The proper use of commercial refrigeration equipment not only increases its useful life and efficiency but also reduces any expenses with corrective maintenance associated with its use.
Did you know that, for example, using the refrigerator inappropriately is one of the main factors for energy consumption above normal?
In some commercial establishments, such as supermarkets, restaurants or similar, improper use of the equipment can lead to inefficient performance, which can result in an increase of up to 50% in your monthly energy consumption.
In order to help you use refrigeration equipment correctly in your commercial establishment, we have prepared this content with 5 essential good practice tips for your equipment to last much longer. Check them all out now!
1. Use your refrigeration equipment correctly
Before using your equipment for the first time, you should leave it on for 2 to 4 hours, so that it can heat up (or rather cool).
Only then should you place all products inside the equipment. This period of 2 to 4 hours should also be taken into account, whenever performing a defrost cleaning.
Our first tip for extending the life of your commercial refrigeration equipment is simple: read the Product Manual.
In it, you can collect all the information necessary for the proper functioning of your equipment.
Static or ventilated cooling?
There are two types of refrigeration in commercial refrigeration equipment: static and ventilated.
For the proper preservation of food and beverages, it is necessary to understand which type of refrigeration is ideal for your product or business and also how it works, as this decision making is fundamental to guarantee the best cost-benefit for your business.
Can I exceed the load limit?
Exceeding the load limit (volume in liters) of the equipment will require a thermal load (temperature) for which it was not developed and tuned, excessively forcing the compressor and other components, thus reducing the service life of the parts equipment, which are essential for proper functioning.
How to guarantee the ideal temperature on my equipment?
Another relevant point for the proper functioning of the refrigeration equipment is the temperature. This will guarantee the quality of your product with your customer.
Below are some factors that help you to ensure the ideal temperature for your product:
- ambient temperature (space is air-conditioned or the equipment has direct sunlight);
- daily product rotation (this practice aims to ensure that the products are always packed at the right temperature);
- time and number of times the door stays or is opened (opening the door is synonymous with loss of temperature);
- relative air humidity.
We remind you that commercial refrigeration equipment is developed, in order to provide a high rate of opening of door or cover, throughout the day. However, unnecessary openings must be avoided, mainly because they reduce the efficiency of the equipment.
All of these notes are part of good usage practices. We suggest that you carefully read the recommendations for use and the instruction manual, as each model of equipment is unique in its set of characteristics. Doing so will ensure that the equipment lasts longer.
2. Install the equipment in the correct location
It may seem strange, but the place where the equipment is applied can affect it negatively. This phenomenon often happens, whether due to space issues in the store, carelessness or lack of information. It is therefore essential to analyze the environment surrounding the equipment and ensure that it is not close to heat sources, such as: ovens, stoves, greenhouses, under the incidence of the sun’s rays, among others.
The equipment must be installed in a ventilated place that facilitates the ventilation of the cooling system (compressor). Therefore, leave it away from the walls on the sides and rear, with free air inlet and outlet, and with spaces between other equipment or furniture. The ideal spacing for each piece of equipment can be found in the Product Manual.
Although the refrigeration equipment has resistant and robust materials against corrosion, in an external environment they must be housed in a covered, dry and protected place, in order to avoid deterioration and shorten the product’s useful life. We also suggest that you also check that the floor is perfectly flat, as a good leveling will also contribute to the proper functioning of your equipment.
3. Regular preventive maintenance
In the same way that we make revisions, for example, in automobiles, we must also assume the routine of carrying out preventive maintenance regularly, in order to avoid malfunctions and greater durability.
My equipment has a layer of ice inside, what do I do now?
Sometimes, ice may accumulate inside the equipment. As ice is a thermal insulator, the accumulation of a thick layer (greater than 1cm) creates a barrier against the cold power of your equipment, thus reducing its energy efficiency.
Therefore, it is important, when checking this situation, to proceed with a defrost cleaning (you can see the steps below, below) to your equipment, so that it can return to its original operating characteristics.
If you don’t, you will: spend more energy, reduce your cooling, conservation, or freezing power – putting your storage quality at risk.
How do I do a defrost cleaning? (manual process)
In equipment with the type of static refrigeration, the defrosting process is not automatic, so it needs to be carried out whenever the ice layer exceeds 1 cm.
To do this, follow the steps below: Unplug the equipment from the outlet. Remove all food from other equipment. Keep the equipment open during defrosting. Use plastic spatulas to scrape ice. Proceed with cleaning, then reconnect the equipment.
How does defrosting work through the Defrost system? (semi-automatic process)
In equipment with the Defrost system, the accumulation of ice is much less. A useful tip, defrosting only needs to be done, about twice a year, on average.
To start, just press the button to start the process. This action causes the compressor to switch off and on at the end of the defrost.
In this automatic defrosting model, there should simply not be an accumulation of ice inside the equipment. There is an evaporator system with forced air circulation, the defrosting water is conveyed to a container at the bottom of the equipment, making it evaporate by conduction of heat from the compressor or through the heating coil.
The cleaning of your refrigeration equipment must be regular and with appropriate cleaning products. It is recommended to clean the commercial refrigeration equipment whenever the goods change.
How to clean the refrigerator properly?
- turn off the equipment and remove all products inside;
- never use steel sponge, brushes, and abrasive materials;
- the inside can be cleaned with a soft sponge or cloth dampened in warm water, with detergent or neutral soap, and a plastic spatula to assist;
- after these steps, rinse and dry well with a clean cloth;
- at the rear of the equipment, do not use water, just a duster or vacuum cleaner.
By doing this, it prevents your equipment from causing problems associated with dirt, as well as it also prevents interference in temperature and performance. Ideally, you should keep the equipment running for 2 or 4 hours before placing the products and after cleaning a defrost.
4. Correct storage of products inside the equipment
When products are not properly organized inside the equipment, piling them up, we reduce the airflow circulation and, as a consequence, compromise the cold capacity. On the other hand, products stored in unsuitable packaging can cause leakage and leakage of liquids that can reach mechanical components, putting the equipment at risk.
Mixing products of different types (frozen meat and soft drinks, for example) should also not be done, as they are two products with different temperature needs.
We suggest some notes, for the correct storage of products: respect the load limit indicator; organize the proper disposition of products and avoid blocking the circulation of cold air; never place heated food directly on the equipment, let it cool to room temperature; never freeze food that has already been defrosted.
5. Count on a specialist when you need corrective maintenance
When it comes to refrigeration equipment, in addition to preventive maintenance, it is essential to have specialized help to resolve any problems that may arise. Intervention in the equipment by unqualified professionals is not recommended.
Whenever a piece of equipment is out of warranty, continue to give preference to a specialized professional certified by the manufacturer, as he has received technical training regarding the equipment and will be able to offer you the best solution. Always opt for original parts from the manufacturer.
In addition to maintaining the originality of the product, it will guarantee 100% proper functioning, within the expected standards and for a longer time.
In the case of FRICON, a commercial guarantee is offered to all equipment, through its official distributors, providing complete security to the consumer in relation to the replacement or repair of parts, using accredited technicians. FRICON is a reference in the manufacture of refrigeration equipment.
Now that you know our 5 essential tips to ensure the extended life of your refrigeration equipment, you can put them into practice and start saving. If you want to know some cooling solutions developed to boost sales you can find them here.