In the food service industry, one of the most important tools of the trade is a commercial kitchen refrigerator. These are not your standard refrigerators meant for home use. A commercial refrigerator is meant to do a whole lot more – which is why you need to make extra sure that it is maintained correctly at all times.
A proper maintenance schedule and the right procedures mean that your commercial kitchen refrigerator will face fewer repairs over its lifespan. This is the right way to ensure that your kitchen refrigerator operates at optimum efficiency and offers the best productivity for your business.
Most importantly, proper maintenance procedures can ensure that your refrigerator is down for as little time as possible. When down times happen, it can play a major role in the business and wind up costing far more than you expected.
Here are the most essential maintenance requirements that will ensure that you get the most out of your commercial refrigerator.
The single most important thing you can do for the lifespan of your commercial refrigerator is to clean it. While it can be something of a hassle to ensure that the refrigerator is clean, it has far-reaching impacts as well.
For one, spills in your fridge – including splatters and drips – should be taken care of in a timely manner. When they are allowed to persist, they can not only make the fridge seem unsightly but can even lead to potential issues as well.
By performing a daily cleaning, you ensure that there is no food or liquid allowed to fester within. That means no component will be impacted by these foods. When the components don’t have to contend with damage caused by foods, it means less chance of repair and down time.
Cleaning also means getting rid of outdated food as well. The potential for foul smells to permeate within can eventually mean that the entire fridge stinks. Given enough time, that can be a very bad thing for any food item that goes in.
While it may not jump out initially, your refrigerator is only meant to handle a certain load. Keeping a fridge stuffed to the gills is bad for more than a few reasons. For one, it will make the fridge work all the harder to keep the proper temperature within. When your fridge has to work harder to maintain the proper temperature, that means increased wear and tear. Increased wear and tear means having to replace either a component within the fridge or the entire unit far sooner than you expected.
The second problem has to do with air flow. When you overstuff the fridge, it can potentially block the air ducts. When the ducts are blocked, that means less air flow to the interior of the refrigerator. Less air flow means less cooling, which can lead to potentially spoiled food. All of which costs you money in the long-term.
Check Your Settings
This is one of the simplest things to do and also one of the more consistent issues facing commercial refrigerators. Make sure that you are checking the settings on a somewhat regular basis. The reason being is that the temperature settings can get bumped one way or the other easily.
When the temperature is wrong, it either means keeping food items under colder conditions than they need or it means making the motor work harder. Neither is good and the latter in particular can facilitate the need for commercial refrigeration repairs or part replacements sooner rather than later.
On top of that, improper temperature settings can substantially cut down on the lifespan of the unit. It is one of the simplest preventative measures to take. Make sure to give the temperature settings a glance once every day to ensure that it is running at the optimal temperature.
Defrosting is Important
Every now and again, it is important that you defrost the refrigerator. For this, following manufacturer recommendations is key as each unit has its own defrosting routine. Don’t just follow some Internet guideline when it comes to defrosting.
Improperly defrosting the unit (or not doing it at all) can lead to potential issues. You can always have a professional technician come out to perform the defrosting cycle if you do not feel comfortable about your abilities to do so.
Be on the Lookout for Leaks
Leaks are one of the biggest issues that your commercial refrigerator will face. The bad part is that there are multitude reasons why leaks may be occurring. For one, it could be that one of the lines running into the fridge is damaged. These are relatively easy to replace, but it can be all too easy to not notice a leak. When leaks are allowed to persist, they can do damage to the fridge but also flooring and walls in the immediate area.
Be sure to check out any seals as well. When you have leakage around a loose or improperly sealed gasket, it can allow cold air out and warm air in. All of which means that your fridge will work harder to cool less effectively. That means greater wear and tear with a shorter shelf life.
A Maintenance Checklist Pays Off
A commercial refrigerator has a much heavier workload than residential units. For this reason, there are greater maintenance needs as well. Staying on top of proper maintenance may sound like a pain, but it can wind up saving you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Ensure that you have a proper maintenance checklist that is being followed for your refrigerator. These seemingly minor tasks can add up in huge ways. Even if you ignore the long-term ramifications being felt, there are short-term impacts as well.
Lastly, don’t forget to book a regular maintenance session with a professional commercial refrigerator servicer. It will do your refrigerator a world of good as the experts can tackle tasks that are beyond your capabilities – and it will help increase the lifespan of your fridge too!