Commercial refrigeration preventive maintenance is essential for the longevity of your equipment. Preventive maintenance is a form of routine check-ups and inspections that can prevent major issues before they occur, saving you money on repairs, lost products, and downtime.
What is commercial refrigeration preventive maintenance?
When it comes to commercial refrigeration maintenance, the goal is twofold:
- To keep your refrigeration unit operating flawlessly. This helps ensure that you’ll never have a food safety issue or equipment failure in the middle of your busy lunch rush.
- To keep your equipment running efficiently and reduce energy costs with regular checkups and repairs.
Our team of expert technicians provides preventative maintenance services to help ensure your equipment is operating effectively and efficiently. What all goes into preventative maintenance for commercial refrigeration, here are things to look at regularly:
Cleaning the coils on your commercial refrigeration unit is a must. If you don’t, you can expect to have problems with ice buildup in the freezer or ice forming on the evaporator coil in your walk-in cooler. You can clean them manually or use a shop vacuum to suck up dirt and grime from inside the unit. If necessary, use chemical coil cleaners to deep clean them and prevent buildup from occurring over time again.
Clean Fan Blades
Dust, grease, or debris can build up on fan blades, and something as small as a clogged fan can be the reason an entire refrigeration system fails. Maintaining clean fan blades is important to keeping your system operating properly. Fan blades should be cleaned regularly.
Check Refrigerant Levels
Checking refrigerant levels is one of the most important preventive maintenance tasks you can perform. It’s a simple process, but it’s easy to miss something if you don’t do it frequently.
The reason is that refrigerant should be checked at least once a year. If your system has been leaking for any length of time (and especially if there are new signs that it’s leaking), then low levels could be due to leaks. If your system isn’t leaking, or if you haven’t noticed new signs of leaks recently, then high levels could be due to overcharging or installation errors in your system—both situations will cause damage in their own way. Low refrigerant levels can cause problems with compressors overheating and eventually failing completely; high levels will compromise the efficiency of your compressor and may even lead to its damage if left unchecked
Inspect Motor Operation
Does the motor operate smoothly? If it doesn’t, there may be an electrical fault or a problem with the cooling system.
Is the motor overheating? If so, this could be caused by corrosion or dust buildup on either the compressor or condenser coil. Either of these can cause thermal overloads that result in excessive wear and tear on your equipment and reduce its lifespan significantly. A faulty thermostat could also lead to overheating because if the temperature rises above normal operating levels, it will trigger an overheating safety device.
Check Compressor Operation
The next step is to check the compressor’s operation. There should be no oil leaks. You will also want to check for proper operation, vibration, noise, and damage. Make sure the compressor is running smooth and has no odd rattling or other sounds that should not be coming from the compressor.
Test Thermometers and Recalibrate if necessary
When you’re performing your PM, it’s important to test thermometers and recalibrate if necessary. Thermometers are used for measuring temperature in a refrigeration system, so their accuracy is critical for the proper operation of your unit. They should be calibrated regularly according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Things you can do in between professional refrigeration maintenance
There are some things you can do in between professional maintenance to help your equipment run more efficiently.
- Regularly clean the interior and exterior of the unit. Use a mild soap and water solution to wash away stains from spills or other debris that have accumulated over time. You should also clean around vents, doors, and anywhere else where dirt tends to collect.
- Defrost on schedule; this is especially important for reach-in refrigerators or freezers with ice build-up inside their freezer compartments.
- Clear fan area: keeping the fan area clean and free from blockage is crucial because any blockages in air flow will prevent maximum cooling efficiency within your equipment.
Commercial Refrigeration Preventative Maintenance in Northern Virginia
We hope this article has helped you learn more about refrigeration preventative maintenance and how it can help your business. If you have any questions or would like to speak with a specialist, call us at 703-649-2977or request service here.