Finding the proper refrigerator and freezer maintenance is vital for prolonging the lifespan of your appliance. Whether it’s a residential freezer or commercial walk-in cooler, much of the maintenance remains the same.
So, here are our top 5 freezer maintenance tips. Done regularly, they should keep your appliance working for years to come.
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 banknote 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, every six months or so, give the door seals a good clean. In a commercial setting, you might need to use a strong cleaner. But, at home, you can use a mix of sodium bicarbonate and water.
You might find that bits of food collect in the door seal. You can remove these with a damp cloth and then use a small brush (such as a toothbrush) for really deep cleaning.
2. Keep Your Freezer Well Stocked
All refrigeration appliances, from residential freezers to commercial walk-in coolers, need to be full to work properly. They need what’s called thermal mass, which refers to having enough frozen stock inside.
If a freezer is empty, it’s impacted more by you opening it than a full one. This simple trick is enough to cut down on refrigerator freezer maintenance because the cooling unit doesn’t need to work as hard.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to keep a commercial unit full for obvious reasons. But, 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.
Having to do this regularly might be a sign 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.
Luckily, it’s easy to avoid this by adding regular checks to your 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 easiest to call in a professional to sort it.
4. Clean the 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 easy on a residential freezer because they’re usually on the back, providing you quick access. For commercial units, you should include the cleaning as part of your walk-in cooler 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 then get in there with 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 maintenance agreement checklist to inspect the condenser coils regularly and then clean 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 maintenance.
But, it’s just as important in a residential context. Cleaning the outside is mainly about appearance, but it helps to clean inside the freezer, too. Regular cleaning should be part of any refrigerator or freezer maintenance schedule.
You can combine this with your defrosting routine, although many appliances automatically defrost. If yours doesn’t, be sure to do it manually at least once a year. You’ll know when it’s time because there’ll be lots of ice built 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 a mix of dish soap and hot water, starting from the top and working down. Clean the inside first and then the outside. Once you’ve gone over everything, make sure to 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.
The steps are essentially the same for commercial freezer maintenance, although most kitchen workers know this. In commercial settings, you likely clean appliances once a month or more.
At home, though, you can get away with doing this twice a year or so.
Hopefully, the above five freezer maintenance tips will help keep your appliance going for a long time. Start by writing a maintenance checklist and then stick to it as much as possible.
Of course, if your commercial or residential appliance breaks down, you can give us a call.
We’re experienced with all refrigerator and freezer maintenance areas and hold a Mass. refrigeration license, meaning we can work on commercial units.
So, no matter the problem, we’re here to help with freezer maintenance tips and repair.
THE COMMERCIAL REFRIGERATION EXPERTS
Your HVAC solutions should work for your business’s exact needs. For nearly 50 years, KCR has provided residences and businesses with peace of mind and temperature control. We’re proud to serve our customers efficiently and flexibly in managing your air conditioning and freezer maintenance tips.
You can also follow us on Facebook for exciting product updates and promotions!