hvac access doors

How to Choose the Right HVAC Access Doors for Your Kitchen   

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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HVAC Access doors are also called HVAC Access panels. They are used both commercially and also for residential HVAC System installations. When performing maintenance work, access panels help you to easily reach HVAC Mechanical systems. Air handler units are part of access panels playing a crucial role in regulating air in buildings. HVAC applications are made up of a hinged door and an integral frame.

Establishments, residential or commercial kitchens, consist of essential components that keep them up and running. These components include plumbing for the water that comes in and out of the building, electrical to provide energy for the electrical devices inside, and the HVAC that takes care of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems of the same building keeping the occupants calm and relaxed. 

The importance and benefits of the HVAC access doors in kitchens   

HVAC access doors are essential to any house or commercial building. An access panel in a residential or commercial restaurant handles many aspects, such as accessibility, protection, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Here is a list of benefits the HVAC access doors provide in the kitchen:   

1. Easier Access to Maintenance or Repairs   

Access doors provide the benefits of easy and safe access with its state-of-the-art engineering. In a setting where the kitchen is essential like restaurants, repair and maintenance of the restaurant’s critical components is vital as the quality of the cooks and the food are affected by the temperature level of the kitchen. Installing HVAC access doors is the best choice for food and catering service businesses. 

2. Provides The Perfect Dish   

This essential component provides the benefit of proper ventilation in kitchens that boosts your dining experience as the ventilation shall eliminate unwanted odors that might destroy the flavor of the cooked dish for your consumption.    

3. Creates a comfortable environment for cooking   

Having HVAC access doors in the kitchen creates the best environment for cooking in many ways. This HVAC access door’s heating is perfect during wintertime as it keeps the cook comfortable, and the food stays at its preferred hot temperature. The ventilation and air conditioning provide fresh air for the cook and fresh food for you to consume.    

Choosing the Right HVAC Access Door for Your Kitchen   

Round Duct

Image Credits: hoodfilters.com

In choosing the right HVAC access door, it is crucial for you to know the right one for your kitchen. There are many aspects to consider when buying the right one, as purchasing the wrong HVAC access door will cost time and resources. Here are some tips on buying the right HVAC access door for your HVAC needs in the kitchen:   

Tip #1: The need for HVAC access doors   

The first and foremost thing you need to know is the need for this access door. Inspect your facilities first if there is a real need for the HVAC access door in your kitchen, and you can do this by checking if the temperature and ventilation are on the perfect parameters for you. If you decide that you need HVAC access doors, review your budget. If it’s enough, then you’re off to the next tip.   

Tip #2: The type of HVAC access door   

Many types of HVAC access doors serve their purpose besides providing quick and easy access to the component behind the door. You must know the similarities and differences between these HVAC access door variations to help you decide what fits your kitchen setup. Here are two types of HVAC access doors:   

i). HVAC Access Doors for Grease Ducts

Grease Ducts

Image Credits: omni-supply.com

An example of the grease duct access door is the drywall access door. The main difference is that grease ducts take care of the flammable vapor that comes from the grease emitted by stoves and fryers in the kitchen, along with its function to quickly clean the duct itself with the accessibility of the access door. This feature is essential as it promotes fire protection in the entire establishment.    

ii). HVAC Access Doors for Air Ducts

Warranty excludes Installation

Image Credits: homedepot.com

Air ducts take care of the air from air conditioning ducts, ensuring that it is free from dirt and debris that can affect the food from the kitchen. This type of access door also keeps the cool or heat from passing through, keeping the kitchen’s temperature at a desired rate.   

iii). General Purpose Access Doors

HVAC System

Image Credits: ironplanet.com

This type of door is perfect when there are no specific fire codes in your establishment for your kitchen, but you still need accessibility and protection.   

Tip #3: Prepare for other options   

Nothing is perfect, and sometimes you don’t get what you want. If this happens on your journey to get the right HVAC access door for your kitchen, check other products from the same brand, as you might find access doors that you didn’t know your kitchen needed. For instances like this, purchasing general-purpose access doors is also a good choice.   

Tips on cleaning the kitchen   

The kitchen is where food is mainly present as it is the best place for cooking. When owning a kitchen, you must maintain its cleanliness to keep the food in its best form, free from unwanted bacteria. For effective and easy periodic system cleaning, access panels are usually installed at the main sheet duct.

Interior Liner

Image Credits: eco-svcs.com

Here are some tips to follow in cleaning your kitchen:   

Cleaning Tip #1: Leave no area unchecked   

Cleanliness is vital in the kitchen, so you must not do the half-baked cleaning process. On cleaning a specific area in the kitchen, inspect the area for hidden gaps and spaces that an average person would miss during a cleaning session. Inspect high and low places, as leaving these areas unchecked might become a breeding ground for molds and bacteria.   

Cleaning Tip #2: Use the proper equipment and chemicals   

A kitchen is a busy place where it gets messy fast, especially when handling different kinds of food. You must possess the proper tools and chemicals for specific cleaning methods. If you get the appropriate equipment, go for effective products which is perfect for the water used for rinsing the kitchen floors.   

FAQS on HVAC Access Doors

a). What are HVAC access doors?

Whenever maintenance is needed in critical areas of ductwork and air, HVAC and access doors provide easy access for effective work. Typically, access doors are installed on the main sheet-metal duct. HVAC access panels can either be hinged or insulated.

b). What are the different types of access doors?

Access doors are put in three different categories: fire-rated, general-purpose, and drywall. Nonetheless, there are several types of access doors available in the market.

There are Several Length Options HVAC

Image Credits: hoodcleaningsupplies.com

c). How big should the access door be?

The size of hand access doors usually ranges from the 6″ x 6″ size up to and including the 12″ x 12″ size. Person access panels will measure from those that are 18″ x 18″ size up to and including the 36″ x 36″ size. Stainless and galvanized steel can be found in standard sizes, but you can also have them custom-made to whatever size you need.

d). What is the difference between an access panel and an access door?

Access panel and access door are terms that are usually used interchangeably despite having distinct differences. Access panels have no hinge, they allow for full removal of the access panel. On the other hand, access door assemblies come with a hinged door that is more often non-removable.

e). What are the 2 parts of HVAC?

The two significant parts of HVAC central air conditioning systems are the indoor evaporators and outdoor condensers.

f). What are the requirements for NFPA 96 access panel?

To have a proper human entry point for an NFPA-96 7.4. 1.1 ensure you have a 20″ by 20″ opening in all horizontal ducts. On the other hand, the requirement for NFPA-96 7.4. 1.3, the entry point must be accessible by a 10-feet work stage.

Final Thoughts   

Food is essential to humans as it provides the nutrition for daily activities. The kitchen is where most of your food comes from, so you keep it from experiencing any problems. Installing the right HVAC access doors provides many benefits, from eliminating unwanted odor to delivering a relaxing work environment for the cook, all affecting the food for your daily sustenance. Follow these tips to get the freshest food from the cleanest kitchen with the right HVAC access doors.   

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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