When restaurants and markets preserve food and drink, they employ coolrooms and freezers, sealed spaces that deliver carefully channelled quantities of refrigerated air. The meat and vegetables cool, the drinks chill, and the resulting environment maintains an ever-fresh climate. Now we turn to other commodities, to blossoming flowers and freshly cut foliage, to biological matter that’s still growing. Coolroom temperature management in this environment is no less exacting than the methodology applied to food, except it’s the management of a plant’s life cycle that concerns us in this instance.

Setting the Temperature

If the temperature strays from accepted margins, flowers will wilt and foliage will spoil. The growth cycle is triggered prematurely, and the blossoming flower opens its petals too soon. An optimally managed cooling environment maintains its temperature at around 33ºF to 35ºF (approximately 1ºC). Of course, this figure isn’t set in stone. It varies ever so slightly to accomodate the different types of flowers and foliage entering the cooler. Tropical flowers, for example, benefit from warmer climate control settings. If birds-of-paradise, tropical orchids, or other equatorial variants are to be placed in a coolroom, turn up the thermostat and keep it at the 50ºF to 55ºF (approximately 11ºC) mark.

Temperature Management Keeps Flowers Fresh

Floral growing companies and florists are well-versed in what it takes to keep plant life fresh. The stem is given a diagonal cut to enhance stem nourishment absorption rates. Light, insecticides, floral preservatives, and other care practices keep the plants smelling good and looking vitally alive, but it’s the coolroom temperature that places the foliage into a sleepy state and causes the flowers to hibernate, thus stopping the petals from blooming and withering before they’re sold. Still, errors are constantly dicovered in this practice due to poor management skills. The ducts are possibly blocked or obstructed in some manner, and the flowers end up warming, blossoming, and losing that essential ever-fresh scent that makes them so beautiful. In fixing this issue, place digital thermostats in key areas and check the airflow for convection obstructions.

Temperature management is an important part of this coolroom scenario, but there are caveats to be aware of here. Firstly, different flowers and different foliage variants come from all around the globe. Some are seasonal while others are tropical, meaning different temperature settings must be followed, so stick with the 1ºC thermostat setting when managing plants found in temperate regions, and dial the thermostat to 11(ºC) when caring for tropical variants.

While it may sound like a wild term, one that unwittingly connects financial earnings to cooling equipment, energy audits actually represent a purposeful methodology. The study analyses freezers and coolrooms, inspecting every system in the unit for energy loss sources.

Building Your Efficiency Roadmap

Every business venture survives on its wits, but financial acumen is a little harder to account for when large equipment enters the equation. An energy saving audit equals an opportunity to look at the big picture and see where wasted energy is escaping. Actual energy expenditure is calculated on an electrical scale and converted into mechanical and cooling assets, at which point you gain a clarified image of any disparity. In other words, you reduce kilowatt-per-hour consumption while keeping spoilable food and beverages as cool as ever.

Improved Cooling Envelope Integrity

Freezers and coolrooms are two different storage beasts. In the case of a freezer, you enter an actively frozen environment, a place where poorly insulated panelling can often be seen with the naked eye. Coolroom containment offers a more subtle through no less important containment solution. The food is kept fresh and ready for processing and cooking. Beverages are chilly but still fluid. An energy audit is a very accurate time-in-motion study, one that can differentiate between imperceptible thermal changes and trace those changes to their source. The result is a fully formed thermal envelope, even when that envelope is formed around the around-zero environment of a coolroom.

Laser-Like Resource Management

If a cooling unit is costing the commercial establishment bundles of cash, the temptation is to replace everything and eventually catch up when the savings start rolling in. The analysis procedure cuts the fat from the bones in this strategy by identifying exact loss points. Indeed, a professionally conducted audit can find flaws in the compressor assembly, detect insulation problems, door leakage issues, and much more. Thus, only the energy-costing parts require repair or replacement.

Commercial-grade cooling solutions are incredibly energy intensive. Contemporary Energy Star (www.greenrestaurants.org) guidelines reduce much of the losses associated with these essential food-preserving chambers, but the subject is still clouded by conflicting mechanical and electrical factors. Even the actions of the staff have an effect on the results of the audit, with some incautious staff members leaving freezers and coolrooms exposed to the open for extended periods. The study documents this staff-related issue and all mechanical loss points, creating a loss plan that can be resolved with maintenance, newly incorporated procedures, and some repair work.

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