If you work in the food industry in Childersburg, Alabama, refrigeration is vital to the success of your business. You need reliable commercial refrigeration, especially during summer. Walk-in coolers are a large capital outlay, and most business owners hope the unit will last a long time. However, even the best commercial refrigeration equipment won’t last forever. Here are six clues that tell you it’s time to replace your walk-in cooler.
Frequent Buildup of Ice
If ice is building up inside your commercial cooler, there’s a problem. A buildup of ice or frost could mean the doors aren’t sealing properly and warm air is creeping in. When warm air meets cold air, moisture levels increase and this leads to a buildup of ice. Other possible causes include frozen evaporator coils or a malfunctioning auto defrost system. It’s best to call a professional to identify the root cause. If your walk-in cooler is over 10 years old with worn door seals, hinges, and insulation panels, your technician may recommend replacing the unit.
Food Spoils Before Its Expiration Date
If food is going bad sooner than expected, something is off with the temperature. The ideal temperature for walk-in coolers is 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the thermostat and adjust the temperature if necessary. Opening the cooler door also affects the temperature. When the door opens, warm air flows in and raises the temperature inside the cooler. The longer the door remains open, the warmer it becomes.
Make sure staff members avoid leaving the cooler door open for long periods. If, however, neither of these issues are the problem, it’s time to call a technician to investigate. Losing food means you’re also losing revenue. It’s a problem you need to fix quickly.
There Are Unusual Noises
If you hear unusual sounds like clanging or loud whirring coming from your cooler, don’t ignore it. The last thing you want is a fridge that suddenly breaks down, causing food to spoil and leaving you unable to serve customers. The downtime you’ll need while refrigeration repairs are being done will affect your bottom line.
Loud or strange noises that weren’t there before tell you that something is wrong. If the refrigerator fan is loud, it could indicate that the evaporator is on its last legs. If the noise accompanies a warmer temperature inside the cooler, it could signal a failing compressor.
If your cooler equipment is breaking down frequently, it could be a sign that it’s time for a replacement. Commercial coolers typically last for at least 10 years. The best way to keep the unit functioning efficiently is with regular maintenance. Schedule refrigeration maintenance and HVAC maintenance at the same time to minimize disruption to the business.
Being diligent about commercial refrigeration maintenance helps avoid costly repairs, saves your business money, and extends the lifespan of the unit. If, however, your cooler continues to function poorly despite conducting repairs and maintenance, then it’s time to replace it.
If you notice water leaks and puddles, it’s possible there is damage to the seals and insulation. The warm air that’s entering the cooler is causing condensation that drips onto the floor. Pools of water could also form from a refrigerant leak. Leaking refrigerant is a hazard, one that only an expert HVAC technician should attend to. Stagnant water fosters an unhygienic environment as it creates the perfect breeding ground for bacterial growth. To avoid a negative health inspection report by your local authority, have a water leak fixed as soon as possible.
A Higher Electric Bill
Many of the problems mentioned above will contribute to a spike in your electric bill. When there is a problem with your commercial cooler, the system has to endure additional strain. This means it has to work harder to maintain the correct temperature. When it works harder, it uses more energy. It’s a vicious cycle. The extra strain will also shorten the unit’s lifespan. You’ll be spending more money on electricity, repairs, and a premature replacement of the unit.
If your commercial walk-in cooler suddenly breaks down, Skelton’s Heating, Cooling and Refrigeration offers a 24-hour emergency repair service. For repairs or to replace your commercial refrigeration system, contact us at 205-277-6055.
Image provided by iStock