The Complete Guide to Commercial Refrigeration - KCR, Inc. - commercial refrigeration, walk-in cooler repair, commercial cooler repair, freezer maintenance checklist, freezer maintenance tips, industrial freezer installation, emergency freezer service

The Complete Guide to Commercial Refrigeration

If you manage a bar, restaurant, or grocery store, you know you can’t afford any downtime for your commercial refrigeration system.

Walk-in coolers and freezers involve many moving parts, maintenance, and science. That’s why we’ve put together an exhaustive list of everything you need to know about commercial refrigeration. Keep reading to learn critical energy-saving tips and best practices for refrigeration equipment.

What you’ll learn in this article:

What Is Commercial Refrigeration?

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Commercial refrigeration equipment refers to the cold storage equipment used in commercial settings. Examples include the reach-in refrigerators and freezers found in supermarkets, specialty food stores, convenience stores, and grocery stores. The walk-in refrigerators and freezers found in restaurant equipment and cafeterias would also be considered commercial refrigeration equipment.

Refrigeration has allowed businesses and homeowners to store foods and beverages for extended periods without spoilage. Commercial refrigeration keeps both prepared foods and meal ingredients cold by removing heat for convenience and safety. Keep reading to discover how modern industrial freezer installation work to remove heat.

What Are the Different Types of Commercial Refrigeration Equipment?

There is a wide variety of commercial refrigeration systems that we recommend:

  • Reach-in vertical cases and refrigerators
  • Plug-in enclosed vending machines
  • Semi-vertical display cabinets
  • Horizontal cases
  • Deli cases
  • Drop-in coolers
  • Draft beer systems
  • Undercounter refrigerators
  • Back bar coolers
  • Refrigerated display cases
  • Prep table

All of these various types of commercial refrigeration equipment have different functions. Let’s dive into the three main examples below.


Coolers keep items, such as food and beverages, below the average room temperature yet above freezing. Such equipment prevents spoilage by keeping perishable items cool.


Freezers keep perishable items completely frozen, preventing them from spoiling. Ice cream, microwavable food, and other goods should remain frozen.

Combination Coolers and Freezers

Combination commercial refrigeration units can allow for both chilling and freezing perishable items.

Which Industries Need Commercial Refrigeration?

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Several businesses and industries usually rely on commercial refrigeration. We often categorize food and beverage companies, supermarkets, convenience stores, and restaurants as businesses that require commercial refrigeration systems.

Hospitals and medical research clinics often use commercial refrigeration to keep sensitive materials appropriately. You may also find commercial refrigeration systems in florist shops, where they can store fresh-cut flowers from wilting.

Whether using commercial refrigeration to store food and drink, flowers, or medical components, you should get familiar with how the equipment works. Keep reading to spot critical issues before it’s too late.

Is your refrigerator working at 100%?

How Does Commercial Refrigeration Work?

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The Cooling Process

All refrigeration works via a principle called the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This principle states that heat will always travel from the warmer object to the colder one when two objects of different temperatures come close together. As a result, commercial refrigeration systems utilize a refrigerant solution to transfer heat from the food inside the refrigeration unit’s storage area to the refrigerant.

Refrigerant solutions obey a second physical principle: gases cool as they expand and heat up as they compress. While cycling through the refrigeration system, the refrigerant is sent through a series of pressure changes to improve efficiency and speed. It removes heat from the refrigerated space to keep it cold.

The Refrigerant

Refrigerant is the key to the success of modern commercial refrigeration systems. In the past, Freon was the most common refrigerant found in air conditioning units and refrigerators. However, Freon was found to damage the Earth’s ozone layer, causing an increase in solar radiation reaching the planet’s surface and changing the global climate.

Currently, Freon is out of use in the United States. Other refrigerants, such as tetrafluoroethane, are taking their place to improve the efficiency and eco-friendliness of modern refrigeration systems continually.

Today, the commercial refrigeration system has expanded into a massive industry. The chilling process can be high-temperature to get the environment to low-temperature freezing.

Storing Food & Beverages

Freezers hold fundamental importance in the food business. If your refrigerating system does not work correctly, that could jeopardize your entire company.

Commercial refrigeration challenges the technicians, owners, and installers who deal with them daily. You may need a new industrial freezer installation, including networks, parts, costs, and more.

Commercial refrigeration systems operate using a circuit with an absorption system or vapor compressor to cool or dry the air. The general refrigeration principle expands the liquid into a gas and eliminates heat from the local area. One of the simple refrigeration cycle components is the commercial refrigeration compressor.

What Role Do Compressors Play in Commercial Refrigeration?

Compressors in commercial refrigeration let the refrigerant run the circuit. The compressor plays a role in the commercial cooler, like a heart in a living creature’s body.

How Compressors Work

The power comes from the electric motor fixed in the system. This process eases the pressure on the refrigerant system.

First, the refrigerant flows from the compressor through a condenser. When this process happens, it is in the condenser where vapor converts into liquid form and emanates heat.

In air-cooled process chillers, moisture increases higher than the air going through the condenser. In water-cooled process refrigerant systems, the refrigerant vapor passes through a higher temperature than the water going through the condenser.

How Condensers Work

The refrigerant process completes its cycle in the condenser. Then, it goes through the metering device or expansion valve, and the pressure drops.

Finally, the refrigerant reaches the evaporator; here, the heat causes it to vaporize. The evaporator collects heat from the space that needs to be cooled. Then, the refrigerant returns to the compressor, and the entire cycle starts again.

Whether you run a restaurant or a school, you know just how important it is to keep your commercial cooler in good working condition. When a problem pops up, it can ruin your stored items if you don’t quickly find a solution.

Need to call in HVAC professionals?

5 Signs That You Need Commercial Refrigeration Repair

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You can’t afford downtime because commercial refrigerators are essential appliances, especially at convenience stores, restaurants, and liquor stores. Businesses depend on the efficiency of a quality refrigerator. Usually, a quality commercial refrigerator doesn’t give you a tough time with regular maintenance since it has an extensive lifespan.

However, there are times when your commercial refrigerator ultimately gives out. Moreover, large businesses operating on commercial refrigerators encounter severe losses if their commercial refrigerators malfunction. This issue is your cue to replace your old commercial refrigerator with a new one.

When your commercial refrigerator wears out, some signs indicate that you need a new industrial freezer installation. We explore the signs below.

1) Excessive Condensation or Frost

All efficient commercial refrigerators work efficiently to maintain an excellent balance between the hot and cold atmosphere of the fridge. But if you begin noticing excessive frost or condensation inside your refrigerator, your refrigerator is not functioning well and cooling properly. To observe condensation in your refrigerator, examine its rubber sealing.

In case of malfunctioning, you are likely to see condensation, mold, or mildew on the rubber sealing on your refrigerator door. In case of mild condensation on the rubber sealing, you may replace the worn-out rubber sealing on your own, and the fridge is good to go.

However, if there is excessive condensation inside the refrigerator, it may be due to poor temperature settings and maintenance. Again, you may try adjusting the temperature on your own. However, if the temperature issues continue aggravating, it may spoil food and liquors stored inside your fridge.

The risks of business loss may multiply with even a single day of your commercial refrigerator malfunctioning. Take extra care to look for excessive condensation and frost in your freezer maintenance checklist.

2) Severe Motor Defects

Another significant sign that you need to replace your commercial refrigerator quickly is motor breakdowns. Most refrigerator issues begin with motor failures. When you place your hand at the back of your refrigerator, it is a common experience that you might feel a regular warm temperature change. However, if your refrigerator is transmitting excessive amounts of heat, it is apparent that something is wrong with your refrigerator.

Overheating in refrigerators occurs due to dirty coils. The coils fixed at the back of your refrigerator are insulated. Hence, it must store the heat. In this case, there is a defect in your fridge. As part of your freezer maintenance checklist, you can clean coils by brushing or vacuuming them.

In addition, other motor issues include the refrigerator motor continuously running at maximum speed and making a loud noise. This type of motor defect occurs due to a failing temperature control board. The constant energy transmission to the fan motors and compressor also turns the refrigerator too cold and releases extra energy leading to an outrageous energy bill. Turn to a technician for help but if the motor noise continues, invest in a new refrigerator to save skyrocketing energy bills.

3) Excessive Food Expiration

Food spoilage and expiry are signs for commercial owners that their refrigerators are about to break down. Sometimes, the food takes longer to cool or expires faster than the expected expiry date. To ensure that your refrigerator works well, immediately examine the gasket on the door. Dirty or worn-out gaskets do not trap cool air and keep the warm air outside as they should.

You may consider replacing your gasket, which is feasible and inexpensive. However, if the issue persists and your food still takes longer to cool, it cannot regulate the required temperature. It uses unnecessary energy, leading to an excessive need for emergency freezer service.

You invest more money on extra energy bills and pay for the food spoilage. Hence, investing this money in a new and efficient commercial refrigerator for your business would be better.

4) Your Temperature Settings Are Not Responding

Your commercial refrigerator operates at zero degrees according to the ideal temperature setting. However, if the temperature feels colder or you begin observing ice formation on every object in the refrigerator, it may lead to severe issues.

One of the first freezer maintenance tips in this situation is to defrost it and examine its functioning. If the problem persists, it might be time to invest in new industrial freezer installation.

5) High Electricity Bills

Last but not least, if you get an unusually higher energy bill even after using the appliance for the same period, it may be due to your refrigerator defect. Hire a technician to inspect and fix the issue. However, investing in a new refrigerator would be better than consecutive repairs and higher energy bills.

You may also consider calling a repair technician to inspect and remedy the coils and the motor. Replacing the coils could be an option in case of mild malfunctioning.

Save money today on freezer maintenance.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

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Finding the right refrigerator and freezer maintenance is vital for prolonging the lifespan of your appliance. Much maintenance remains the same, whether it’s a residential freezer or a commercial walk-in cooler.

So, here are our top five freezer maintenance tips. If you perform these regularly, they should keep your appliances working for years.

1) Maintain Door Seals

Part of your regular maintenance checklist should be checking the door seals. They form the seal that keeps cool air in and warm air out, so they are perhaps one of the most important components.

Check them once a month using the dollar bill test. Put a dollar bill in the doorframe with some sticking out, and shut the door. Try to pull the note out. If it comes out easily, you might need your door seals repaired.

Then, give the door seals a good clean every six months. In a commercial setting, you might need to use a strong cleaner. A mix of sodium bicarbonate and water also works wonders.

You might find that bits of food collect in the door seal. In that case, you can remove these with a damp cloth and then use a small brush (such as a toothbrush) for deep cleaning.

2) Keep Your Freezer Well-Stocked

All refrigeration appliances must be nearly full to work properly, from residential freezers to commercial walk-in coolers. They need thermal mass, which means having enough frozen stock inside to maintain a stable temperature.

If a freezer is empty, it’s impacted more by opening it than a full one. This simple trick reduces commercial cooler repair because the cooling unit doesn’t need to work as hard.

Keeping a commercial unit full in a busy restaurant or supermarket shouldn’t be too difficult. You can fill your residential refrigerator up with jugs of water. While you can do this in a residential freezer, make sure you account for the water’s expansion when frozen. In short, don’t fill sealed containers.

Regularly doing this might signify that you need a smaller refrigerator or freezer. While it can be great to have a larger unit, smaller ones are often more efficient.

3) Regularly Verify the Thermostat

One of the biggest causes of walk-in cooler maintenance is broken thermostats. It’s also true for home refrigerators and freezers. If left alone, a thermostat can gradually stop reading the correct temperature.

Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid this by adding regular checks to your freezer maintenance checklist. Buy a thermometer and make sure your appliance reads the correct temperature.

You can check this in your owner’s manual, as commercial and residential units often have different working temperatures. If you notice issues with the temperature your unit’s thermostat reads, it’s easy to call a professional before you need emergency freezer service.

4) Clean Your Condenser Coils

This step might not be possible on all commercial units because it depends on their cooling system. But, where you can, ensure you keep the condenser coils clean.

It’s as easy on a residential freezer because they’re usually in a group, providing you quick access. You should include the cleaning as part of your routine walk-in cooler repair and maintenance.

To clean the condenser coils, do the following:

  • Unplug the unit from the wall and move it so you can access the coils.
  • If the coils are on the front, remove the grille to expose them.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment and gently run it over the coils.
  • You might need to get in a cloth to wipe the dust off.
  • Put everything back where it was and turn the unit back on.

Ideally, you should do this at least twice a year, if not more, depending on where you keep the unit. Make it part of your freezer maintenance checklist to inspect the condenser coils regularly and clean them as needed.

5) Clean the Freezer Inside and Out

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is keeping the unit itself clean. If you work in a kitchen, you probably do this already as part of your walk-in cooler repair and maintenance.

But, it’s just as important in a residential context. Cleaning the outside is mainly about appearance, but it helps clean the inside of the freezer. Regular cleaning should be part of any refrigerator or freezer maintenance schedule.

Although many appliances automatically defrost, you can combine this with your defrosting routine. If yours doesn’t, do it manually at least once a year. You’ll know when it’s time because lots of ice will build up around the sides.

To defrost, remove the food and unplug the unit. After the ice melts, you can let the water out through the built-in drain. Then, you can get started with cleaning.

Cleaning a freezer is pretty easy. Use dish soap and hot water mix, starting from the top and working down. Clean the inside first and then the outside. Once you’ve gone over everything, give it a rinse with clean water and dry it with a towel.

If there’s any glass, clean it with vinegar. Avoid harsh chemicals where possible, as you don’t want to risk contaminating food with them.

Don’t wait to replace your refrigerator parts.

How to Update Your Freezer Maintenance Checklist

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Hopefully, the above five freezer maintenance tips will help keep your appliance going for a long time. Start by writing a freezer maintenance checklist and then stick to it as much as possible.

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 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 walk-in freezer maintenance checklist:

10 Commercial Cooler & Freezer Maintenance Tips

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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 face a serious loss for your business.

You can prevent frequent malfunctions with constant, appropriate care. A proactive walk-in cooler repair 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 many problems. These 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 you promptly clean up any spills to prevent dangerous freezer burns that can ruin your commercial fridge maintenance.

Sizable amounts of food in a restaurant’s commercial cooler nearly always lead to spills and messes. A pile of vegetables here, run-off oil over there – combined ingredients will only aggravate your storage over time.

Ignoring processed food waste has a steep consequence. The most common sign of a worn or rusted commercial cooler is a long freezer burn from waste like food.

It shouldn’t take more than a few hours to clean your equipment’s surface area. Start with a soft brush or cloth by gradually scrubbing the shelves, drain pans, and tubes with a detergent-based or vinegar solution.

Follow up by removing the shelf drawers, submerging them in water for a few minutes, and then rinse. You can build a proper walk-in cooler repair schedule if you perform this regularly.

2) Routinely inspect your blades and evaporator fan coils.

You should regularly clean your ventilation systems during your commercial cooler repair. Replace older parts as needed. Those powerful chemicals aren’t doing the refrigerator any favor, and some chemicals can make your walk-in fridge toxic. Those potent chemicals can linger for days, leading to premature emergency freezer service.

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

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

3) Inspect your door seals and hinges quarterly.

When cleaning commercial refrigeration equipment, you shouldn’t forget 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 a potentially costly commercial cooler repair.

Ensure your hinges are lubricated and your seals are shutting properly. Avoid propping the door open for prolonged periods since that interferes with your baseline temperature. Remember to keep the door closed as much as possible.

Not closing a door won’t help your system cool and preserve food properly. Plus, you’ll be spending more on energy bills and walk-in cooler repairs down the line. We advise you to take serious precautions on your refrigerator door.

4) Ensure your condensing unit follows regulations.

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

Replacing this cable isn’t cheap. You can avoid replacing the cable during commercial fridge maintenance by monitoring the cable regularly. A staff member should wipe down the cable at least once a week.

Although refrigeration involves moisture, it doesn’t mean you’ll let any liquid or spills accumulate in your system. Too much moisture can cause your system to freeze over time, leading to frequent emergency freezer service. Check the shelves and condenser coil regularly for spills and excess water.

When in doubt, check the EPA’s guidelines on safe substitute refrigerants and freezer maintenance tips 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, which can cause temperature fluctuations.

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 regarding your commercial fridge maintenance.

We repair all food service equipment.

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 identify indications of deterioration easily. Early discovery prevents expensive crises and could make a difference in your profits that quarter. We recommend finding a maintenance agreement from a trusted HVAC technician.

Setting a regular system check budget makes you less likely to face major commercial refrigeration repair sserviceslater. When a licensed refrigeration contractor performs a walk-in cooler repair checklist, they’ll often note any issues in real time during their inspection. During emergency freezer service, a licensed refrigeration contractor will check electrical connections, worn parts, and regulatory compliance as part of their inspection.

These commercial cooler repair tips and freezer maintenance tips can greatly increase the lifespan of your equipment. Refrigeration is, of course, one of many HVAC components to a successful business operation. The best HVAC companies offer a range of industrial freezer installation services and a catalog of equipment for the food service industry.

7) Turn on anti-sweat heaters.

Anti-sweat heaters are an excellent solution when ambient conditions cause condensation on the display doors. They prevent water from condensing on the outside of your refrigerated display cases. This feature 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 minimizing energy costs. These measures control the operation of anti-sweat heaters, allowing them to run only when needed. These controls offer the best of both worlds – a great appearance at a minimal cost. Anti-sweat heaters are also a key step in any walk-in cooler repair schedule.

8) Check door gaskets and auto-closing mechanisms.

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

State-of-the-art technology demands less electricity than older models, runs quieter, and lasts longer. New motors are often worth the cost of avoiding emergency freezer service. Cutting your energy bill in the process is a bonus for this measure.

Regular door inspections ensure that your fridge motor only runs when needed. This feature is especially effective at preserving produce that can dry out when exposed to too much airflow. You can also avoid shelling out hard-earned revenue for emergency commercial refrigeration repair services with regular inspections.

9) 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 to improve the visibility of anything you have in your refrigerator. This feature is especially important for high-demand items like meat or produce. In grocery stores, for example, customers look for fresh, visible products.

10) Switch to Energy-Star products.

The best commercial refrigerators and freezers are proven to keep food at specific temperatures. You’ll deal with frequent door openings in a hot kitchen environment or a cold storage site. Equipment that meets these criteria will significantly save your next industrial freezer installation.

Commercial Refrigeration Energy Standards & Guidelines

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A walk-in freezer maintenance checklist that uses Energy Star products is 20% more energy-efficient than standard models. This trend includes 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 commercial cooler repair bills.

Keep reading to learn about industry standards and guidelines for industrial freezer installation.

1) Energy Department Efficiency Standards

In 2014, the Climate Action Plan created standards to reduce carbon pollution by around 142 million metric tons over the next three decades. This standard can save businesses as much as $11.7 billion on utility costs. 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 emergency freezer service.

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.

2) Energy Star Qualified Refrigeration Products

Commercial refrigerators and freezers earn an Energy Star badge and are usually around 40% more energy-efficient than standard models. Thanks to improved compressors and insulation, commercial refrigerators today are much more energy-efficient than past refrigerators.

These new freezer maintenance tips mean that it’s in companies’ best interest to reduce their products’ energy use as much as possible. These products have a positive impact on the environment and increase the lifespan of your equipment.

Commercial refrigerators and freezers must be 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.

3) Energy Efficiency in Commercial Refrigeration

Commercial refrigeration equipment uses even more energy than home refrigerators. Like the types used in supermarkets, large commercial refrigerators 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 energy consumption means that commercial refrigerators account for almost 40% of the business’s total energy use for supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores, contributing a huge amount to energy bills. A walk-in freezer maintenance checklist is your best bet to reduce commercial cooler repair costs.

While an energy-efficient commercial refrigeration product may cost more upfront, the lifetime energy savings usually more than balance out the cost, that’s why investing in an energy-efficient refrigerator or freezer is one of the best ways to save money and be more competitive while protecting the environment.

Reduce your energy bill today

Walk-In Cooler Issues

There are plenty of reasons why you might be considering a cooler repair. Hopefully, it’s not that your cooler has broken down, but it’s just not running as efficiently as it was.

For example, a walk-in cooler in a restaurant gets lots of daily use. The doors, hinges, cooling unit, and more get plenty of abuse, even if you’re careful.

It may not even be your refrigerant system that stopped working. A walk-in cooler is essentially an oversized household refrigerator, so all parts must work properly to stay running.

Also, consider the age of your cooler. Most freezer maintenance tips recommend a new industrial freezer installation after 15 years. This aspect considers advances in technology and the system’s working parts.

Of course, you can get it to last longer if you take good care. But, like any other mechanical object, there comes a time when replacing individual parts outweighs the cost of a new unit.

Should I Repair or Replace My Commercial Freezer?

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To decide whether a walk-in repair is worthwhile, you’ll need a professional to diagnose any issues. That said, there are some basic things you can decide for yourself. Working out the answers to these questions will determine whether you’re ready for a new industrial freezer installation.

Keep reading for our top freezer maintenance tips for your equipment.

When to Repair Your Commercial Cooler

As you’d expect for an expensive bit of kit, almost anything in a walk-in cooler is repairable. Let’s take a look at the things you can repair fairly easily.

Doors and Hinges

A walk-in cooler’s doors and hinges take most wear and tear. After all, you open the door whenever you take something out or add something. They’ll need replacing eventually despite manufacturers keeping this use in mind.

Luckily, this is a pretty easy job. Most models have hinges that can unscrew, allowing you to replace the entire door unit. A technician can do this in a matter of hours.

Walls and Floors

Like the door, walls and floors receive a lot of wear and tear. The floor is the most high-traffic area and might need replacing after a few years.

Walls can get rammed or dented if an employee isn’t paying enough attention. While many of these dings are superficial, big ones could compromise the walk-in’s cooling ability.

The floor is easy to replace: you could rip the old one out or lay a new one over the top.

Walls are slightly harder to repair, but a well-designed cooler will make the job easy. Again, it should only take a few hours.

Refrigeration Systems

A walk-in cooler runs on a big HVAC unit. So, like any other HVAC unit, it loses refrigerant over its lifetime. As we mentioned, you should get roughly 15 years out of a standard unit.

Commercial cooler repair is possible without replacing the entire walk-in unit. Providing the technician can access the cooling system, almost any issue is repairable without too much issue.

For example, replacing the condenser coils or evaporator (usually inside the fridge) takes a few hours. A broken fan might take an hour or so.

Even if the whole unit needs commercial cooler repair, a well-trained technician could install this industrial freezer in a few hours.

While most owners see a broken refrigerator unit as the end of their walk-in cooler’s life, this isn’t the case. An HVAC repair company can usually provide emergency freezer service for any brand.

We supply all restaurant equipment brands.

When to Replace Your Commercial Cooler

Even though many issues in a walk-in are fixable, sometimes commercial cooler repair isn’t the answer. If you identify any of the following issues, consider a full replacement.

System Age

If the system is more than 15 years old, you can repair it. But, it would be best if you also considered its energy efficiency. In recent years, HVAC units have seen massive improvements, and energy savings offset much of the replacement cost.

Be sure to get a professional’s opinion on your cooler’s energy efficiency before taking this leap.

Cost of Walk-in Cooler Repair

If the cost of your repairs is mounting, it might be worth investing in a new system. Most of us have weighed going with this option concerning an old car, and it’s no different here.

Sure, a new walk-in cooler might be a few thousand more than the cost of repairs, but how many times will it break down in the future?

Safety and Theft Concerns

While not necessarily grounds for a full replacement, these are worth considering. For example, a glass door will prevent theft, as you can see what’s happening inside the walk-in cooler.

Protecting your staff from injury is also good grounds for replacement. If the cooler’s door isn’t sealing properly, you might have condensation puddles build up. These can lead to slips and falls if not dealt with properly.

So, the cost of replacing the door and floor will massively outweigh the cost of being sued.

Do You Need to Find Local HVAC Specialists?

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More often than not, walk-in cooler repair is the more sensible option. Of course, you need to get any issues diagnosed first.

The best diagnosis comes from trained HVAC repair technicians who can diagnose any faults in your system and help you get it working again. When you need emergency freezer service, you deserve an HVAC company that can respond quickly and effectively.

Key Takeaways

Overall, you should closely observe your commercial refrigerator, walk-in cooler, or freezer for any sign of malfunction. Any minor issue may become an enormous setback and incur a drastic revenue loss. That’s why we recommend following the freezer maintenance tips in this guide.

These signs will help you determine the functionality of your refrigerator. Maintaining a walk-in cooler repair and cleaning checklist to get the most out of your commercial refrigerator. It is also vital to regularly perform your commercial refrigerator maintenance to ensure its smooth functionality.

Upgrade your refrigeration systems today


Your HVAC solutions should work for your business’s exact needs. For 50 years, KCR Inc. has worked with businesses all over MA to deliver peace of mind and temperature control.

KCR specializes in ice machine repair and HVAC service for:

  • hotels
  • country clubs
  • tennis clubs
  • colleges and universities
  • private schools
  • senior centers
  • nursing homes
  • assisted living facilities

We service and repair all major commercial refrigeration brands, including Beverage-Air, True, Hoshizaki, Norlake, Masterbilt, and AmeriKooler. If you’re looking for ice machine service, forced-air heating, or air conditioning repair, you can count on KCR.

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