A properly functioning kitchen grease exhaust system is designed to pull airborne grease up and away from the cooking surface, and out of the occupied space in the kitchen. From there, it can only end up in one of three places:
- Stuck to the grease filter, eventually dropping down into the grease tray and into the receptacle of the grease tray; or
- Stuck to the inside of the ductwork or on the fan, until your friendly kitchen exhaust cleaner’s next visit; or
- Blown out of the system by the fan. Depending on the amount of grease, design of the system, and other factors, the grease may end up carried away in the atmosphere, or some of it may end up accumulating around the rooftop fan – sometimes quite a bit of it.
Many rooftop fans have a receptacle to catch the grease that initially sticks to part of the fan and then drips down, but sometimes those receptacles overflow. Further, a lot of grease may bypass the system and end up blown onto the roof. This creates a hazardous situation (slips and falls, possible fire spread) and the accumulating grease may end up damaging your rooftop.
Fortunately, there has been a lot of innovation in rooftop protection in recent years, and there are a variety of solutions out there to protect your rooftop. Which one is right for you depends on the physical configuration of your fan and the area around it, as well as the amount of grease which is getting to and past the fan.
Several types of system are available from our friends at Omni Containment, which is a national leader in the field, based in nearby Elgin. These include:
- A more advanced grease collection box,
- An innovative grease gutter that surrounds the fan base,
- A more modest unit which covers only the side where the grease drains out, and
- An elevated, grease-absorbing platform which surrounds the fan base.
Airways can work with Omni to assess your situation and design the best approach for you. Solutions typically cost in the high three figures, or sometimes the low four figures, per rooftop fan, which is not cheap until when you compare it to the value of protecting your rooftop.