Master-Bilt® Refrigeration News & Product Information
Optimizing Refrigeration Performance
Whether your store or kitchen is in the planning stage or already in operation, you want to make sure your refrigeration equipment will perform at its highest level. Efficiency depends on several factors such as location and store conditions. Here are a few tips to help keep your food fresh, your beverages cold and your service expenses low.
Consider equipment location. Where you place a cooler in a store can affect its performance. Open air merchandisers offer a good example. These merchandisers rely on a circulating air screen to cool product inside and should not be placed near HVAC vents, fans or doorways as doing so disrupts the air screen flow and compromises the merchandiser’s performance.
Provide enough ventilation. Refrigeration equipment needs breathing room. In most cases, coolers and freezers require open space around them for ventilation. This space allows heat to escape without being reintroduced into the refrigeration system. Added heat makes the system work harder and can lead to higher energy bills and equipment failure. The amount of space required varies, so consult your equipment manual or contact the manufacturer for more information.
Watch the humidity. Humidity, or the amount of water vapor in the air, also plays a role in performance. Everyone’s familiar with the effects of humidity. For example, high humidity combined with heat produces the uncomfortable mugginess we typically have in summer. High humidity doesn’t help your refrigeration equipment, either. The refrigeration system must work harder to remove additional moisture. Plus, glass and solid doors can begin to sweat as moisture condenses on them. For optimum equipment performance, a store interior should be balanced to 75°F dry bulb (air temperature measured by thermometer) and 55% relative humidity. If you’re unfamiliar with determining relative humidity, here’s a video that explains things.
Don’t place hot or warm items directly into a cooler or freezer. Hot or warm foods should be allowed to gradually cool first. If not, heat given off by the items will raise the air temperature inside the cooler or freezer and cause other items to heat up. This added heat reduces the cooler or freezer’s efficiency and causes the refrigeration system to work harder. If you have an application where hot items must be immediately introduced to a cooler or freezer, you should work with your dealer or manufacturer representative to make sure the refrigeration system is designed to handle the extra load.