5 Tips For Maintaining Your Commercial Refrigeration Equipment
As a business owner, you can't afford any downtime when it comes to your refrigeration system. Refrigeration equipment of all types requires regular service in order to continue working efficiently and to help you avoid costly breakdowns. In this article, our team of skilled commercial HVAC contractors has taken the time to put together this short article identifying several tips when it comes to commercial refrigeration services. If you take the time to perform these tasks regularly, they should keep your appliances working for years.
Maintain Door Seals
Part of your regular maintenance checklist should be checking the door seals. They form the seal that keeps cool air in and warm air out, so they are perhaps one of the most important components. Check them once a month using the dollar bill test. Put a dollar bill in the door frame with some sticking out, and shut the door. Try to pull the note out. If it comes out easily, you might need your door seals repaired. Then, give the door seals a good clean every six months. In a commercial setting, you might need to use a strong cleaner.
A mix of sodium bicarbonate and water also works wonders. You might find that bits of food collect in the door seal. In that case, you can remove these with a damp cloth and then use a small brush (such as a toothbrush) for deep cleaning.
Keep Your Freezer Well-Stocked
All refrigeration appliances must be nearly full to work properly, from coolers to commercial walk-in freezers and everything else in between. They need thermal mass, which means having enough frozen stock inside to maintain a stable temperature.
If a freezer is empty, it's impacted more by opening it than a full one. This simple trick reduces commercial refrigeration repairs because the cooling units don't need to work as hard. For obvious reasons, it shouldn't be too difficult to keep a commercial unit full.
Regularly Verify The Thermostat
One of the biggest causes of refrigeration maintenance is broken thermostats. If left alone, a thermostat can gradually stop reading the correct temperature. Fortunately, it's easy to avoid this by adding regular checks to your refrigeration maintenance checklist.
Buy a thermometer and make sure your appliance reads the correct temperature. You can check this in your owner's manual, as commercial and residential units often have different working temperatures. If you notice issues with the temperature your unit's thermostat reads, it's easy to call a professional before you need emergency refrigeration service.
Clean Your Condenser Coils
This step might not be possible on all commercial units because it depends on their cooling system. But, where you can, ensure you keep the condenser coils clean. You should include the cleaning as part of your routine refrigeration units and also include walk-in coolers and freezers repair and maintenance. To clean the condenser coils, do the following: Unplug the unit from the wall and move it so you can access the coils. If the coils are on the front, remove the grille to expose them.
Use a vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment and gently run it over the coils. You might need to get in a cloth to wipe the dust off. Put everything back where it was and turn the unit back on. Ideally, you should do this at least twice a year, if not more, depending on where you keep the unit. Make it part of your refrigeration maintenance list to inspect the condenser coils regularly and clean them as needed.
Clean The Freezer Inside And Out
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is keeping the unit itself clean. If you work in a kitchen, you probably do this already as part of your refrigeration maintenance checklist. Regular cleaning should be part of any refrigerator or freezer maintenance schedule. Although many appliances automatically defrost, you can combine this with your defrosting routine. If yours doesn't, do it manually at least once a year. You'll know when it's time because lots of ice will build up around the sides.
To defrost, remove the food and unplug the unit. After the ice melts, you can let the water out through the built-in drain. Then, you can get started with cleaning. Cleaning a freezer is pretty easy. Use dish soap and hot water mix, starting from the top and working down. Clean the inside first and then the outside. Once you've gone over everything, give it a rinse with clean water and dry it with a towel. If there's any glass, clean it with vinegar.