3 things to consider when choosing a commercial kitchen exhaust canopy

Choosing the right commercial kitchen exhaust canopy for your restaurant or hospitality business can be daunting because the options available are wide and varied. Sometimes, price is one of the most influencing factors, but often this can be a mistake because cheap canopies don’t perform as well –

  • Consuming more energy
  • Failing to filtrate air effectively
  • Needing regular maintenance and repair

There are many considerations that go into picking the right canopy for your business. These are 3 of the most common ones:

1. Ventilation Design

The kitchen is the heart of your restaurant. It’s also the area in greatest need of ventilation. When grease, smoke and odours build up in the air, they become a safety hazard for your kitchen staff’s respiratory health. And unpleasant odours can be bad for business, putting off clientele as they travel through to your dining area.

This is where your commercial kitchen exhaust canopy comes into play. A top performing canopy will minimise grease, smoke and odours and create a more productive work environment. The ventilation design of an exhaust canopy is almost as important as the canopy itself.

Exhaust Rate

An important part of the ventilation process involves the exhaust rate. The exhaust rate your kitchen requires depends on the heat, smoke and grease produced by your cooking appliances as well as the type of foods you’re working with. Fatty foods, for instance, produce more grease and odour. Open-flame cooking produces more ‘thermal plume’ than cooking on a griddle. We express the amount of exhaust air removed from your kitchen in cubic feet per minute (or CFM).

Removing grease, smoke and odours from your kitchen is an important part of a high-performing exhaust canopy’s role. If grease isn’t adequately removed, it can become a fire hazard clogging up exhaust filters as well as a cleanliness issue, settling on kitchen surfaces.

Makeup Air

Restaurant kitchen exhaust systems remove thousands of cubic feet of air per minute. This air needs to be replaced with fresh air – we call this makeup air. Makeup air eradicates unpleasant odours and drafts while restoring the quality of air in your kitchen.

Makeup air also helps to maintain temperatures to comfortable levels, which is critical to the functioning of your kitchen, but also the profitability of your business. A study by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US showed that performance is maximised at 71 degrees Fahrenheit. After that, they found productivity declines again, dropping off rapidly as the temperature increases above 75 degrees.

We can work with you to identify your ventilation requirements and the exhaust rate your kitchen requires.

2. Canopy Design

Choosing the right canopy design for your kitchen depends on the size of your kitchen, your cooking appliances and the type of food you’re working with. At ecocanopy, we supply 3 types of kitchen exhaust canopies:

  • Wall-mounted canopy hoods.  These canopies are mounted against the wall over a bank of cooking appliances. Wall-mounted canopies tend to be larger and require more exhaust volume than smaller canopies.
  • Island canopy hoods. These hang from the ceiling over your cooking appliances in an island configuration. Island canopies typically require the most exhaust volume.
  • Double island canopy hoods. Similar to our island canopy hoods, but necessary for larger kitchens with a bank of cooking appliances.

3. Size and Mounting Height

When considering the physical size of your commercial kitchen exhaust canopy, you need to weigh up the area and layout of your kitchen and the amount of cooking appliances in use. Ideally, your exhaust canopy should extend beyond the area where your appliances are installed to prevent grease and smoke escaping into adjacent areas. It’s also important your commercial exhaust canopy be installed at the correct height.


At ecocanopy, we only supply the highest performing canopies geared specifically to improve air ventilation, reduce maintenance and save costs through low energy consumption. We can advise you about type, size and installation requirements to ensure you get an exhaust canopy that performs well for your kitchen.

Need help choosing the right exhaust canopy for your business?

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