The Importance of Cleaning Your Extractor Fan

by Yash Ranjan
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An extractor fan helps to keep the humidity levels under control, especially in the areas exposed to moisture such as a kitchen or a bathroom. Most of the time people install an extractor fan and seldom bother to clean it regularly. Oftentimes, people forget the importance of cleaning the extractor fan regularly to keep it in good working condition. It is vital to keep the fan clean and safe as it is sometimes a compliance requirement too.

Why Clean the Extractor Fan?

Because of the location of the extractor fans, they accumulate a lot of grease and grime over time. While extracting vapour and steam, the extractor fans draw humid air through filters and expel them. While the air is expelled many other contaminants remain and start accumulating. It is a natural process, and a regular cleaning schedule is the only way to keep the fans clean and fully functional without breaching the EPA regulations.

Here are some of the reasons why you should clean the extractor fans regularly:

  • Safety – ventilation fans get blocked with dirt and grease, which creates a fire risk as they are highly flammable. Cleaning the fan makes it safer.
  • Hygiene – the grease and dirt extracted by the fan create a breeding ground for bacteria, mould, and mildew due to the moisture and heat. It can lead to illness and breathing problems, and even contamination.
  • Airflow and Ventilation – if the extractor vents get clogged and don’t function properly, it will cause safety issues if the smoke or steam does not exit safely from the area.
  • Environmental Safety Compliance – a commercial kitchen or facility using extractor fans releases a huge amount of grease particles into the air, which might cause safety issues for anyone on the premises.
  • Employee and Customer Protection – it is the moral and legal duty of an establishment to protect the health and safety of employees and customers by cleansing the air of harmful smoke and steam.

How Often Should You Clean Your Extractor Fan?

The frequency depends on where the fan is installed as well as how often it is used and for how long. For instance, a kitchen extractor fan should be cleaned once every month or every fortnight depending on usage and accumulation of grime. It is better to get it cleaned by a professional cleaning agency once a year or once every two years to ensure they are in prime working condition. They know how to degrease properly and how to get rid of stubborn grime so that you get the best output from your extractor fan.

Furthermore, Australian Standard AS1851-2012 requires an annual inspection and commercial clean of kitchen exhaust systems. Accordingly, if you are using extractor fans in the following businesses/services, you should get the fans cleaned professionally:

  • School, universities, and other education facilities
  • Hospitals and care home establishments
  • Hotels, motels, and guest houses
  • Clubs, casinos, and other entertainment venues
  • Shopping centres
  • Mining structures

In short, every establishment with a kitchen that is used to service a lot of people should ideally hire professionals for their extractor fan cleaning needs. The professional cleaners will do an in-depth cleaning and get rid of all the grime that an inexperienced or amateur cleaner might miss. Also, they have expertise and resources better suited to do the job thoroughly than a DIY kit you might use for cleaning.

To sum up, cleaning extractor fans is not as simple as it seems at the outset. However, it is highly important to keep your extractor fans in a great working condition not only for your safety but also for saving on energy bills. It will also make sure you meet all your compliance obligations and minimise or eliminate the grease fire risks. If you’re looking for a range of extractor fans to choose from, check out RS components!

 

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