10 Reasons Your Commercial Refrigerator Is Too Warm
Your commercial refrigerator plays an important role in providing quality products to your customers. Whether you run a restaurant storing ingredients for food prep, or you’re a retailer selling refrigerated items, when your refrigerator is not cooling properly it compromises your customers. If you find your commercial fridge doesn’t seem to be cooling food as it should, it needs immediate attention. Here are 10 reasons your commercial refrigerator is too warm.
1. Dirty condenser coils
Commercial fridges often stay warm because of dirty condenser coils. The coils are designed to cool refrigerant, the chemical needed to provide cold air for your fridge. When the coils have a buildup of dirt, dust and grease they can’t function properly which results in warmer temperatures that lead to food spoilage. To avoid this issue you should be cleaning your condenser coils at least every three months to help ensure you can maintain safe cool temperatures.
2. Faulty doors
The doors of your fridge play a major role in keeping cold air in and warm air out. They are designed to form a seal every time they are closed. If there is damage to your doors, they can’t close properly, and the seal fails.
The main component of your door is the rubber gasket. If this becomes loose, cracks or tears, or if the door hinges are rusted or damaged, the door won’t seal properly. Poor seals are a common cause for a commercial fridge being too warm, and loose or damaged hinges make it impossible for the door to align and seal properly.
3. Faulty thermostat
A logical cause for warm fridges is the refrigerator’s thermostat. Since it measures the internal temperature, if it isn’t reading temperatures properly, your fridge checks might show safe temperatures when in fact the fridge is too warm. The proper temperature for a commercial refrigerator is generally 38°F (3.33°C). When your thermostat malfunctions, the readings aren’t accurate, putting your food at risk for spoilage. The best way to ensure your thermostat provides accurate readings is to avoid blocking it by overstocking your fridge.
4. Compressor failure
The compressor is used to condense refrigerant before it enters the condenser coils. If it is failing, it is impossible for the refrigerator to cool efficiently. A good sign your condenser isn’t working is if your fridge is making loud noises or it seems to be “running” continuously. Broken compressors need to either be repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid your commercial fridge becoming too warm.
5. Incorrect temperature setting
If you notice your fridge feels too warm, take a look at the settings. It is possible it might have been inadvertently set to the wrong temperature. If this is the case, you can simply readjust it to the proper setting.
6. Blocked circulation vent
Just as you must avoid blocking your thermostat with too much food, you also need to keep your circulation vent clear. If the fridge feels warm and is overstocked, make sure your food is moved away from the vents to prevent poor air circulation that can interfere with cool temperatures.
7. An empty fridge
Although we’ve mentioned an overstocked fridge twice, you can actually run into issues if your fridge is too empty as well. Modern fridges conserve more energy when the fridge is full. So while packing your fridge can be bad, a full fridge allows all the stored products to help insulate the interior. If you don’t have reason to add more food, you can place a few pots or jugs of water in the fridge to help fill the fridge and keep the interior chilled.
8. Unnecessary opening
If your commercial fridge is constantly left open, it is impossible for it to stay cool. In restaurants, a well-organized fridge can reduce the time staff keep the fridge door open. When they can spot what they need quickly, they will close the door sooner.
For retailers, this can be a bit more challenging. However, a well-stocked and organized display case makes it easier for customers to spot what they need so they are less likely to stand there with the door open trying to find something. Making food face upwards in your coolers is also a good rule of thumb. This makes it easier to see the stock when it is at the front of the cooler, instead of customers having to strain to see something or reach an item way at the back.
9. Poor maintenance
Commercial refrigerators require regular professional maintenance to continue operating efficiently. You should always follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule to get the longest life, and best performance, out of your fridge.
10. Need a replacement
Last but not least, if you go through all of these reasons and still find your commercial fridge just doesn’t seem to be able to stay cool, it’s probably time for a new fridge. You can consider an affordable refurbished fridge when shopping for a replacement. They are completely remanufactured to offer efficient operation, plenty of space and lighting as well as a professional appearance ideal for your business.