Your Basic Guide to Coolroom and Freezer Maintenance18 June 2015
As owners of large equipment, we’ve all been guilty at some point of exiling maintenance procedures to the shadows while the spotlight of attention is kept on installation procedures and repairs. Well, at least in the case of walk-in coolrooms, this indolent attitude can’t be afforded when perishable contents are at risk. Hygiene is the number one factor to consider here, with breakdowns and excessive energy expenditure trailing in slightly behind this environmental issue. In other words, you want to keep the machinery fully functional, saving cash on utility bills and avoiding expensive breakdown due to a faulty condenser unit, but customer health always comes first.
Thankfully, as serious as we’ve phrased these maintenance considerations, the actual implementation of a basic care strategy isn’t hard as long as you adopt a systemic approach. Begin by reading the manual that came with the coolroom gear. Ask the installing company questions. The engineer will be only too willing to support you in your hygiene-centric endeavours, and, in all likelihood, has a service plan on hand that assigns your product with regular maintenance visits. But let’s return to your role in caring for your product. Design a maintenance schedule for your staff, one that includes the recording of any and all issues so that you can detect developing trends. Place emphasis on observational skills, on looking for leakages and cooling irregularities.
The next task asks for a deeper level of involvement, taking you beyond simple observation. Keep the internal and external wall space clean with a damp cloth and a liberal sprinkling of a mild detergent. Remember, some insulating panels are fabricated from exotic new materials, so avoid chemical cleaners unless you know the system is approved for the formulation. Wipe away those chemical stains. Of course, this is an opportunity to employ a log book and record the stains. If they keep returning, there’s likely a leak somewhere, and it’s time to call in an expert service engineer. Turn next to door hinges and the gasket seal that frames the door, as this critical seal is responsible for maintaining climate-control, the internal cooling that your perishable items need to stay safely frozen. It’s entirely possible that the produce will stay frozen, assuming we’re referring to a walk-in freezer, but the refrigeration machinery may have to work twice as hard due to the gasket leak, thus sending your utility bill rocketing upward.
The secret of this basic maintenance plan comes from using the five senses. This is your basic guide to coolroom and freezer maintenance. A staff member can see a leak and smell spoiling food. You can hear the bearing of an air handling unit running roughly and see a torn entryway gasket. Beyond these fundamental points of care, it’s time to call on your local coolroom contractor for a more potent solution. Condenser coils need to be checked, as do the coolant levels of the refrigeration unit and the lubrication of motor bearings. By all means, adopt your own maintenance plan with all the best in hygiene-related care in place, but turn to the experts when maintaining refrigeration issues.
C&M Coolroom Services
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