Commercial refrigeration units are vital pieces of equipment in restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, warehouses and more. When these complex systems break down, it can be disastrous for business operations and product safety. But when exactly should you pick up the phone and call for professional commercial refrigeration specialists? Here’s what you need to know about identifying issues and understanding when to bring in a commercial refrigeration specialist like JD Refrigeration.
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Issues with Temperature
Temperature problems are some of the most common reasons to call for refrigeration service and maintenance. Fluctuating temperatures, readings that are too warm or too cold can all spell trouble for these sensitive systems.
If you notice the temperatures inside your commercial fridges or freezers bouncing up and down, it likely means there is an issue regulating the environment. Air probe sensors may be dirty or failing, the thermostat could be wearing out or refrigerant charge might be low. Drastic temperature fluctuations allow food safety zones to be compromised and should be addressed promptly by a professional.
Temperatures Too High
A commercial fridge not cooling adequately can put perishable inventory at risk. Common causes for warmer-than-normal temperatures include low refrigerant levels, dirty condenser coils, faulty door gaskets or fans not properly circulating air. Having a specialist assess and correct the issue is extremely important before unsafe temperatures lead to spoiled ingredients or products.
Temperatures Too Low
While low temperatures might seem harmless at first glance, they often indicate serious problems in commercial systems. Freezers that are well below 0°F or fridges approaching 32°F can signify components like evaporator coils are icing up or malfunctioning. Not only does this negatively impact efficiency and increase energy usage, but also risks compressor damage from overworking. Left unaddressed, freezing temperatures shorten food shelf life as well.
Problems with Equipment
The intricate network of condensers, compressors, evaporators, valves and other components that make up commercial refrigeration units means there are ample opportunities for something to go awry. Being attentive to changes or issues with the physical equipment itself provides important clues on underlying problems.
Air, water or evaporative condensers play an integral role regulating temperatures by releasing heat from refrigerant gases. If condenser fans seem off, strange new noises arise or cooling capacity appears limited, it may be due to damage, wear or dirt/debris buildup. Since all other components downstream depend on the condenser doing its job, malfunctions here can spiral into cascading problems if neglected.
The heart of any refrigeration system is the compressor responsible for pumping refrigerant through the circulating loop. Unusual compressor noises, short cycling on/off or lack of typical vibration can indicate failing parts, low refrigerant levels, bad wiring or broader refrigeration failures. With new compressor units ranging $2,000 – $4,000, it is smart to involve a specialist promptly at the first sign of issues.
Over time, fittings, seals or lines across a commercial refrigeration unit can develop small cracks that lead to costly refrigerant leaks. Any loss of refrigerant impairs the unit’s ability to cool properly. Warning signs that systems may be low on refrigerant include: higher electric bills from overworking, abnormal noises, coils icing up, or obvious temperature regulation problems. Identifying and sealing even small leaks quickly is essential.
Reaching out promptly when commercial refrigeration problems emerge gives specialists the best chance quickly remedying issues before inventory losses or business disruptions escalate. Through preventative maintenance and understanding when to request repairs, operators can keep these mission critical systems running cool for years of reliable service.
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