAC system working as efficiently, and as safely, as possible.

Find out more about Ingot Services and your duct work cleaning options.