Why is your commercial refrigerator too warm?

10 Reasons Your Commercial Refrigerator Is Too Warm

Posted by | 27-09-2021

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. This blog will also discuss top DIY Fixes for a Commercial Refrigerator Blowing Hot Air.

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 dirt, dust, and grease buildup, they can’t function properly, resulting in warmer temperatures and food spoilage. To avoid this issue, clean your condenser coils at least every three months to help 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 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, the refrigerator can't cool efficiently. A good sign that your condenser isn’t working is if your fridge is making loud noises or seems to be “running” continuously. Broken compressors must 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, look at the settings. 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 must also keep your circulation vent clear. If the fridge feels warm and is overstocked, ensure 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 run into issues if your fridge is too empty. 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 a 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

Your commercial fridge can't stay cool if it is constantly left open. In restaurants, a well-organized fridge can reduce the time staff keep the fridge door open. They will close the door sooner when they can spot what they need quickly. 

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, making them 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 at the front of the cooler instead of customers having to strain to see something or reach an item 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 refurbished to offer efficient operation, plenty of space and lighting as well as a professional appearance ideal for your business.

Why Is the Freezer Cold, but the Fridge Is Warm?

In commercial refrigeration, it's not uncommon to encounter a peculiar situation: a freezer that maintains its icy chill while the connected fridge section runs too warm. This scenario can be puzzling, especially in restaurants, industrial kitchens, or any place relying on commercial refrigerators and freezers. Let's explore two potential reasons for this temperature discrepancy.

The Vents Are Blocked

One of the most common causes for a fridge blowing warm air while the freezer remains cold lies in blocked vents. In many commercial fridge models, such as restaurants or industrial settings, the cold air flows through vents from the freezer to the fridge. If these vents are obstructed by food items or packaging, the flow is disrupted, leading to a refrigerator temperature that's too warm.

In commercial settings, where the refrigerator's commercial use is high, it's crucial to regularly check and ensure these vents are clear. For instance, a walk-in cooler, a staple in many restaurants, requires regular maintenance to ensure its thermostat and air vents are unobstructed for optimal performance.

Or, It’s The Evaporator

Another reason could be issues with the evaporator, a critical component in commercial chillers and freezers. The evaporator absorbs heat inside the fridge, allowing the refrigerant to evaporate and cool the air. If the evaporator is faulty or the evaporator fan is not working properly, it can lead to a situation where the freezer remains cold but the fridge gets too warm.

This is particularly important in commercial settings, where the commercial refrigerator temperature needs to be consistent to ensure food safety. For example, a commercial freezer temperature might be set correctly, but if the evaporator malfunctions, it won't maintain the temperature in the fridge section.

What Are Some DIY Fixes for a Commercial Refrigerator Blowing Hot Air?

Dealing with a commercial refrigerator blowing hot air can be a frustrating experience, especially in a busy restaurant or industrial setting. Before you call in the professionals, you can try a few DIY fixes that might solve the problem.

Sometimes, It’s a Simple Solution

The first step in troubleshooting a commercial fridge or freezer that's not cooling properly is to check the basics. Ensure the refrigerator is plugged in, the power is on, and the thermostat is set to the correct temperature. Sometimes, the simplest solutions are overlooked.

Unload Some Items

Overloading a commercial refrigerator, whether a restaurant fridge, an industrial refrigerator, or a commercial cooler, can obstruct airflow and make it hard for the unit to maintain the right temperature. Try removing some items to allow better air circulation. Remember, a crowded fridge can lead to a too-warm temperature.

Try Cleaning the Fan

The fan is essential in commercial refrigerators, including commercial chillers and reach-in coolers. If the fan is dirty or obstructed, it can't circulate air properly, which might cause the fridge to blow warm air. Cleaning the fan and ensuring it's not blocked by debris can sometimes rectify the issue.

Clean the Coils

Dirty coils can also cause a commercial fridge to malfunction. The coils, typically found at the back or the bottom of the fridge, are crucial for dissipating heat. The refrigerator's cooling efficiency can be significantly reduced if they're covered in dust and grime. Cleaning the coils regularly is essential for any commercial refrigeration unit.

If All Else Fails, Call a Technician

If you've tried these DIY fixes and your commercial refrigerator is still not cooling properly, it might be time to call a professional technician. They can diagnose and fix more complex issues like refrigerant leaks, compressor problems, or electrical faults, which are beyond the scope of typical DIY repairs.

To learn more about refurbished commercial refrigerators, call Ancaster Food Equipment at 855-888-9644 or contact us here

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