During the holiday season, freezers and coolrooms are placed under extraordinary stress. Epoxy-coated steel shelves are overburdened with packages of seasonal veggies. Inside a freezer, wire racks creak under the weight of frozen turkeys and joints of honey ham. Remember, family members all around the globe are heading home for the holidays, and they’re expecting the kind of supermarket-purchased meals that can put them in a food-induced coma for days.
Avoid Holiday-Stuffed Commercial Coolrooms
While a supermarket or restaurant supply manager works hard to make sure a walk-in coolroom doesn’t become overloaded, there’s a supply and demand issue to address. A celebration of some sort is coming, and the business manager in charge of the whole operation wants to be prepared for the big parties that will be going on during this busy period. The problem is, by filling a coolroom to capacity with cold food, a coolroom that’s already working hard, well, the refrigeration unit that’s responsible for cooling the walk-in chamber will be forced to work harder, much harder. If this is the case, use an intelligent cooler management plan to spread out the load among all available coolrooms.
Conducting Freezer and Coolroom Tune-Ups
What if a commercial operation only has access to a limited number of cold rooms? Just as alarmingly, what if a walk-in freezer, loaded with chunks of frozen turkey and ham, is all by its lonesome self? If the sealed enclosures are properly insulated and the refrigeration equipment is functioning at its tip-top best, the extra load can be managed. To confirm the support of this much system overhead, diligent business owners consult professional coolroom repair services. Hopefully, the units in question will receive a solid thumbs-up, which will mean they’re equipped to handle the temporarily levied system overhead. If the gear and enclosure insulation aren’t in any condition to cope with the seasonal load, a full tune-up will most likely be recommended.
It’s a busy holiday period. Folk are out shopping for their Christmas meal or sitting down at restaurants while someone else does all the hard work. The point is that coolroom managers plan for such periods of extreme activity. They purchase extra frozen food. If the gear then fails, let’s not visualize the losses, for the mere thought of all that lost holiday meat and veggies could make a commercial business owner go very pale. To protect that seasonal investment, to safeguard the stockpiled poultry and seasonal side dishes, refrigeration compressors and coils must be in pristine condition. Basically, commercial operations should act proactively by having all coolrooms and freezers serviced before a holiday rush begins.
To an engineer, there’s nothing mysterious about a PRV (Pressure Release Valve) device. It functions as a system safety feature when potentially dangerous fluid pressures are present. If some overly compressed liquid or gas medium stresses an equipment fitting, then the valve quickly dumps the fluid. That’s all very interesting, but what do these safety devices have to do with walk-in freezers? Are there pressure build-ups happening inside a freezer? Strangely enough, just the opposite is true.
Pressure Release Vents Regulate Airborne Forces
A PRV does have a role to play as a disaster compensatory mechanism. The valves are often perceived as a final line of defence in a mains water supply. If all other inbuilt pressure regulating features fail, a pressure release valve can be counted on to safely discharge the system load. However, that’s not their only role. Active pressure relief mechanisms also regulate higher-than-average air pressures. If an atmospheric load is causing equipment stress, the kind that could cause gradual system damage and premature parts failure problems, then a pressure relief vent will act as a load regulation device.
Walk-In Freezers Develop Vacuum Seals
Back with a large freezer, a model that’s big enough to permit staff access, the atmosphere inside the sealed enclosure is shrinking, not pushing outwards. A partial vacuum develops because the cooler air in there becomes drier. Everyone has experienced this effect. On opening a refrigerator door at home, it resists your efforts. It takes a little extra muscle power to overcome the seal. When the partial vacuum is counterbalanced, the airflow equalizes. In effect, there’s a negative pressure inside the enclosure. Now imagine how much more muscle power it would take to overcome the negative pressure in a walk-in freezer. And that’s not the only problem either. After the door opens, the air in there will equalize, just like it does in a domestic refrigerator.
You’ll easily open a walk-in cooler’s door if the sealed chamber is fitted with a pressure relief vent. Even loaded down with a heavy food cart, you can probably open that door with one hand. More importantly, outside air won’t be sucked in to equalize the pressure differential. If that were the case, airborne contaminants would eventually get sucked inside. That’s a wholly undesirable and unhygienic action. More importantly, remember that the outside air is warmer than the inside air. If it were to be sucked inside by the pressure differential, the frosty enclosure would warm and the stored frozen food would spoil. With a Pressure Relief Vent performing its area equalizing duties, no contaminants and no warm air can impact a walk-in freezer’s hygienically cooled contents.
C&M Coolrooms can create a custom solution for your specific needs. Talk to one of team members today.