Refrigeration Maintenance – Technical Tips from the Trade

With summer all but over, operators in the food retail and hospitality sector often take a moment to reflect on the busy season just passed and the long year ahead, maybe they ask themselves how can we it better or more efficiently next time around. Did vital refrigeration equipment let you down at the worst possible time? are your electricity bills skyrocketing? proper refrigeration maintenance is the key to success in eliminating unnecessary equipment downtime and proactively helping to reduce your energy costs.

No matter the size, small cake display or ice machine right through to a large scale freezer, they all consume electricity and all cost money and cause grief when they breakdown. I can hear you saying “if it isn’t broken, why should I fix it” Just like with a motor vehicle that isn’t maintained, when it eventually fails and leaves you stranded, the repair costs far out-way anything you may have saved by not maintaining as you go!

Case in point: a retail self contained display refrigerator, a vital bit of equipment that is generally at the center of the small to medium retailers interface with the public.

Scenario 1 – Display fridge is not regularly maintained, the condenser coil begins to block with dust – causing the compressor to run longer to achieve the same storage temperature, consuming more energy than is necessary and reducing the service life of the equipment in the process. If this situation is not rectified, eventually the compressor will fail, usually at the most inconvenient time, interrupting trade, inconveniencing customers and generally being a painful experience for all – cost for compressor change $1,200.00 not including loss of trade and wasted $$$ on power bills.

Scenario 2 – Display fridge is maintained quarterly by a qualified technician, at a time that suits the retailer, no interruption to trade, no downtime, ┬áthe condenser is kept spotlessly clean, the compressor is checked for correct operation, the product storage temperature is checked, all peripheral items such as door seals and hinges are checked, you can be confident your fridge is running at its peak, professional contractors will even be able to supply you a written report for your equipment maintenance which is important for cold- chain compliance and always beneficial if the need ever arises for an insurance or warranty claim. – cost for regular maintenance $400 annually – plus no $$$ wasted on unnecessary energy usage.

In our next blog we will outline some ways you can carry out equipment maintenance checks yourself, to ensure the basics are being taken care of, in the meantime – stay cool.