6 Pro Tips For Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance
Easy tips for commercial refrigerators and freezers to extend their life
A commercial refrigerator is essential to your establishment, cooling all of those beverages and ingredients down with ease. That means it's important for you (the business owner) to ensure routine upkeep on an ongoing basis! Below are 6 helpful commercial refrigeration maintenance tips that will keep things running smoothly.
Regularly Clean Equipment Interior & Exterior
To keep your refrigeration equipment running efficiently, it's important to clean the interior on a regular basis. This includes removing all items from inside and moving them into another unit or temporary cooler. Clean the inside by scrubbing shelves with warm water and soap or a specific specific freezer/refrigerator cleaner if needed for an extra cleaning boost! Regular cleaning will remove all of the natural deposits that can build up inside and lead to problems with food spoilage or poor performance in other areas like cooling capacity! So before you know it's too late- schedule some time every week (or biweekly) where the interior can be cleaned to maximize performance.
The exterior of your unit also should be cleaned regularly. The importance of regular surface maintenance cannot be stressed enough when caring for metal exteriors like those found on appliances. Neglecting routine cleaning could lead anywhere from noticeable scratches up to corrosion. Use proper cleaning solutions and materials on a stainless steel surface to avoid any damage. This is best done with warm water and a mixed-in detergent-based solution, depending on what you prefer for routine maintenance. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers like sponges as well; try soft brushes or a microfiber rag instead!
For a bonus, use a stainless steel cleaner and polish solution to have equipment looking like new again.
Clean & Clear Debris From Condenser and Evaporator Coils
Commercial refrigerators are designed to operate at higher temperatures than your home model, so it’s necessary to clean out the condenser coils regularly. If these surfaces get dirty or dusty they can create an insulating layer which causes them to retain heat and lead to overheating as well as component failure. A good way to clean and remove build-up debris is by using an air compressor, a small brush, a small coil comb to realign evaporator fins, and a coil cleaner.
Performance varies depending upon size and type, but most models require cleaning about every three months. Some manufacturers recommend more frequent service while others state once per year should suffice if cleaned regularly.
As the condenser coil, your evaporator’s job is to absorb heat as warm air passes through and help cool down commercial refrigeration equipment. Failure to keep the evaporator coils clean or clear from blockage can result in your equipment underperforming or even overperforming meaning higher electricity costs. The evaporator coil should be inspected every time maintenance is scheduled.
You can increase airflow by using a small evaporator comb to realign fans and remove excess grease and grime with a powerful coil cleaner. Cleaning this coil is especially important if your refrigeration equipment is located near cooking equipment such as fryers or grills.
Clean Drain Pans and Tubes
To keep your refrigerator running at its best, it's a good idea to clean out the drain pan and any tubing regularly. If there is sludge or slime in these parts of the machine, they can quickly build-up, which will cause your unit to freeze up.
Check the drain pan and any tubing that could experience frequent build-up with food particles in it. If there's too much moisture accumulating on top, this might result in an overflow. After removing any dirt or food particles, it's a good idea to clean the pan and tubing with warm water and soap. A little goes a long way when performing refrigeration maintenance. Doing this monthly will help your equipment perform regularly and reduce any contamination in your unit.
Inspect Door Gaskets
Routine cleaning for door gaskets is a significant part of maintaining refrigeration units. You should clean door gaskets at least once per month to prevent damage however, in a commercial kitchen where grease is often used, then this may need to happen more regularly so that they can last longer over time.
If you find a crack or split in a door gasket, the cool air inside may exit without properly sealing shut, which can cause problems with your equipment's performance. In addition, a broken or cracked door gasket negatively affects proper food preservation- which may result in illness if it wasn't properly stored before consumption! Make sure to replace any door gasket according to the recommendation stated by the manufacturer. This can save you on expenses associated with overperforming equipment later down the road.
Remove Any Water & Keep Unit Dry
Too much moisture can cause problems with cooling, especially if it's coming from inside your unit. Make sure to regularly wipe up any water or liquid that has accumulated inside your commercial reach-in unit.
You not only should clean spills immediately but also check for buildups at least once per week. This includes checking behind shelves as well since they may have condensation forming.
Moisture buildup left unchecked can cause your refrigeration unit to freeze up due to freezing cold air inside the interior. Properly cleaning your commercial refrigeration equipment can prolong your investment saving your hundreds in the long run.
Frequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions
Preventing an emergency repair for your commercial fridge is essential to prolong the life of your appliance. A professional service company can provide needed maintenance for refrigeration equipment every three or six months. This maintenance will ensure that your equipment runs at optimal levels longer!
Most maintenance cleanings are quick and easy. To perform an easy maintenance cleaning for a commercial fridge, you just need to address the bottom interior, door gaskets, and shelving. You will need to remove any water on the unit floor with a rag and any food particles with warm water and soap. Clean the door gaskets and check for any cracks and tears. Wipe down shelving to remove any condensation and food particles.
Use a stiff bristle brush to remove accumulated dirt and debris from the evaporator coils. Remember to always go up and down, never side to side, as you may damage the fins. Go over the coils, once again moving up and down with a powerful shop vacuum. You can use co2 as well to remove stubborn debris. Use a tough aerosol degreaser to remove grease and grime, especially if your refrigeration equipment is near cooking equipment. Remove any remaining leftover grease and chemicals with a rag.
On a commercial refrigerator, the damper control is operated either manually or automatically. The Damper is responsible for controlling the amount of cold air able to reach the refrigerator compartment. Too much cold air can result in freezing effects. If this control is broken or struck, a service company will likely be your best bet to replace or repair this control. It's best to have a service company repair this as your equipment may need to be recalibrated.