Pro Tip: Here’s how cleaning air filters and tuning oven burners can enhance the equipment’s overall performance.

Keeping your oven combustion system operating at full capacity is one of the easiest things you can do simply by keeping the combustion air filter clean. It only takes approximately 0.010” inch of buildup on the gas train air/gas mixers that are located at each direct- fired ribbon burner to reduce the output by as much 15%.

Filters are cheap compared to the cost of cleaning these mixers. Moving the blower inlet to a cleaner room or outside will minimize loading and make your filters last longer.

I’ve had many people ask how often they should change their filters. The short answer is based off the pressure drop you see across the filter.

Determine your maximum potential pressure after installing a fresh, clean, dry filter then monitor the pressure drop each day as the filter begins to load up. Once you see your available combustion air drop 10% to 15% you should change the filter.

Remember that most of the direct-fired bakery oven burners work off of zero gas pressure, and fuel is pulled into the air stream by a vacuum created at the mixer. Thus, less combustion air pressure means less fuel, which equals less production capacity.

Inspect your air/gas mixer air inlet orifice annually to see if you have any buildup. In many cases, you can restore your oven’s performance by having these mixers cleaned and the burners tuned.

Rowdy Brixey is founder and president of Brixey Engineering Inc.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn.