Kitchen HVAC Services

When the restaurant doors close and most workers have gone home, a business owner might find odors from the pans remain. At times, smoke from a grill or other appliance might linger in the air longer than one would expect. When exhaust fans suck air from the kitchen, these smells dissipate. If they don’t, the problem probably lies in a lack of fresh air replacing that which was exhausted. With a restaurant make-up air unit, any commercial kitchen can eliminate these issues for good. What does the restaurant owner need to know when determining if this equipment is right for their needs? 

The Benefits of Restaurant Make-Up Units

Commercial kitchens come with an exhaust fan designed to remove dirty air from the space. In fact, many kitchens have more than one exhaust fan for this purpose, and the fans must be appropriately sized for the kitchen. With so much dirty air being extracted, the kitchen must have the means to replace it with fresh air to preserve air quality. Units that make use of MERV 13 HVAC filters may find the airflow from the unit has decreased, leading to a lack of fresh air in the kitchen. How can a restaurant owner overcome this issue? 

A commercial hvac unit in a kitchen should be outfitted with a make-up unit. The HVAC unit pulls approximately ten percent of its replacement air from adjacent rooms. The other 90 percent comes from a make-up unit. Why is this needed? What problems are seen with a  commercial kitchen lacks adequate ventilation? 

Unpleasant Odors

Nobody wants to smell unpleasant odors when dining in a restaurant. A make-up air unit installed in the kitchen prevents unsavory cooking odors from making their way to diners. This helps to ensure they have a pleasant dining experience and wish to return. 


Some kitchens are filled with fumes, making it difficult for employees to see clearly. This could lead to safety hazards along with unpleasant working conditions. The fumes build up when there is a lack of replacement air entering the kitchen. Reduced exhaust flow leads to the unit being unable to capture and contain these fumes. Never ignore this issue. Address negative air pressure issues promptly to prevent a loss of productivity and increased employee absenteeism. 

Negative Air Pressure

When there is an imbalance in the air pressure in the kitchen, cross drafts arise. Workers notice this problem when they struggle to open or close a door or when the door slams shut. These problems are seen when a compromised door seal allows drafts of air to be sucked into the room from open windows or cracks and holes in doors and walls. Furthermore, the negative air pressure allows dirt and debris to be sucked into the kitchen under the door. This leads to unsanitary conditions and a whole host of problems. Speak to our commercial HVAC installation team to learn how this problem can be avoided. 

Cold or Moist Walls

An air imbalance in the kitchen might be seen in cold perimeter walls or moisture accumulation on these walls. Furthermore, any moisture present on the walls could lead to mold and mildew growth. This isn’t acceptable in a commercial kitchen, and a make-up unit connected to the HVAC system can prevent this issue. Speak to a contractor about HVAC repair services and make-up units to learn what your kitchen needs to avoid cold walls and moisture buildup. 


Backdrafts must be a concern in any commercial kitchen. Any backdraft could lead to noxious vapors or carbon monoxide building up in the kitchen. Chimneys, flues, and draft stacks work to remove these vapors, but a backdraft can send them back into the kitchen. This could lead to a carbon monoxide detector alarm being triggered, causing the restaurant to be evacuated. No restaurant owner wants this during a busy shift, and a make-up unit can help to remove backdrafts. 

Overworked Exhaust Hoods

When a kitchen lacks the necessary make-up air, this puts an additional strain on the exhaust hood. Static pressure increases because of the reduced air supply, and this decreases the amount of air the hood can remove from the kitchen each minute. When this air supply is depleted, the shutters in the exhaust fan might only partially open. This problem is seen in the corrosion that appears on the exhaust hood. The hood is no longer able to suck up all of the corrosive fumes, which leads to the unit being damaged. 

Grease in the Kitchen

While grease is expected in a kitchen, a buildup of this substance on appliance surfaces and countertops suggests the area needs a make-up unit. Without this unit, the staff must spend more time removing grease from these surfaces. This takes them away from other tasks that are of more benefit to the restaurant. 

Heating Issues

Chimneys and flues fail to draft properly when they have limited airflow. HVAC problems could arise as a result. For instance, pilot lights may go out or the heat exchangers and stacks might sustain damage. When this happens, the restaurant owner must pay to have the necessary repairs and might need to invest in a make-up unit at the same time. 

Rising Energy Costs

When a kitchen lacks a make-up unit, there is no outside air coming into the kitchen. This means the HVAC system must work harder to keep the kitchen at the desired temperature according to the thermostat. The kitchen owner sees this in rising energy bills. Installing a make-up unit in the kitchen ensures the kitchen has an adequate air supply, the air pressure remains balanced, and energy bills are kept under control. 

Look into having a make-up unit installed in your commercial kitchen. Doing so comes with many benefits and very few drawbacks. Learn more today about this option to see if it is right for your establishment. Sooner is better than later in this situation. 

About Inverter Mechanical Piping Solutions:

At Inverter Mechanical Piping Solutions, we have over 35 years of expertise in providing HVAC services to businesses in and around Columbia, South Carolina. We have been working and researching VRV/VRF systems extensively, and since have been exclusively contracting VRV/VRF with many clients, including business and real estate developers.

Inverter Mechanical Piping Solutions | 803-722-HVAC | 803-722-4822 | |