Steps to Maintaining Your Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

Chances are, you know that preventative maintenance keeps your heating and air conditioning systems running reliably and efficiently. What you may not realize is that regular service is just as important for your commercial refrigeration equipment.

After all, your commercial refrigerators and freezers are mission-critical equipment that can quickly cost you a fortune when they go down. Even when you think they are working properly, your refrigeration units can be consuming too much energy, which costs not only your wallet but the entire planet. Preventative care will save you some green and also help you do your part to be environmentally conscious.

Here’s what you stand to gain by scheduling regular cleaning and tune-ups for your commercial refrigeration equipment:

1. Prevent the dreaded emergency breakdown.

Just the thought of your walk-in freezer going down is probably enough to raise your blood pressure. When your system is regularly checked by a refrigeration expert, problems can be spotted and fixed before the equipment goes down and you lose an entire shipment of ice cream or meat. Investing in the relatively small cost of regular maintenance means you won’t face much larger commercial refrigeration repair bills later on.

During a commercial refrigeration service visit, worn parts can be replaced before they cause the unit to shut down. Checking electrical connections can prevent power loss. Regular cleaning also reduces wear on the system and keeps critical parts from breaking down. For example, cleaning evaporator and condenser coils reduces the load on the compressor and minimizes the risk of failure.

2. Avoid mould and contaminated ice.

Spotted and smelly ice can drive your customers away in a hurry, and can even make them sick. Neglected ice machines can carry bacteria and viruses including Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli. In the worst case, you can end up with health code violations and even lawsuits.

These problems are caused by dirt and mould accumulating inside your ice maker, which can happen even if the machine has an automatic cleaning cycle. To remedy this situation and prevent it from happening again, schedule a refrigeration maintenance expert to come in at least twice a year (and up to once a month depending on usage) to disassemble the unit and thoroughly clean all components.

Make sure your service provider cleans the water lines, bins, and dispensers using products specially designed for ice machines. Cleaning also has the added benefit of increasing the ice yield.

3. Reduce energy bills.

Maintaining your commercial refrigeration equipment can save between 5 and 10 percent on energy costs by keeping the units running at peak performance. When condenser coils are dirty, your commercial refrigerators and freezers have to work harder to maintain the temperature inside, using more energy in the process. Worn gaskets, hinges, door handles or faulty seals cause cold air to leak from the unit, forcing the unit to run longer and using more electricity.

Your service technician will clean coils, replace worn hardware, and also check temperature settings and defrost frequency settings for maximum efficiency and minimum power consumption.

4. Extend the life of your commercial refrigerators and freezers.

Regular cleaning and maintenance not only makes your commercial refrigeration equipment work more efficiently, but it also helps it last longer. It’s a vicious cycle: when parts are worn and dirty, the unit runs more frequently causing more wear and tear on the parts. Eventually, the unit breaks down for good long before it should have.

5. Take good care of your commercial refrigeration equipment, and it will take good care of you.

1. Clean evaporator and condenser coils

2. Check lines for condensation

3. Clean fan blades and inspect the fan motor

4. Check integrity of insulation

5. Check for air leaks through cracks, holes, and worn parts like gaskets and seals

6. Lubricate door hinges and handles

7. Check for loose electrical connections

8. Clear drain lines of debris

9. Check temperature and defrost settings and calibrate thermometers

10. Check filters on ice makers

11. Thoroughly clean all ice maker components

6. Waste not, want not.

Poorly maintained refrigeration equipment causes a great deal of waste. When units run inefficiently, they waste energy resources and your money. When they break down, you lose both time and money, not to mention all that food. Waste is bad for everyone, including the environment and even the economy.

Don’t waste another minute worrying about commercial refrigeration equipment breakdowns. Instead, take action to prevent the problem. Consult a qualified refrigeration service company like Isocool to put together a customized maintenance plan for your business.