Ventless cooking is growing in popularity, largely because it delivers improved profitability to the operator. Commercial hood systems can double or triple your capital outlay and will have an ongoing impact on operating costs, cleaning, and maintenance. Ventless cooking also frees the operator to install cooking appliances in a wider variety of spaces, including locations where ventilation may not be feasible.
All Ovention ovens — Matchbox1718, Matchbox 1313, Shuttle2000, and Conveyor 2000 — are UL-certified for ventless operation. That means Underwriters Laboratories, under its UL 710B standard, has tested and verified the ovens meet or surpass the stringent grease-laden emissions limits set forth in the EPA 202 test standard. The air recirculation and catalyst technology used to convert grease and VOCs into harmless carbon dioxideand water has been used in rapid cook ovens for several years and is familiar to most inspectors.
To be approved for ventless installation and operation, there are two standards that your local authority will consult as it relates to the oven’s installation.
The EPA 202 standard limits emissions to no more than 5.0 mg per cubic meterof grease-laden air.
During the EPA 202 test, the oven is placed under a large hood, which is designed to capture and measure the grease-laden air escaping from the oven. The standard EPA 202 test uses pepperoni pizza as the food product because it’s a “worst case” or most demanding example, emitting the most grease per hour due to its short cook time. If a system passes with pepperoni pizza, it should do even better with anything else. All Ovention ovens passed well below the limit.
The International Mechanical Code requires the use of either a Type I (with fire suppression) or Type II (exhaust only) hood above commercial cooking appliances.
A Type I hood is typically required for appliances that have not passed the EPA 202 test. A Type II hood is typically required if the building’s HVAC system isn’t sufficient to handle the heat load within the space. The addition of an Ovention oven may or may not push the heat load in the space to a limit of concern to the inspector.
If you do decide to go ventless, you’ll need to file the suitable paperwork with your health department, depending on the agency that has jurisdiction in your area.