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Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Fan Troubleshooting

commercial restaurant kitchen cleaning in Denver, CO

In a restaurant or commercial kitchen, cooking and food preparation processes go on for hours on end, on a daily basis. This makes the kitchen environment hot and smoky and leads to the discomfort for the staff. That is the reason exhaust systems are installed in cooking facilities. It is the exhaust fan, which removes all the smoke and moisture from the kitchen in order to keep the indoor air clean. If the exhaust fan stops working properly or malfunctions, it will take a toll on the kitchen air. And ultimately, your day to day business operations will suffer.

Being a responsible restaurant owner, it is your duty to maintain the efficiency of the exhaust fan and seek the help of professionals to troubleshoot and get the needed repairs done without any delay.

If the kitchen exhaust fans don’t function with maximum efficiency, it can lead to a wide range of other problems with the commercial hood system. Delaying the troubleshooting of the fan can result in costly repairs. While it is crucial to get the exhaust hood system installed in an accurate manner, you should also watch out for warning signs to quickly know the unit has an issue. In the absence of timely repair and proper maintenance, you will only risk the health and life of the kitchen staff as well those of the guests. If you plan to avoid the danger of fire and health hazards, you should always turn to experienced HVAC technicians for the help you need to keep the exhaust system and the fan, in particular, in great shape.

Issues that Impact Exhaust Fans

There are multiple reasons why your kitchen exhaust fan doesn’t work properly. The moment you spot a problem with the component, you should hire technicians for troubleshooting and fixing. If the problem is a minor one, a quick repair will do the job. Or, you may also need to replace the faulty exhaust fan with a new one to restore the efficiency of the kitchen hood unit.

Given below are some of the most common issues that may arise with the exhaust fan in your commercial kitchen:

Rattling Noise:

Many times when there is a problem with the exhaust fan, you will hear a rattling noise coming from the fan. These rattling sounds indicate that one of the fan accessories is either loose or off-balanced. 

A Loud Tone from Motor:

If the motor of the exhaust makes a loud sound before it stops working, you should know there is a problem. So, you should get in touch with an exhaust ventilation system repair company. Nationwide Fire Protection (NFP) is a highly reputed service provider, which specializes in troubleshooting all kinds of issues with the exhaust fan and its accessories.

Fan Runs Backward:

One of the most common issues with an exhaust fan is its runs in backward rotation. This is also the reason why the fan doesn’t draw air in a proper manner. If the fan runs in the reverse direction, the air will not be propelled. The technician will troubleshoot the problem in a swift manner and reset the exhaust fan again to rotate in the right direction.

Slow Fan Speed:

If the kitchen exhaust fan is running at a very slow speed, the airflow will be ultimately affected. An HVAC technician will first measure the amps to get into the details of the problem. If the fan motor has the capability to handle a greater speed, the technician will fix the issue. Also, pushing the motor beyond the maximum speed it can actually handle will result in a burned out motor. If the motor is worn out or can’t work at the maximum efficiency level, the technician will need to repair or replace it with a new exhaust fan motor.

Clogged Hood Filters:

Hood filters gather too much grease over time. As a result of this, the filters get clogged. Actually, this problem has nothing to do with the exhaust fan itself. But clogged hood filters are the reason the airflow gets reduced to a dramatic level. If you have this problem, you will actually need vent hood cleaning. Once the commercial exhaust hood is cleaned in a proper manner and the filters are clean, the airflow problem will go away.

Fan Motor Doesn’t Run:

The exhaust fan will not run if the motor fails to start. If you see that the fan motor doesn’t start, the reason for this can either be a burned out motor or a problem with the power supply. An experienced HVAC technician will carry out a couple of tests to diagnose the problem. If the motor failure is due to a blown fuse, all that needs to be done is resetting the fuse. In the case of a burned out motor, you will need to replace it with a new one.

As you can see, the problems with the hood exhaust fan can arise due to a number of reasons. Whether the issue requires a quick repair or a replacement of certain exhaust fan components, a highly skilled and trained technician will troubleshoot the problem in a professional and swift manner.

Installation of Exhaust Fan Accessories

When it comes to exhaust fan troubleshooting, HVAC technicians employ a wide range of techniques to restore efficiency. One of these is to install some additional elements or accessories on the exhaust fan.

Grease Containment:

Too much grease is a potential fire hazard. If your commercial kitchen produces a lot of greases and the excess grease gets accumulated, it is a good idea to add grease containment boxes to the fan. This will help you contain all the additional grease in an effective manner while improving the performance of the vent hood fan and minimizing fire risks.

Hinge Kits:

When running a commercial kitchen, you are required to abide by all the NFPA fire codes. At Nationwide Fire Protection, we help facility owners keep their exhaust hood ventilation system up to date as per the fire safety codes. Installation of hing kits will make your exhaust fan code-compliant. Hing kits also make it easy to clean and service the exhaust fans.

Fan Handles:

No matter what or size your exhaust fan is, you can easily add handles to it. There are several benefits of installing fan handles. One, they increase safety during opening and closing the fans. Two, the fan handles also make access to the internal components of the fan easy. In short, the installation of these handles makes it easy to maintain and service the exhaust fan.

Likewise, HVAC technicians can install other accessories for easy maintenance and safe access to the internal components of the exhaust fan. If you plan to maintain a proper exhaust fan and extend the life of all of its internal components, feel free to reach out to one of our exhaust hood system specialists at Nationwide Fire Protection for a detailed discussion in this regard.

Don’t Ignore Faulty Exhaust Fan Signs

Ignoring the warning signs or delaying the troubleshooting of a faulty exhaust fan will only lead to more damage and harm. If you run a restaurant, cafeteria, dining facility, or cooking establishment, you should always give top priority to the health and safety of the kitchen staff and guests.

Excess grease creates a potential risk of a kitchen fire. It is mandatory for commercial kitchens to comply with fire safety codes. As per the state laws, you need to outfit your cooking facility with a fire suppression system. Trusted fire protection brands include Buckeye, Pyro-Chem, Ansul, and Amerex. At Nationwide Fire Protection, we deal in all of these branded fire suppression systems as well as provide their expert installation to minimize the risk of a fire breakout. Once you have a fire suppression system installed, you should also give it proper maintenance.

Regular maintenance of the fire system and the degreasing of the exhaust fan will increase fire safety. A well-maintained exhaust system means your staff and guests as well as your property will be safe.

Hire Only Experienced Technicians 

When it comes to the servicing and repair of exhaust fans, you should only rely on those technicians who specialize in this job. The exhaust system has several components, each of which plays a key role in creating a safe working environment for the kitchen staff. The entire job needs to be carried out in a professional manner while following the instruction manual and safety guidelines.

Whether it is the repair or installation of an exhaust fan, it should be performed right the first time. Working with amateurs or inexperienced professionals will result in low-quality installation. If the problems with the fan are not fixed correctly, issues will arise again and it will take a toll on the overall efficiency of the entire ventilation system. If you plan to get the best quality of service, you should reach out to Nationwide Fire Protection. Based in Denver, Colorado, our HVAC technicians have expertise in kitchen exhaust fan repair, fan motor repair, custom exhaust fan installation, fan motor belt replacement, high pressure exhaust fan installation, etc.

Each member of our team of HVAC technicians is highly trained, qualified, fully insured, and bonded. So, you can feel confident that our professionals will fix any kind of issues with the exhaust fans the first time.

The Approach to Exhaust Fan Troubleshooting

A wrong solution to a problem will only aggravate the problem. Experienced HVAC technicians follow proper steps to successfully troubleshoot and fix the issues so that maximum efficiency is restored.

Key steps of exhaust fan troubleshooting include:

  • Gather information
  • Analyze
  • Implement the solution
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the solution
  • Prepare a report


Whether it is the exhaust hood fan or any other component of the commercial kitchen ventilation system, troubleshooting means following each step of the process in a proper manner. At Nationwide Fire Protection, our experts will first identify the problem and diagnose it correctly to find the most ideal solution. After implementing the solution, the technicians will also verify the functionality of the entire system and then document the entire thing for your record.

Need Technicians to Troubleshoot Exhaust Fans?

Does your commercial kitchen have odors, which don’t seem fresh? Have you noticed extra moisture in the fan motor? Does the exhaust fan make a rattling noise? All of these are tell-tale signs that your exhaust fan has a problem. It is, therefore, time to turn to HVAC technicians for expert diagnosis of the problem and implementation of the most ideal solution. At Nationwide Fire Protection, we service a wide range of commercial ventilation systems. The ultimate goal of our HVAC repair and maintenance service is to keep your facility running smoothly. 

We are not just an exhaust fan repair and installation company, but we offer a whole range of commercial kitchen services including fire restoration, range hood installation, air duct repair, vent hood cleaning, commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning, restaurant pressure washing, fire suppression system installation, etc.

To schedule your free consultation, you can reach out to our Denver office via a phone call or write us an email.

Some related posts:

  1. Fire Suppression System for Exhaust Hoods

  2. How to Prevent Exhaust Fires in a Commercial Kitchen


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    Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Fan Troubleshooting