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TheBeginners_RefrigerationMaintenance

The Beginner’s Guide to Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance

HVAC Business Tips

Running a restaurant is not easy. Risks are everywhere—especially in your kitchen. A broken refrigerator is a nightmare. Maintaining your refrigerator is critical if you are going to avoid a refrigeration failure. The question is, what sort of preventative maintenance should you perform, and how often? This beginner’s guide will help you answer those questions and more. Continue reading to learn how to maintain each part of your refrigerator properly.

Door seals

Door seals should be inspected regularly. Keeping cold air on the correct side of the door is essential to keeping your food cool. If you notice food particles have accumulated in the door seal, remove them with a wet cloth and clean them with a brush. This debris can prevent a tight seal from forming and make it harder for your refrigerator to keep the heat at bay.

If your doors do not fasten securely, make sure you are cleaning the seals regularly. Try cleaning them every six months, using chemicals like sodium bicarbonate with water, and wipe them thoroughly.

Interior and exterior

To be on the safer side, it is better to get preventative maintenance with a professional HVAC company. But, if you want to perform your own maintenance, you can. Use diluted vinegar or soap with warm water and gently scrub the interior with a brush. Wipe the surface clean using a cloth soaked in warm water and let it dry. Make sure that you are doing this on a biweekly or monthly basis.

The outside of your refrigerator is important too. Cleaning the exterior helps to keep bacteria from building up as well as helps to preserve your refrigerator’s appearance. Cleaning the exterior is simple—use warm soapy water and a damp cloth. A refrigerator’s stainless steel surface can be discolored by using chemicals other than warm soapy water, so try to avoid them. If the surface has been stained by oil or food particles, try cleaning with baking soda.

Condenser coil

Condenser coils cool and condense refrigerant, helping to maintain the optimal temperature inside the refrigerator. When the coils are clogged with dust and debris, they are unable to remove heat efficiently. A clogged coil may cause the compressor to consume more energy and lead to mechanical failure of the refrigerator, due to additional stress on the system. Cleaning the condenser coil regularly can help prevent expected breakdowns.

Rub the condenser coil with a stiff bristle brush. And remove the accumulated dust, debris, and sticky substances—use a vacuum or air compressor to help you. For further assistance, seek the help of a professional HVAC service technician.

Evaporator coil

The evaporator coil is mounted near the evaporator fan and is responsible for cooling down the interior. Ensure you clean the evaporator coil and its surrounding area regularly.

Avoid placing things close to the vent, especially when it is hot—it causes water leakage and increases cabinet temperature. Sensitivity to heat may cause airflow blockages to occur, so avoid packing things inside too tightly.

Freezer

Periodic cleaning of your freezer should be part of preventative maintenance. If you are unclear on how frequently your refrigerator’s freezer should be cleaned, please consult with an HVAC service technician—they should be able to help you. Also, you should consider periodically defrosting the freezer.

After defrosting, you can clean the freezer with a simple solution of hot soapy water. Next, make sure that everything is rinsed with warm, clean water and dried completely. If you find stains in the freezer the soapy water was unable to remove, you can try using diluted vinegar to clean them.

Door gaskets

The seals around your refrigerator door are called gaskets. If the door gaskets are not kept clean, the refrigerator may begin to operate in an unsafe temperature range. Consequently, the compressor will work harder in an attempt to compensate. This additional stress on the compressor could lead to premature failure.

Perform an inspection. What may only appear as minor damage or looseness of the gasket may keep the door from closing properly. If you can feel cool air, it may be cracked or loose; this is a sign that a replacement may be in order. You can apply petroleum jelly to loose gasket using a cotton swab. This will help push the rubber back into place and seal the leak. Cleaning the gasket once a week will help prevent grime from building up.

Air filters

Cleaning air filters is perhaps more important than any other component. A clogged filter prevents proper venting of the air, which can lead to a malfunction. While air filters are prone to accumulating oil, dust, grease and other debris, cleaning them frequently will help avoid build-up and minimize the chance of failure.

Using a strong vacuum and a degreasing agent, you can remove grease and dust as well as other debris that has built up. If you find any splits or damage to the filter itself, replace the air filter—contact an HVAC technician, if necessary.

Drain pans and tubes

If you use a large capacity refrigerator, designed to support a large internal volume, it may be prone to accumulating larger amounts of slime, dirt, and sludge. This accumulation can lead to a sudden breakdown due to freezing. Make sure to check drain pans, tubes, and any other parts that could be impacted by freezing.

If drain pans are not kept clean, they could overflow with a foul slush that will make the whole kitchen smell. Cleaning the drain pans once a month can help prevent this; use a solution of water and vinegar or simply use soap and water.
Drain tubes can become clogged by excess grime. Clogs may lead to substantial obstruction, so inspecting and cleaning the tube every month helps avoid this. You can avoid further damage by washing the tube with soap to remove calcium or water stains.

Conclusion

Performing your own regular maintenance on your refrigerator will help reduce your overall maintenance costs. But, while some tasks are simple enough to do yourself, there are others you should probably involve a professional HVAC company for. Sign up for an HVAC preventative maintenance contract with a reliable HVAC service company. They will help assure that the unit is well maintained.

Hiring a professional can be would be life-saving, especially when you have got an emergency repair or appliance failure. By having a maintenance contract, you can get priority attention during emergencies. Follow here to get more updates on maintaining HVAC products.

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