One of the best ways to ensure that your commercial refrigeration equipment stays running optimally is to make sure that you are cleaning it regularly using the steps below. Different parts of the equipment will need to be cleaned at different times but a good rule of thumb is that the main equipment, the condenser coils, and other parts, should be cleaned every three months.
Aside from just cleaning the main part of the equipment, keeping the overall area cleaned will go a long way towards maintaining the system. Dust and dirt as well as other pollutants and particulates can accumulate around the coil making it more difficult to maintain temperatures.
While it may be difficult, especially in warehouses and other areas prone to the accumulation of dirt and pollutants, keeping the surrounding areas consistently clean will go a long way towards refrigeration maintenance.
As with any other piece of heavy equipment, your commercial refrigeration unit has many moving parts that have different maintenance needs. Failure to conduct this routine maintenance can lead to a variety of costly problems.
Prevention Of Costly Repairs Due to Neglect
One of the primary issues that can arise from neglecting routine maintenance is the breakdown of moving parts and the subsequent costly repairs needed to get things back up and running. Even worse, you likely won’t know exactly when your equipment will break down meaning it could be at an inconvenient time.
As much as possible, you want to avoid having your refrigeration unit break down before rush hour at your business. While there are never guarantees that everything will work properly all the time, regular maintenance can significantly decrease the likelihood of a breakdown.
Ensuring Proper Food Safety
For supermarkets, convenience stores, and restaurants, food safety and keeping different types of food at the correct temperature is vital. Improperly maintained refrigeration equipment can lead to unstable temperatures that can bring some food types outside of their safe range.
In many cases, food that has risen past safe temperatures will need to be thrown away. So, by neglecting proper maintenance, you run the risk of not only having to shell out extra for repairs but also lost profits from thrown-out food and the extra expenses to replace the inventory.
Reducing Power Consumption
One of the primary culprits of a high energy bill is a walk-in freezer and cooler unit that has broken seals and gaskets. When your walk-in has to operate harder than normal to keep the same temperatures you can expect that to reflect in your monthly energy costs.
One other important thing to remember is that if your equipment is having to operate more than usual this increases the likelihood of failure. Routine maintenance can help not only to keep your energy bills low but also to preserve your equipment over the long term.
Extending The Life Of Your Equipment
It’s a given that the longer your equipment works the longer you can put off needing a new system. Walk-In refrigerators and freezers, and the refrigeration units for ice machines, are not cheap to replace. Therefore, doing everything you can to extend the life of this equipment is in your best interest.
Preventative maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure you are getting the full life from your equipment. This includes doing maintenance that you can perform without professional help as well as having a Tri-Point technician come in to conduct inspections and maintain heavy use equipment.
Professional Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance Needs
Along with taking the time to clean and maintain your walk-ins and ice machines on your own, you will on occasion need to call in professional technicians for routine maintenance.
Trying to clean and maintain some parts of your refrigeration systems on your own without the correct knowledge or tools may lead to more issues than you started with. Here are some of the times it’s best to call in a professional:
Walk-In Cooler and Freezer Professional Maintenance Needs
Because of the complexity that goes into maintaining walk-in refrigeration systems, regular maintenance from professional technicians will ensure your equipment remains functional. This will also help you avoid potentially costly repairs later on.
Some of the specific maintenance tasks that a professional refrigeration technician should perform include:
- Checking refrigerant levels
- Checking lines for condensation
- Cleaning evaporator and condenser coils
- Cleaning fan blades
- Inspecting fan motors
- Inspecting wiring and electrical components
- Pressure cleaning drain lines
- Calibrating thermometers
- Checking suction line insulation
- Replacement of gaskets and seals
- Checking for air leaks
- Lubricating door hinges
One of the benefits of working with a company like Tri-Point is that you will receive a maintenance schedule letting you know exactly when it’s time to have a technician service your systems. Your Tri-Point technician will also work to help you understand the various aspects of your walk-in refrigeration system or other refrigeration equipment and why specific maintenance needs to be performed.
Ice Machine Professional Maintenance Needs
Ice machines especially need to be serviced regularly by an experienced technician. Because of the potential for mold and other harmful substances to develop if neglected, you must stick to your maintenance schedule. Each of the following should be handled by an experienced technician:
- All removable parts should be taken out and cleaned
- Bin drain should be pressure cleaned
- An acid wash should be done on the evaporator
- Bin should be scrubbed and sanitized
- After cleaning ice level sense probe will need to be adjusted
As with all other refrigeration equipment, your Tri-Point technician will work with you to understand the level of use your ice machine gets and develop a maintenance plan appropriate for your needs.
Commercial Refrigeration Preventative Maintenance Tips You Can Do Yourself
Just as important as having a professional Tri-Point technician regularly inspect your refrigeration equipment is the preventative maintenance you can perform yourself. Keeping everything in proper working order will go a long way towards extending the life of your refrigeration equipment and saving you money over the long term.
Walk-In Freezer Maintenance You Can Do Yourself
It’s essential to keep your walk-in freezer clean and to conduct regular inspections of high-use parts such as the doors and seals. These high-use areas are where you will likely notice energy loss as the seals are more likely to tear and wear down over time, especially with heavy use. Some of the things you can do on your own to maintain your walk-in units include:
- Cleaning the interior and exterior
- Regular gasket inspection
- Regular inspection of door hinges, seals, and latches
- Following a regular inspection and cleaning schedule
You want to make sure there is no debris accumulating around pipes and that the outside of the refrigeration unit stays clean. Regularly inspecting the gaskets, seals, hinges, and latches will also let you know when it’s time to call in for professional maintenance.
Ice Machine Maintenance You Can Do Yourself
Like walk-ins, ice machines are another potentially high-use piece of equipment that will need regular maintenance to keep it functioning properly. This means cleaning areas such as the bins and coolers and regularly monitoring for the build-up of any mold or slime.
- Clean ice cooler
- Check for brown slime
- Check ice machine temperature
- Replace the water filter
- Check the condenser coils
- Following a regular cleaning schedule
Following the above steps regularly will help you to minimize potential issues that can cause long-term damage and lead to costly repairs. Remember though that even though you are conducting regular maintenance, there are still some maintenance needs that will require professional attention.
Remote Refrigeration Monitoring
Even if you are regularly maintaining your refrigeration equipment and the surrounding areas, sometimes issues can occur. A great way to know when something is wrong before it becomes an issue is through the use of remote refrigeration monitoring.
Remote monitoring systems will alert you to issues such as equipment failure and temperature changes as well as humidity and other environmental factors. These systems can be configured over Wi-Fi and through cloud technology so that you receive email notifications whenever potential issues arise.
This remote monitoring technology is essential to avoiding potential emergencies that can lead to expensive product loss and system downtime.
Contact Tri-Point Refrigeration Today
Don’t wait until your refrigeration system breaks down to call a technician. Regular maintenance and cleaning are the only guaranteed ways to ensure that your equipment stays up and running so you get the full potential out of it.
Tri-Point is committed to helping you avoid costly repairs and potential product loss. Contact us today to get started crafting a custom maintenance and service schedule that takes into consideration your specific business needs.