Industrial warehouse displaying commercial coolers and freezer maintenance.

6 Commercial Cooler & Freezer Maintenance Tips

Your commercial cooler or walk in freezer requires around-the-clock maintenance to run smoothly. Emergency repairs are expensive, and if you have perishable goods, you could be facing a serious loss for your business.

You can prevent frequent malfunctions with constant, appropriate care. A proactive walk in cooler cleaning schedule and commercial fridge maintenance ensure the prolonged operation of your equipment.

Restaurant owners and others with commercial refrigeration equipment tend to forget about refrigeration maintenance until it’s too late. But if you operate a restaurant, warehouse, or storage facility, neglecting such an important part of your business can lead to all sorts of problems. These might include sanitation problems, increased energy costs, and a tremendous waste of precious revenue. Instead of spending a fortune on replacement refrigerator equipment or emergency service calls, you should use this walk in freezer maintenance checklist:

1) Constantly keep your cooler or freezer clean.

Soap and water are often good enough to address spills and grime. Harsher industrial chemicals, meanwhile, may harm your metal surfaces. Ensure that you promptly clean up any spills to prevent dangerous freezer-burn that can ruin your commercial fridge maintenance.

In a restaurant’s commercial cooler, sizable amounts of food nearly always lead to spills and messes. A pile of vegetables here, run-off oil over there… all of these ingredients combined can only aggravate your storage over time. Ignoring processed food waste has a steep consequence, though. The most common sign of a worn or rusted commercial cooler is prolonged freezer burn from waste like food.

It shouldn’t take more than a few hours for you to clean the surface area of your equipment. With a soft brush or cloth, start by gradually scrubbing the shelves, drain pans, tubes, and surfaces of your commercial cooler with a detergent-based or vinegar solution, if needed. Follow up by removing the shelf drawers, submerge them in water for a few minutes, and then rinse. If you perform this regularly, you can build a proper walk in cooler cleaning schedule.

2) Routinely inspect your blades and evaporator fan coils.

Form a quarterly cleaning of your commercial cooler’s ventilation system and make sure to inspect them for any damage. Replace older parts as needed. All of those powerful chemicals aren’t doing the refrigerator any favors. In fact, some chemicals can actually make the walk-in fridge a toxic place to be. All of those potent chemicals can linger in the same spot for days on end.

A neglected commercial cooler can cause contamination on any stored food due to mold and bacteria, and this can be disastrous for your bottom line. Even worse, you might end up violating some health codes.

To prevent this from happening, be sure to keep an eye on mold and dirt on your system. A foul smell is a sign that mold is starting to build up, so act on it immediately once detected.

3) Inspect your door seals and hinges quarterly.

When cleaning commercial refrigeration equipment, you shouldn’t forget about door seals and gaskets. These areas tend to get cluttered by dirt, sticky substances, and all sorts of debris. When a seal gets clogged, it hurts your commercial cooler’s ability to self-regulate, leading to costly cooling bills.

Be sure that your hinges are lubricated and that its seals are shutting properly. Try to avoid propping the door open for prolonged periods of time, since that interferes with your baseline temperature. Remember to keep the door closed as much as possible.

Failure to close it properly won’t help your system to cool and preserve food properly. Plus, you’ll be spending more on energy bills and commercial refrigeration repair down the line. We advise you to take serious precautions on your commercial refrigerator door.

4) Ensure your condensing unit follows regulations.

The most vital part of any commercial cooler is the cooled air condenser cable. If the cable collects dust and debris over time, it means that the fridge has to work that much harder to keep things cool.

Replacing this cable isn’t cheap. You can avoid having to replace the cable during commercial fridge maintenance by monitoring the cable on a regular basis. A member of your staff should wipe down the cable at least once a week.

Although refrigeration involves moisture, it doesn’t mean that you’ll let any liquid or spills to accumulate in your system. Too much moisture can cause your system to freeze up over time, which might lead to an early breakdown. Check the shelves and condenser coil regularly for spills and excess water.

When in doubt, make sure to check out the EPA’s guidelines on safe substitute refrigerants for more details.

5) Leave space in your commercial cooler.

Fluctuations could be an indicator that one piece of your equipment is failing. Fortunately, cooler control systems usually store a minimum history to help technicians diagnose a problem. Just be careful about storing too many items in your cooler – that can cause temperature fluctuations as well.

You’ll certainly want to maximize the space of your commercial cooler. However, filling your walk in cooler to its full capacity exposes it to serious risks and a shorter life. Stacking too many items in your fridge causes strain on the motor and condenser coil, resulting in longer operation and higher bills. These are a few dreaded scenarios you’ll want to avoid when it comes to your commercial fridge maintenance.

6) Form a maintenance program.

Scheduling routine upkeep will guarantee that your equipment is operating to manufacturer standards. A licensed refrigeration contractor should be able to easily identify indications of deterioration. Early discovery prevents expensive crisis situations and could make the difference in your profits that quarter. We recommend finding a maintenance agreement from a trusted HVAC technician.

Setting a budget for a regular system check means that you’re less likely to face major commercial refrigeration repair later on. When a licensed refrigeration contractor performs a walk in freezer maintenance checklist, they’ll often note any issues in real-time during their inspection. During a service visit, a licensed refrigeration contractor will check electrical connections, worn parts, and regulation compliance as part of their inspection.

These commercial cooler and freezer maintenance tips are guaranteed to increase the lifespan of your equipment. Refrigeration is, of course, one of many HVAC components to a successful business operation. KCR offers a range of commercial refrigeration repairs and installation services, as well as a catalog of equipment for the food service industry.

Learn more about KCR’s maintenance agreements or schedule a free consultation and start saving money today!