Why Your Refrigeration Unit Isn’t Cold Enough

Is your commercial refrigerator not cooling properly? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone. This is one of the most commonly reported refrigeration issues out there.  

There are a number of possible reasons as to why your refrigerator's cooling power isn’t up to par; these range from simple do-it-yourself fixes, to requiring professional assistance to move your cooler or replace broken parts. 

Luckily, it’s often easy to troubleshoot the issue and determine the proper solution. Here are a few of the most common reasons why refrigerators aren’t cold enough, and how to get your unit back to its proper cooling power.

Are you keeping the door open too long? 

This may seem like a silly solution, but sometimes all it takes is just being more mindful of how long you keep the door open. You may be surprised how often refrigerators don’t have proper temperature because warm air enters through the doorway and decreases the cooling power. 

In this case, the best way to mitigate the issue is to inform your employees of the risks of keeping the door open too long, and encourage them to be mindful of closing it. 

If your employees have trouble remembering to close the door, try hanging a sign on it with a reminder to close it promptly. 

Does the door close properly? 

commercial refrigerator is not cooling

Even if you are mindful of keeping the door closed, it may still be causing an issue if it doesn’t close properly. 

The elastic strips around your unit’s door that keep it sealed shut, called the gaskets, may be torn or damaged. If so, your door may not be shutting properly, allowing cold air to escape and the refrigeration space may get too warm over time. 

Check to see if your door is shutting properly by examining the gaskets. If it looks like your gaskets might be damaged, get them replaced as soon as you can and see if that restores your temperatures to normal. 

If the gaskets look fine, examine the hinges to see if they’re broken and need replacing. If the hinges are damaged, the door may not be properly aligning, allowing cold air to escape.

Is your refrigeration unit overcrowded?

When you overstuff your unit with too many items it can become difficult for the air to properly circulate and cool everything. If your cooling space is overcrowded, some boxes of food may be blocking the vents and obstructing the cold air, making it even more challenging to cool all of the food. 

If you think this may be your issue, try reorganizing and decluttering your refrigerator and see if that improves the temperature. Items should have 3-6 inches of space between them in order to allow proper air flow.

Start decluttering by emptying each shelf of all items and getting rid of everything that’s old or spoiled. Once you’ve determined what needs to go back in, organize it on the shelves. Be sure to leave enough space between each item.

Is your temperature gauge broken? 

If your temperature gauge or thermostat is broken, your cooler’s interior may end up getting too warm. Double check your temperature gauge’s reading with a thermometer.

Make sure that your unit’s gauge isn’t obstructed by any items in your unit. If there are boxes in the way, remove them and see if the reading changes. 

If the gauge is not reading the correct temperature, you may need to get it replaced in order to restore your refrigerator’s proper temperature.

Are your condenser coils clean? 

refrigerator isn’t cold enough

The condenser coils, located at the bottom of your refrigeration unit, remove heat from the refrigerant and keep your unit cool.

Over time, the condenser coils can get clogged and dirty and end up restricting your unit’s capacity to cool properly. If you’re not routinely checking on your condenser coils and cleaning them, this may be the issue. 

Check to see if your coils are dirty; if so, clean them according to the manufacturer's guidelines and see if that improves your refrigerator’s cooling ability.

Is your refrigeration unit situated in a warm location?

If your unit isn’t cluttered, you’re mindful of keeping the door closed, and you’re certain there are no mechanical issues, the issue may be your unit’s environment. 

Is your refrigerator located near an oven or window? Heat from nearby cooking equipment or sunlight may be impacting your unit’s functionality. When a refrigeration unit’s surroundings are too warm, it isn’t able to properly cool itself. 

In this case, try reorganizing your kitchen and moving your refrigerator away from any sources of heat. Your unit may require professional assistance to move. Be sure to leave ample space between your unit and other equipment or windows.

Does your unit have enough room? 

To function properly, refrigeration units and coolers require plenty of room for air circulation. Refrigerators need to expel warm air, and use surrounding air to keep their refrigerant cool. 

If your unit is in close proximity to other equipment or a wall, it may not have enough space to keep the air flowing as needed. 

Try moving your unit and reorganizing your kitchen to accommodate it’s needs. Make sure that you leave plenty of space for air to circulate around your unit. 

Having problems troubleshooting? 

If you’re still not sure why your refrigerator isn’t cold enough, no need to worry. We’re here to help! Call 512 Refrigeration Services for any of your Austin, Texas commercial refrigeration issues. Our expert technicians are available 24/7 to troubleshoot problems with your ice machine, reach-in cooler, walk-in cooler or freezer, and more.

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