How Not To Send Wasted Energy Up The Ventilation Hood: If you’ve never heard of a DCKV, then read on

By Richard Shandross on Dec 14, 2015

The Food Service Team of the Energy Department's Better Building Alliance has just released a guidance document on Demand-Controlled Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV). 

DCKV is a technology that modifies your exhaust hood and make-up air to save energy (otherwise known as "money") by reducing the air flow and air tempering of outside air when little or no cooking is taking place under the hood. It’s an investment to purchase and install, but the amount of energy that can be saved in certain circumstances can be huge. In fact, the ENERGY STAR program has just recognized DCKV with a 2015 Emerging Technology Award. Once the initial costs are paid back, additional energy cost reduction goes to the bottom line.

If you take a look through the DCKV guidance document you’ll find:

  • An explanation on how the technology works and a description of the components of a typical system.
  • Important factors that affect the benefit an owner and operator might get by installing a DCKV system
  • Helpful information about installation, project planning, and evaluating whether upgrading an existing exhaust system would be beneficial.

This last piece is one of the keys to the report. How do you know if it is a worthwhile investment to upgrade your existing system to DCKV? The specifics vary from site to site, but the report provides some general evaluation steps you can take as a good start in screening the technology for its return-on-investment potential.

The guidance document on Demand-Controlled Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) is the Better Buildings Alliance's latest energy-reduction resource for the food sector. We welcome your feedback on its value and any suggestions you may have to improve it.