Row of commercial freezers containing food in supermarket aisle.

4 Energy-Saving Tips for Commercial Refrigerators

Commercial refrigerators and deep freezers are essential for restaurants, grocery stores, and other companies in the food industry. These appliances use a ton of energy, working around the clock to help preserve your stock.

According to the EPA’s latest retail food refrigeration standards, regulators are gearing toward making commercial refrigerators and deep freezers 30% more efficient compared to 2009 standards. The goal is to help businesses save cash and energy while also protecting the environment. Buried in these new standards are numerous ways companies can reduce energy consumption – if you know where to look.

Here are a few commercial fridge maintenance recommendations based on EPA guidelines and our own walk in freezer maintenance checklist:

1) Turn on anti-sweat heaters.

When ambient conditions cause condensation on the display doors, anti-sweat heaters are an excellent solution. They prevent water from condensing on the outside of your refrigerated display cases. This allows customers to see your product at all times.

By upgrading you with anti-sweat controls, KCR will give you the benefits of anti-sweat display doors while also minimizing energy costs. These measures control the operation of anti-sweat heaters, allowing them to run only when needed. This offers the best of both worlds – great appearance at minimal cost. Anti-sweat heaters are also a key step in any walk in cooler cleaning schedule.

2) Check door gaskets and auto closers.

Always ensure that your door equipment is in good condition. If these parts aren’t functioning correctly, humid air can enter refrigeration compartments.This can help improve heat transfer within the system.

State of the art technology not only demands less electricity than older models, but also runs quieter and lasts longer. Making your refrigerators more reliable may be motivation enough to install new motors. Saving on your energy bill in the process is just an added bonus for this measure.

Regular door inspections can also make sure that your fridge motor is running only when needed. This feature is especially effective at preserving produce that can dry out when exposed to too much airflow. With regular inspections, you can also avoid shelling out hard-earned revenue for emergency commercial refrigeration repair.

3) Install motion detectors for case lighting systems.

Motion detectors will turn lights on and off when your fridge doors open. LED lighting can dramatically reduce energy costs. Not only do LEDs consume less energy, but they also generate less heat. As a result, you’ll need less electricity to keep your products cool.

Furthermore, LED lights improve the visibility of anything you have in your refrigerator. This is an especially important feature for high-demand items like meat or produce. When customers are looking for fresh, visible products, you want your grocery store to beat the competition.

4) Switch to Energy Star-certified products.

The best commercial refrigerators and freezers are designed and tested to keep food at specific temperatures. Whether you’re in a hot kitchen environment or a cold storage site, you’ll deal with frequent door openings. Equipment that meets these criteria will provide significant savings to commercial kitchen operations.

Walk in freezer maintenance checklists that use Energy Star products are on average 20% more energy efficient than standard models. This is because they’re designed with components like ECM evaporators, condenser fan motors, hot gas anti-sweat heaters, or high-efficiency compressors. All of these parts significantly reduce energy consumption and utility bills.

Energy Department Efficiency Standards

In 2014, the Climate Action Plan created standards that would reduce carbon pollution by around 142 million metric tons over the next three decades. This is projected to save businesses as much as $11.7 billion on their utility costs. In fact, these standards will make commercial refrigerators about 30% more efficient than current standards. Government standards such as the Climate Action Plan are the beginning of the next generation of commercial fridge maintenance.

The Energy Star program has helped improve efficiency in more than 60 product categories since 1992. Between 1993 and 2009, energy consumption decreased by about 14% per household. Around 80% of refrigerators are now Energy Star-qualified.

Energy Star-Qualified Refrigeration Products

Commercial refrigerators and freezers that have earned an Energy Star badge are usually around 40% more energy-efficient than standard models. Thanks to improvements in compressors and insulation, commercial refrigerators today are much more energy-efficient than those of the past.

These new efficiency standards for commercial refrigerators mean that it’s in the best interest of companies to reduce the energy use of their products as much as possible. This not only has a positive impact on the environment, but increases the lifespan of your equipment.

Energy Efficiency in Commercial Refrigerators

Commercial refrigerators and freezers must be kept cold constantly, so they operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Unsurprisingly, they’re one of the most energy-intensive products in the marketplace.

Commercial refrigeration equipment uses even more energy than home refrigerators. Large commercial refrigerators, like the types used in supermarkets, can expend as much as 17,000 kilowatt-hours of power per year. Larger commercial freezers consume even more – up to 38,000 kilowatt-hours of power a year.

This means that for supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores, commercial refrigerators account for almost 40% of the business’ total energy use, contributing a huge amount to energy bills.A walk in freezer maintenance checklist is your best bet to reduce these costs.

While an energy-efficient commercial refrigeration product may cost more up front, the lifetime energy savings usually more than balance out for the up-front cost. Therefore, investing in an energy-efficient refrigerator or freezer is one of the best ways to save money and be more competitive, all while protecting the environment.

Licensed Refrigeration Contractors

If you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your business’s refrigeration, look no further than KCR. KCR has over 40 years of experience in commercial fridge maintenance. As one of the nation’s most active and successful implementers of energy efficiency upgrades, you can count on us to get the job done right the first time.

Under these EPA standards, your business can always benefit from the latest technology. As licensed refrigeration contractors, KCR can install commercial refrigerators that minimize your energy consumption and maximize your savings.

Call KCR today for a free estimate on upgrading your commercial freezers!