Tips for Improving Commercial Refrigerator Efficiency
The kitchens in restaurants, hotels, and hospitals are leading sources of energy consumption. Within that space, commercial refrigerator account for over 30% of the electricity usage.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to improve the efficiency of refrigeration units. Simple operational changes and improved cleaning habits can reduce usage between 10% and 30%. Doing so will also increase the comfort of the kitchen staff and total operating performance.
Here are eight tips for improving commercial refrigeration efficiency.
1. Inspect the Doors
Misaligned doors and worn gaskets can result in cool air leaking out of the refrigerator. Damaged strip curtains and malfunctioning automatic door closers will also waste energy. Check the gaskets and seals on a regular basis, keeping them clean and replacing as necessary.
Not sure if a seal is losing air? Hold up a thin piece of paper next to the closed refrigerator door. If it flutters, it’s time to replace the seal.
2. Clean the Coils
Evaporator and condenser coils get dirty over time. Without proper care, they’ll block airflow, which drags efficiency down. Dirty coils can also result in major maintenance issues, such as compressor failure.
3. Make Room for Circulation
Heat builds up in tight spaces, so location is key for your refrigeration units. They’ll work harder to cool properly, driving up energy costs. Make sure there’s adequate space around the fridges and freezers, and avoid putting them too close to cooking equipment.
4. Check the Charge
If refrigeration units don’t have enough refrigerant charge, it strains the compressor. Take a look at the sight glass on the condenser that shows the refrigerant line. If the system is running and you see visible bubbles, it’s a sign the refrigerant needs to be recharged. Call an experienced commercial appliance technician to get the job done.
5. Switch to LED Lighting
Some of the most energy efficient products on the market are LED bulbs and fixtures. This is especially true when it comes to reducing energy usage in refrigeration units. They operate well in cold environments and give off less heat than other lighting options.
6. Cover Display Cases
Open-case refrigerated displays should be covered when not in use. They’re a great way to showcase food options, but they drain energy. Adding night covers keeps the cold air contained, which means the case doesn’t have to run at full capacity when the establishment is closed.
7. Vacuum the Back
A busy kitchen collects dust and dirt in places you may not think about. Periodically pull refrigerator and freezers away from the wall and vacuum them off. This picks up any filth that’s collected on the condenser coils. Clean coils pull the heat away from the refrigerator more efficiently, helping you control energy costs.
8. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Equipment
Apex carries a wide array of energy-saving commercial refrigeration units.