If you are opening a new restaurant, you have to think about everything,to where to source your ingredients ,to less exciting aspects from menu design, to where to source your ingredients, to less exciting aspects of the industry such as heating and cooling. Heating your busy kitchen which is full of grills, ovens and a range of equipment can be challenging. To help you along, here are five tips to keep in mind.
These tips are designed to keep you kitchen running smoothly, help you save money and ensure you aren't wasting energy:
1. Don't skimp on heating the kitchen
If you are trying to cut corners, it may be tempting to think that you don't need to heat your kitchen. After all, it is full of ovens and stoves that all generate heat.
In most cases, the heat of your ovens and stoves will generate enough warmth to keep your employees suitably warm, but you should avoid this approach. It creates cold spots in your kitchen, and as a result, your food may get cold before you serve it.
2. Opt for forced air rather than radiators
If possible, opt for forced air heating rather than radiators. When you are installing a commercial heating system for your kitchen, you don't want to waste valuable floor space with radiators.
Forced air heating, in contrast, comes from a central furnace through vents into your kitchen, and it can also be combined with your makeup air system for ultimate efficiency.
3. Funnel your makeup air through your HVAC system
Kitchens create lots of smoke and cooking odors. Those elements must be removed from the kitchen through extractions fans. However, you have to replace the air that you remove. The new air that you bring into the kitchen is called makeup air.
If you have radiators, you have to have a separate piece of equipment for makeup air, and in some cases, if you have forced air, you can also opt to have a separate system for makeup air. However, if possible, you should combine forced air and your makeup air.
If you have a separate makeup air system, it pulls in makeup air from outside. In the winter, this air can be extremely cold, and your heater will then have to work overtime trying to heat that air. Additionally, as many makeup systems are right next to the extraction fans over where you are cooking your food, the cold makeup air can chill your food.
Instead, you want the makeup air system to grab air from outside, run it through your heating system and then release it into your kitchen. That saves energy and protects your food.
4. Run your kitchen heater on a separate thermostat then your dining room heater
When installing your HVAC system, you want to create different zones for your system. Primarily, your kitchen should have a separate thermostat than your dining room. As mentioned above, your kitchen has lots of heat producing appliances, and as a result, the thermostat associated with your kitchen may need to be set at a lower temp than the thermostat in your dining room.
If you run them on the same thermostat, you may end up overheating your kitchen in order to keep the dining room at a suitable temp. Overheating your kitchen can cause a number of health problems for your employees.
5. Create a third zone for dry storage
In addition to creating separate commercial heating zones for your dining room and your kitchen, consider creating a third heating zone for your cold storage. Typically located near your kitchen, this area stores your pantry items and hosts your fridges and freezers.
Ideally, you want this area slightly cooler than both your kitchen or your dining room. That protects your potatoes, onions and other dry goods. A slightly cooler area that isn't as heated as your kitchen can also prevent your fridges from having to run all the time to beat the heat.
For the best results, you may want to consult experienced HVAC technicians. You can visit http://www.mercurytecinc.com to learn more about commercial heating services in your area.