Master-Bilt® Refrigeration News & Product Information
Holding Up To The Heat: Making Sure Your Refrigeration Equipment Is Ready For Summer
Refrigeration equipment works hard but even more so during the summer. The extra heat makes it more difficult to maintain a consistent temperature and increases risk of breakdowns and product loss. The good news is there are several things you can do to help your equipment beat the heat and run smoothly.
Clean & Inspect Your Refrigeration System
Heat is tough on refrigeration systems even in normal conditions. But the added heat of summer can really take its toll. No other part of your cooler or freezer suffers more from overheating than the refrigeration system.
Each system has a condensing unit with a condenser coil which must be kept clean of dirt and debris. The condenser coil is where heat is removed from refrigerant during the refrigeration cycle. If the coil is blocked, the heat isn’t released into the air which causes the system to work harder and shortens the life of the system. Cleaning this coil every month is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your cooler or freezer’s performance.
As for cleaning methods, there are different ways including coil brushes and vacuums. Many technicians use shop-vacs because they not only vacuum accumulated dirt and debris from the coil but can also blow out deeply embedded dust.
Another component that requires regular cleaning is evaporator coils, especially in walk-ins. Evaporator fans and coils should be cleaned at least twice a year to ensure proper air flow. To begin with, make sure fans are working correctly and remove any obstructions. Then, clean the fans by wiping off the blades and motors with soap and warm water. For the coil, remove any large debris using a shop-vac with a soft brush end (no wire brushes). For more tips on taking care of your walk-in, check out this article.
Place Refrigeration Equipment Carefully
Place your equipment away from direct sunlight as much as possible. Remember, that bright sunlight streaming through the front window makes it harder for your equipment to keep its cool. Also, allow clearance around your cooler or freezer for warm air coming from the condensing unit to dissipate. This extra room will also make it easier to access the refrigeration system for cleaning. Usually, the equipment manual will state the proper clearance required.
Cool air leaking out through doors also makes it more difficult to maintain proper temperatures. Improper door closing or a damaged gasket is usually to blame for escaping air. To avoid the problem, first make sure your cooler or freezer door is completely closing. With walk-ins, you may have to adjust door closers or hinges for a tighter fit. Second, inspect the gaskets lining the interior door edges. If they are cracked or broken, replace them.
Use An Electronic Controller System
Electronic controller systems are ideal for keeping track of all functions of your refrigeration system, especially in walk-ins. These systems alert you to potential issues immediately and show you equipment performance trends so you can spot potential problems before they happen. Additionally, you or your service tech can adjust temperature and other settings remotely.
Summertime can be difficult for refrigeration equipment but with the right preventative actions, monitoring and maintenance, your cooler or freezer can hold up to the heat. More importantly, you will be able to keep your cool by eliminating product loss and keeping customers happy.