Restaurant Refrigeration Maintenance Tips
If you own or manage a restaurant, you know how important your refrigeration systems are. Maintaining your equipment will ultimately save you money in the long run.
Here are some restaurant refrigeration maintenance tips from a refrigeration mechanic that will help you to keep your equipment running well.
Pro Tip # 1
Clean the condenser coils! The condenser coil looks like an automotive radiator, and it performs a similar function – it is a heat exchanger. It is the place where your refrigeration system rejects the heat that it captured from inside the fridge or freezer.
When the condenser coil is plugged solid with dirt and dust, the airflow through the coil is greatly decreased. This has several negative effects on the machine.
~ Because the airflow is blocked the machine cannot reject the heat. This leads to the inside of the fridge becoming warm and spoiled product.
~ Worse than product loss, it also leads to the machine running for longer periods of time which consumes more electricity costing you more on your utility bill.
~ Worse still, the refrigeration compressor rejects its mechanical heat at the condenser coil also, so a plugged coil will lead to an overheated compressor, which in turn leads to a burnt out compressor and a non operational fridge.
If you were to follow only one tip from this list, it should be this tip – Clean the condenser coils! Keeping your condenser coils clean will easily double the lifespan of your refrigeration equipment.
Pro Tip # 2
Pay attention to the fridge temperatures. You are already recording the fridge temperatures, so it is a good idea to pay attention if the temperature starts to fluctuate, increase, or decrease. Any change from the normal temperature readings that you are used to seeing may be an indication that something is wrong with the machine.
Pro Tip # 3
Take note if there is ice forming on the evaporator coil. This is another sure sign that something isn’t right with your fridge. If you notice frost forming on your evaporator coil inside of the fridge it likely is a sign of a mechanical issue, and you should have the machine looked at by a refrigeration mechanic.
Pro Tip #4
Do not adjust or increase the defrost settings. Many times I have seen business owners adjust the defrost settings on their equipment. Usually they set too many defrost cycles which causes the equipment to cycle more often and consume more electricity than is necessary. Also, if you are increasing the defrost cycles to combat frost forming on the evaporator coil, the machine is likely having mechanical issues that should be addressed by a mechanic.
Pro Tip #5
Keep a refrigeration maintenance checklist. There are a lot of things that need to be regularly inspected on your refrigeration equipment so that you can make sure that the machine is running well. An equipment checklist will help your staff to keep on top of things.
If you do not have a refrigeration equipment checklist, you can readily find them on the internet suitable for downloading and printing for your business.
Pro Tip #6
Get your commercial refrigeration equipment serviced on a regular basis. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can skip servicing your refrigeration equipment to save money – it will cost you more in the long run.
Getting a mechanic to service the machine will allow them to spot potential issues before they become big problems.
Pro Tip #7
You will find a lot of information available about refrigeration maintenance in general, and about your equipment also.
Good Luck With Your Maintenance!