When you start a restaurant, refrigeration maintenance should be a priority. Commercial refrigeration maintenance can help you keep food fresher for longer periods of time while saving overhead.
Proper maintenance is essential if you want your restaurant’s refrigeration equipment to run at its best.
Refrigerator Maintenance Tips for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment
Restaurants need to clean their refrigerators regularly. Proper food handling will ensure that your food is safe and minimize your costs.
These tips will ensure that your commercial refrigeration systems are in top shape.
Clean the unit’s exterior and interior
Regular cleaning of the refrigerators in your restaurant is a must. Your entire refrigeration unit should be cleaned at least once a week. You should create and follow a schedule that includes:
- The surface should be scrubbed
- Cleaning shelves and removing them
- Use a cleaner that kills bacteria and germs to clean exterior view units
For the interior of your fridge, you can either use soap and water or hot water and vinegar. Make sure to remove all shelves and drawers, then soak them in the cleaning solution of your choice. You can also use commercial cleaners for this purpose.
Clean the Condenser Coil Routinely
Maintaining your refrigerator’s coils is an important part of refrigerator maintenance. Your condenser coil is one of the most visible coils. It should be cleaned in accordance with the instructions that came with your commercial restaurant equipment.
It is a good rule of thumb to keep your coil clean every three months.
To use a stiff bristle brush, you will need to turn off the unit’s power. To remove dirt and debris stuck in the coils, use stiff bristles.
While degreasing is a good idea, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you are properly degreasing your unit. Your refrigerator will be more efficient at keeping cool if your condenser coil has been cleaned and maintained.
Inspect the Evaporator Coil
Next on your list is the evaporator coil. This coil is located near the fan. The coil absorbs heat and keeps your refrigerator’s interior cool.
It is important to turn off the unit and inspect the interior.
- The surrounding area
It is important to schedule regular cleanings into your refrigerator cleaning program in order to make sure that your evaporator coil stays operational for longer.
Clear Drain Pans and Tubes
While slime and sludge may not cause a problem in your home refrigerator, they can pose a serious threat to commercial refrigeration. The good news? The accumulation will not occur in drain tubes and pans.
To your maintenance checklist, you should also include cleaning the drain pan or checking for any accumulation.
These are the general cleaning guidelines:
- Clean your pan at least once a month
- To clean, use warm water and soap or vinegar
- Every month, check out tubing
Calcium buildup in your hoses is another thing to watch out for. Clogs can be reduced by cleaning and it’s a great opportunity to inspect your refrigerator unit.
Check Your Air Filters
Because they are an integral part of your ventilation process, air filters can accumulate a lot. Checking your air filter in commercial kitchens should be a part of your refrigeration preventive maintenance checklist.
The following are the things your air filter is exposed to:
You can increase the impact of your ventilation by using a fryer, griddle, or another cooking device that uses grease. Make sure you:
- Dust can be removed with a shop vacuum
- To remove any debris, use a shop vacuum
To remove thick grease buildup, degreasing products should be used. High amounts of grease can cause damage to the filter, and you will need to replace it.
When inspecting your filter, look out for any damage and replace it as needed.
Check Your Gaskets
Gaskets seal the refrigerator doors in cold air. The gaskets that seal your refrigerator’s doors will fail to seal properly if they crack or split. These cracks will allow cool air to slowly seep through, which can pose two major risks:
- The interior air is still too warm
- Refrigerator working extra hard
You can inspect your gaskets and make any necessary repairs. You can clean the gaskets if they are still in good condition. Your gaskets will last longer if you clean them well, particularly removing grease and dirt.
Your gasket’s utility will gradually be eroded by dirt and grease, eventually leading to cracking and splitting.
Check for Liquid Accumulation
Commercial refrigeration systems can be troubleshot by inspecting them. You’ll find problems that you might not have noticed if you do a thorough inspection.
For future inspection, wipe the liquid off your hands. If the liquid is still accumulating, it’s important to locate the source and make repairs.
Drying water can reduce slips, falls, and other hazards. At least once per week, check for moisture buildup.
It’s important to keep your cooler clean and tidy. Many owners fill their coolers to the ceiling with stock and leave little room inside. You’re going to cause:
- Keep the interior cool by pressing down on the motor
- The strain on the coils and condenser
- Units will run for longer and harder periods
You’re allowing air to flow better and not overcrowding your cooler’s interior. You don’t have to give your cooler too much space. However, it is important to not leave your unit with too little space.
Routine maintenance is an important part of any maintenance plan. You can do most of the basic maintenance tasks yourself, but hiring a professional will allow someone with more experience to inspect your unit and repair it as needed.
While servicing your refrigerator may be expensive upfront, you will enjoy the long-term benefits of being able to keep it running longer.