All establishments working with food use refrigerators or chiller cabinets, and these are a vital part of the business. Maintaining refrigeration equipment should be a priority, no matter the size of your business. As well as ensuring food and produce keeps fresh for as long as possible, introducing a strict maintenance program can help you spot any potential issues before they become serious problems.
The Food Standards Agency and other bodies highlight the importance of properly storing perishable produce, and maintaining equipment is a large part of ensuring standards are met.
These simple tips can help make commercial refrigeration simple and easy to fit into your regular maintenance schedule.
Choose the right location
You must place your commercial refrigerator in the optimum spot to prevent airflow problems. Refrigerators, freezers, or chiller cabinets should never be placed alongside ovens, stoves, heaters, or radiators. If a refrigerator is next to equipment that gives off heat, it has to work much harder to cool its contents. The condenser will be put under pressure, and its life will most likely be shortened. Airflow around the refrigerator shouldn’t be restricted, and there should be space all around the unit to allow for a constant flow of air. The refrigerator’s condenser works to remove warm air from inside the unit to outside and requires adequate airflow to perform effectively. The Health and Safety Executive has a wealth of information on ensuring your commercial kitchen is a safe and efficient space. Reputable suppliers such as Fridge Freezer Direct Ltd can help advise on the best placement for your equipment.
Keep the condenser clean
Commercial refrigeration unit condensers should be checked regularly and cleaned as often as necessary. They should not be obstructed and should have good airflow around them. Condensers should be cleaned thoroughly at least twice every year, but it might be necessary to do this more often. Condensers can be cleaned with a small vacuum attachment or scrubbed manually with a firm brush. Take care to ensure all debris and dust is removed from the condenser, especially around the coils or the fan components. Although the condenser should be thoroughly cleaned, take care not to damage any of the more delicate components. Compressed air sprays are a good way of gently but effectively cleaning small pieces of debris or dust that have built up on hard-to-reach parts of the equipment.
Maintain Door Seals
The door seals of refrigeration units are vital in ensuring equipment performs efficiently. Door seals should be regularly checked and cleaned to ensure there are no signs of damage or wear and tear. Any holes or cracks may mean the doors are not properly sealed when closed, leading to cold air escaping and the refrigerator having to work much harder to maintain the correct temperature. If any holes, cracks or other damage is visible anywhere along with the door seals, the seals or entire doors should be replaced as soon as possible. Energy is being wasted at all times when the doors are not properly sealed, and food wastage may increase. You should also ensure door seals are kept very clean. The build-up of dirt or dust can stop the seal from forming effectively.