7 Commercial Fridge Preventative Maintenance Tips

7 Commercial Fridge Preventative Maintenance Tips

Did you know that the average cost of repairing a refrigerator ranges between $350 and $500? If your commercial fridge breaks down, you will incur this cost plus the additional cost of business stoppage.

Preventative maintenance will keep your fridge up to its critical mission, which will positively impact your bottom line. You don’t have to wait for telltale signs of a breakdown to start maintaining your fridge.

There are some simple routine practices you can embrace to prevent costly breakdowns. Here are seven tips you can leverage to keep your commercial refrigerator running perfectly.

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1. Clean Both the Inside and Outside Regularly

Schedule a deep cleaning of your commercial refrigerator at least every two weeks. Remove the refrigerated items and place them in a temporary cooler to clean the interior.

Use a soft brush, warm water, and vinegar to scrub the fridge’s surfaces. Where possible, remove the drawers and shelves and soak them. Do not let spills settle in the refrigerator for long, as they will be challenging to clean without harmful cleaning supplies.

One tip for maintaining any commercial kitchen equipment made of stainless steel is to clean them using a mild detergent and a soft brush or cloth. So, when cleaning your fridge’s exterior, avoid using chemicals and tools that can damage the fridge’s finish. If there are grease stains, you can use baking soda or any other degreaser that won’t damage the surface.

2. Inspect the Air Filters

Dust and grease from your fryers can end up being trapped in the air filters of your commercial refrigerator. If you let these materials build up, your unit will have ventilation issues.

You should clean the air filters regularly to remove debris and dust. Use a powerful vacuum to blow away the dirt. You should also use a degreasing solution to remove any grease from the air filters.

Remember to go through your fridge’s manual to understand how to degrease the filters without damaging them.

3. Don’t Neglect the Condenser Coil

The condition of the condenser coil will determine how well your fridge can maintain cool temperatures. Therefore, you should clean it often to avoid blocked condenser issues.

The best practice is to clean the condenser once every three months to remove any dirt or dust. Neglecting this component will make your fridge overheat and eventually fail. For most fridge options, you’ll find the coil near the condenser.

Before you start cleaning it, disconnect the power. Use a brush to remove dirt and dust that may have formed on the coil. Use a vacuum to remove any debris that may be difficult to remove with a brush.

If you don’t clean your condenser coil, your fridge will consume more energy as the compressor will be more intensive in drawing in ambient air from the surroundings. You’ll end up paying high energy bills, and the fridge will only have a short lifespan.

4. Check the Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil in your commercial fridge is located near the evaporator fan. The coil cools your fridge by absorbing heat from the warm air in the unit. Make sure you clean the area surrounding the coil regularly.

You can also take care of the evaporator coil by avoiding overloading your fridge. Cramming your fridge will block the airflow inside the refrigerator. Eventually, the evaporator coil will freeze, and the temperature inside the unit will rise.

Also, you should only store cold items in the refrigerator to avoid overworking and damaging the evaporator coil.

5. Ensure That Your Fridge’s Interior Is Dry

It is easy for liquids to accumulate on our fridge’s shelves or surfaces. If your unit has too much moisture, it will freeze over time. This means that even your large fridge won’t hold many items because the ice will take up the most space.

You should clean up any spills immediately. Check your refrigerator on a regular basis to see if moisture is accumulating. Make sure that there is no dampness on your fridge’s floor to prevent injuries from slips and falls. If you require more storage space, consider purchasing a chest freezer in NZ, which can help you store items that won’t fit in your fridge.

6. Maintain the Door Gaskets

Check the refrigerator gaskets for cracks or splits that can make it difficult to properly shut the fridge’s door. It’s easy for the gaskets to be torn because the refrigerator is one of the pieces of commercial equipment you’ll use frequently.

Cool air will escape from the refrigerator’s interior if the gaskets have cracks. Alternatively, warm air can enter the fridge and spoil whatever you try to keep cool. Torn gaskets can also trap food particles, which may rot and cause mold and bacteria to build up. 

Inspect the gaskets on all four sides of your fridge’s door to see whether they’re ripped.  You should replace the gaskets if there are signs of damage. Consult the unit’s manufacturer for recommendations on a suitable replacement.

A lack of splits does not mean that you should ignore the gaskets. You’ll still have to clean it routinely to minimise the risk of damage.

This is especially true if the fridge is close to other commercial kitchen equipment that uses grease. Cleaning will ensure that you don’t leave dirt on the gaskets long enough to wear them out. Be gentle when cleaning and only use water with a bit of soap.

7. Clean the Drain Pans and Tubing

There is a high possibility of slime and sludge forming on your large fridge, which increases the risk of the entire unit freezing. Check the drain pan and all tubes that can get clogged. If the drain pan starts overflowing with sludge, you’ll notice an unpleasant odour in your kitchen.

Make sure that you clean the pan often using mild supplies and warm water. Also, check the tubes every month to rule out the possibility of blockages. A clog in the tubing may result in an overflow in the defrost system, and water will start leaking onto your floor.

Maintain Your Commercial Fridge to Prevent Expensive Breakdowns

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If you’re a busy business owner, it’s easy to forget all about maintaining your commercial fridge until it’s too late. You should have a regular maintenance schedule whereby you implement these seven tips.

Are you looking for a durable commercial refrigerator? At Federal Hospitality Equipment (F.E.D.), we have a wide range of commercial fridges to ensure you get only the highest-quality units that serve your needs. Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help you choose the best refrigerator.

In addition to commercial fridges, we also offer a variety of other essential equipment for your business, such as bain maries and ovens in NZ. Check out our product range today and find everything you need to run your business efficiently!

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