Commercial refrigerators and freezers are essential for both wholesale and retail food businesses. However, keeping perishable products continuously chilled can drain a significant amount of electricity. Unfortunately, business owners can’t just shut off their freezer – they would have to keep their commercial refrigerator and freezer running to prevent their food products from spoiling.
For those who are unaware, refrigeration functions through five basic components, which include:
- evaporator coils (interior of the freezer)
- condenser coils (exterior of the freezer)
- fluid refrigerant
- a compressor that controls the flow of the liquid refrigerant
- expansion device
Here’s how they all work together: the compressor constricts the refrigerant vapour through pressure and pushes it into the coils on the exterior of the refrigerator. When the hot gas in the coils touches the cooler air temperature of the kitchen, it becomes liquified. Now in a liquified form at high pressure, the refrigerant cools down as it circulates into the freezer and fridge coils.
The refrigerant then soaks up the heat inside the fridge, cooling down the air. Finally, the refrigerant evaporates to gas and flows back to the compressor, where the cycle starts all over. The entire process requires a constant flow of electricity, which translates to high energy costs.
So how can business owners mitigate these costs? Here are six ways to maximise your commercial freezer’s efficiency and reduce the use of energy.
1. Service your commercial freezer
Regular maintenance for your freezer is highly important. However, you would need to get a professional to help you with it. It’s worth hiring a trusted and qualified service provider to help cut down costs in the long term. These experts will usually look into the efficiency of the freezing cycle by monitoring and maintaining the primary features both outside and inside the freezer unit.
2. Keep the system clean and dust-free
The coils in your freezer are a vital part of the heat conduction process. The freezing process can’t work efficiently if contaminants like dirt and dust block the coils. Since dust is akin to an insulator, it reduces cold air due to the compressor working harder and longer.
3. Monitor door closures and seals
If the freezer door seals are faulty, they won’t be able to fully keep in the cold air. Temperature will increase each time you open the lid or door to a freezer unit and leave it ajar. This means humid and warm air can quickly turn all your frozen foods non-consumable. Spoiled food will need to be discarded if they do not comply with standard health safety laws, resulting in financial loss. Frequent checks on auto closers and door gaskets, as well as rubber seals, to ensure they are in perfect working condition, will cut down this wastage.
4. Purchase energy-saving units
Aim for high-quality commercial freezers from a reliable company that only sources from the market’s leading refrigerator brands. Also, look for energy-saving units so that you can save money from the start. For example, changing from an old model to a more energy-efficient counterpart that uses a fraction of the energy. If you are using case lighting systems, install motion sensors so that lights are only used when needed.
5. Reorganise the kitchen or storage layout
It’s an excellent idea to redo your kitchen layout for optimal efficiency. For instance, separate the cooling and the heating equipment and put similar units under the same ventilation hoods. If there are commercial freezers around, ensure there is enough space surrounding the appliances for better ventilation around the heat exchange coils.
6. Install adaptive controls and night curtains
One of the best ways to prevent refrigerated air from getting out after your store closes is to put on some night curtains. If the issue of condensation on display doors is bothering you, turn off the anti-sweat heaters when not in use. Install adaptive refrigeration controls to help monitor air temperatures. These additional features will help reduce energy wastage in the long run.
Commercial freezers have come a long way over the years. While many advanced models with energy-efficient features are available, proper maintenance is still important to optimise the freezer’s functionality and energy usage. If you would like to improve your freezer’s efficiency, look for reputable companies offering commercial fridge and freezer repair services to help you with it.