In addition to being operationally essential, commercial refrigerators and freezers also represent a significant financial investment for most businesses. Given the high cost of replacements and the problems that can be created for a business when these appliances fail, it’s important to properly maintain them to ensure they continue functioning at the highest level. Performing semi-annual inspections and conducting routine maintenance regularly is the best way to keep your appliances in tip-top shape.
Here is your semi-annual maintenance checklist for commercial freezers and refrigerators
The condenser coils remove heat, including heat generated by the appliance itself, from the interior of the refrigeration unit to the outside and allow that heat to dissipate into the air, away from the refrigerator. Having clean coils allows your refrigerator to perform at the highest level of efficiency while reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain correct temperatures. Cleaning your coils regularly is an important part of your commercial refrigeration maintenance checklist.
Checking the seal around the doors of your refrigeration units is a simple process, but it can do a lot to save you money in energy costs, as well as wear and tear on your machines. Start by gently inspecting all four sides of the gasket around each door of your equipment. You’re looking for gaps or tears in the gaskets that could be letting warm air flow into the interior of the equipment. Not having a good seal on the doors will force your equipment to work harder to keep the interior at the correct temperature. This is also a good time to clean the gaskets with warm, soapy water to remove any food residue or other small debris that might be compromising the seal on the doors.
Door Hinges and Latches
One maintenance area that’s easily overlooked on refrigeration equipment is door hinges and latches. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do any good to ensure the rest of your equipment is functioning at optimal levels if the doors don’t stay closed and latched. Just like damaged gaskets, broken or misaligned door hinges and latches will allow warm air to seep into the refrigeration units and increase the amount of work the equipment has to do to maintain proper interior temperatures. Checking these pieces for proper alignment and function are important to keep your equipment functioning at the highest level.
It can be easy to adopt a set-it-and-forget-it mindset with temperature controls on your refrigeration equipment. However, keeping an eye on settings, including temperature controls and defrost frequency will ensure your equipment performs at optimal levels. Having your temperature set too low or defrosting more often than required will force the equipment to work harder than it needs to and potentially decrease the overall life expectancy. Having your temperature set too high will put food in the danger zone for bacteria growth and lead to spoilage.
Drain lines are another commonly overlooked area that should have regular maintenance. Clearing out drain lines regularly will also ensure your equipment functions at the best possible level. While this is something you can attempt to clean on your own, it’s most effective when drain line cleaning is completed by a service technician
using specialized equipment.
No one is suggesting that you only clean your refrigeration equipment twice per year. Everyone agrees cleaning should be done much more regularly. However, a few times a year, you should deep clean your refrigeration equipment, especially any ice makers you have on-site. Ice makers are especially prone to mold growth and need to be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned at regular intervals to avoid potentially serious contamination issues. Thorough cleanings also give you the opportunity to carefully examine all areas of your equipment to check for any unexplained wear or damage.
There is a lot of other preventative maintenance work that can help keep your commercial refrigeration equipment operating at peak performance. It can be easy to do more harm than good, though, if you don’t have the specialized equipment and specific training needed to properly complete the work. For that reason, it’s recommended that you have a professional commercial refrigeration expert come in to conduct routine maintenance on your equipment, as well. Some things that a technician will be able to do that aren’t easily completed by someone without specialized training include:
- Check overall compressor operation
- Check control wiring and electrical connections
- Check suction line insulation
- Check levels of refrigerant
- Check oil levels
- Test thermometer
- Pressure clean drain lines
- Check fan motors and blades
There are a lot of benefits to performing regular preventative maintenance on your commercial refrigeration equipment, both on your own and with the support of an experienced technician.
- Regular checks on vital components such as compressors and fan motors will help to extend the expected life of your equipment.
- Noting potential problems before they become disasters will allow you to be proactive in fixing any issues that arise and help you avoid expensive and inconvenient emergency service calls.
- Regular maintenance keeps all facets of your equipment performing at the highest level, which reduces power consumption and overall stress on the equipment
Did you spot a potential problem with your commercial freezer, refrigerator, or ice maker during a routine maintenance check? Call 512 Refrigeration Services
for any of your Austin, Texas commercial refrigeration problems. Expert technicians are available 24/7 to repair your ice machine, reach-in cooler, walk-in cooler or freezer, and more.