Tips to Maintain Commercial Freezers as Good as New
Commercial freezers are a valuable component of any business. After purchase, you’ll want to make sure your investment is well-protected in the years ahead. With all the wear-and-tear cooling systems endure every day, it can be difficult to preserve the functionality and hygiene of your appliance. This is especially true for commercial appliances that store foods in large quantities. If your items are not stored properly, you may see an increase in food waste and the potential for contamination.
We’ve come up with a list of tips on how to maintain your commercial freezer. By taking small proactive steps, you will avoid spending lots of money on costly emergency repairs.
Tip #1: Ensure proper cleanliness and sanitation.
Despite frigid conditions, bacterial growth is still common in commercial freezers. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your appliance clean at all times. Old food containers, expired fruit and chunks of mystery meat can accumulate over time. In food service establishments that depend on cleanliness, a dirty freezer can be a problem. Not only can contamination occur, but it can also cause your appliance to waste electricity and affect its overall efficiency. Here are some simple steps to clean out your freezer:
- Unplug your unit - To eliminate the risk of electrical shock, unplug your freezer. It’s a relatively simple step that will reduce the potential for workplace injuries.
- Empty its contents - To give your freezer a thorough cleaning, temporarily remove all food items. The ideal time to do this is right before a new shipment comes in. This way, chances are your freezer is mostly cleared. Consider using coolers for temporary storage until the work is done.
- Toss all expired food - Don’t take chances with food-related illnesses. If in doubt, throw away all food you suspect has gone bad. It’s not worth making your patrons sick.
- Wipe down the interior - Use warm, soapy water to thoroughly clean your freezer. High-quality microfiber cleaning cloths are ideal for scrubbing corners and cleaning stubborn stains. After wiping everything down, be sure to rinse with water.
- Disinfect with sanitizer - Use a food-safe sanitizer to disinfect your freezer, keeping mold and bacteria at bay.
- Restock food items - Once your freezer has been cleaned, plug it back in. Before filling it up, be sure the appliance has reached the ideal temperature for food storage. Organize your freezer by labelling products to track their freshness. Use colour-coded bins to differentiate foods, so your employees aren’t wasting time looking for things.
Tip #2: Have staff members inspect unit regularly.
Dust and debris can affect the efficiency of your commercial freezer. The coils and condenser can become clogged over time. As a result, your freezer will need to use more energy to take air in and keep your appliance cool. Avoid higher utility bills by using a vacuum to suck up accumulated dirt and dust. Here are some other things to look for when inspecting your unit:
- Cold air leaks from faulty doors that do not shut properly
- Mold build-up along door seals
- Food spills and sticky messes that can rust hinges and other metal components
It doesn’t take a professional to notice simple maintenance issues. So designate trusted employees to regularly inspect the freezer, and take care of simple deficiencies that require attention.
Tip #3: Clean fan blades.
Just like coils and condensers, fan blades can also accumulate dust and grime. Because fan blades are constantly spinning, they’re more susceptible to picking up all the debris around them. Give these components a good wipe-down each month. Dirty blades tend to cause drag that will slow down the motor, making it sluggish and inefficient.
Tip #4: Hire professionals for internal maintenance checks.
Although surface-area inspections can be performed by staff, it’s a good idea to hire a refrigeration specialist for more in-depth maintenance checks. Internal components may need replacing for optimal efficiency. And although your freezer may seem like it’s operating fine, there could be underlying issues that only a professional can detect. Compressors, fan motors and electrical wiring are just some of the components that should be inspected by a professional. Talk to a repair specialist about setting up a maintenance plan.
Tip #5: Check refrigerant levels regularly.
If your freezer is leaking refrigerant, this is a code violation as well as a repair issue. That’s why it’s crucial to check your freon levels regularly. Leakage is most likely due to a puncture -- which could happen if you’ve attempted repairs on your own or were scraping ice off the interior. Freon is mostly odourless. But if you smell a chemical odour near your freezer, there’s a possibility you could have a leak. If so, call a repair specialist right away.
A broken freezer is not only stressful, but also bad for business. Avoid costly breakdowns by performing small upkeep tasks on a monthly and quarterly basis. Most catastrophes can be avoided with simple regular maintenance. A little TLC can keep your commercial freezer running reliably in the years ahead!
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