The last thing that you want is to walk into your cooler and find a block of ice in place of your evaporator. Here are some tips to help you keep your system working as efficiently as possible.
- Use skilled technicians. Before any maintenance is even required. Be sure that all new equipment is installed by qualified refrigeration technicians who understand all aspects of your refrigeration system and how all the different components interact. Insist that installers properly commission and guarantee their work and that they provide any needed training to onsite staff. Ongoing maintenance is also best done by refrigeration professionals on a 3-6 month schedule.
- Clean the evaporator and condenser coils. Regular cleaning of the dirt and dust from the heat exchanging surfaces of condensers and evaporators restores good airflow and helps compressor systems deliver more cooling with less energy.
- Clean or replace any filters. Filters for walk-in cooler economizers should be replaced in the summer or early fall in preparation for cold weather.
- Keep your walk-in itself clean. Dirt and dust don’t mix well with food. Spills of liquid or solid food can fester and cause unhealthy conditions. Clean them up as soon as they happen.
- Inspect, adjust, and replace worn reach-in and walk-through door gaskets and closing mechanisms. This will reduce energy-wasting air infiltration.
- Monitor the temperature of each space or cabinet every day. Temperature can change rapidly. Be sure it falls within the desired safe range and adjust the set point as needed. Too low a temperature set point will use more energy than a higher one and can freeze things that should not be frozen. Too high a temperature can waste money by reducing shelf life, causing food to spoil and having to be thrown out. State and federal food inspectors may require written records of safe storage temperatures. Electronic refrigeration controllers can sometimes store temperature data for long periods of time, making such recordkeeping accurate, automatic and easily retrievable.
- Monitor evaporator coils for icing. An evaporator coil clogged with ice is a sign of system malfunction and inefficiency. It also often precedes a warming up of the cooler or freezer.
If you don’t maintain your evaporator, you can end up with a non-functioning block of ice.
- Respond to warning alerts promptly. If you have a web integrated monitoring system connected to your electronic refrigeration controller, you may occasionally receive an email or text alert warning you of dangerous conditions or out-of-range temperatures existing inside your cooler or freezer. Check it out immediately. It may save you a lot of trouble or money.