How to Cool a Commercial Kitchen

March 31, 2022 8:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Keeping a commercial kitchen cool is critical. With so many appliances generating heat, you need a way to maintain a comfortable temperature. It’s a good idea to have more than one cooling system in place since you will be generating heat, steam, and even grease throughout the day.

What Temperatures Should a Commercial Kitchen Be?

Regardless of the food you are cooking in a commercial kitchen, you need to make sure that you maintain a temperature that is comfortable for everyone. If the kitchen gets too hot, you run the risk of employees’ body temperatures rising – and that can spell trouble.

OSHA recommends that a work environment be between 68 and 78 degrees. Obviously, if you are generating a lot of heat, you are going to be closer to the 78-degree mark. Monitoring the temperature can help you to identify when it is on the rise so that you can take action to cool things down quickly.

With several systems in place to keep the temperatures in check, you can make sure that your employees don’t suffer from heatstroke. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the signs, too, so that you can identify if employees are struggling.

5 Ways to Keep Your Commercial Kitchen Cool

There are several things that you can do to keep your commercial kitchen cool as you work. Especially if you have an air cooler repair in the works, you need to know about other ways to keep things cool.

Use Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans should be utilized in all of the areas where you are generating a significant amount of heat. This will help to remove the hot air as well as the steam. If your commercial kitchen doesn’t have enough exhaust fans, you will want to consider having more installed. By installing custom air vents near ovens, fryers, grills, and more, you can make sure that the hot air has a place to go instead of lingering around the kitchen for extended periods of time.

Invest in an Evaporative Cooler

An evaporative cooler can help to blow cool air around the kitchen while also adding a little bit of humidity. With ovens and other heat-generating appliances, the air can get extremely dry, leading to everyone becoming more uncomfortable.

Evaporative coolers are available in portable units, too. This allows you to move them around based on where you need them, such as around the prep station versus the kitchen line.

Offer a Lightweight Uniform

Keep your employees as cool as possible so that you can keep your kitchen on the warmer side of what OSHA deems acceptable. Invite your employees to dress in tank tops – and then offer a lightweight chef jacket for them to wear.

You may also want to offer a uniform changing station so that employees can change jackets/pants in the middle of the shift.

Use Fans Creatively

Beyond exhaust fans that suck the air out of the space, you should also have box fans around. These can be placed creatively around the kitchen to keep cool air moving around. Consider an oscillating fan as well as placing fans at various heights in order to generate a cross-breeze.

Provide Cold Treats

Often, it’s not about the environment – it’s about the individual employees. Work to keep the body temperatures of everyone working in the kitchen cool and comfortable. Offer cold treats periodically. You should also make sure that everyone has regular access to cold drinking water so that they can stay hydrated.

Why an Evaporative Cooler is the Best Solution

HVAC systems can pose various problems in a commercial kitchen – including performance issues with exhaust hoods and increased energy costs.

An evaporative cooler works differently than an HVAC system. It doesn’t require ductwork, and it adds the much-needed moisture that an HVAC system pulls out of the air.

An evaporative cooler will provide a steady stream of fresh air from the outside. It can help to alleviate odors and provide you with the best possible air quality. Additionally, it prevents a negative air pressure situation, so you don’t have to worry about any backdraft escaping into the dining room.

Overall, evaporative coolers can provide you with an added solution to keeping your commercial kitchen cool and operating in a more positive environment. Contact Premier Industries for more information.

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This post was written by Mike Nicolini

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