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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Commercial Refrigerator

Having your commercial refrigerator inspected by a professional technician is the best way to discover potential issues and fix them before they get worse. However, there is plenty of cleaning and maintenance steps you can follow to ensure that your unit runs as it should for many years. Follow these steps to keep your commercial refrigerator operating smoothly and efficiently.

Cleaning Tips

Condenser Coil – The location of the condenser coil can vary from machine to machine, be sure to check your owner’s manual to make note of the location. The condenser coil should be cleaned once a month at minimum to keep it dust, dirt, and lint free. Use a commercial coil condenser cleaner to brush fins of the condenser from top to bottom. Straighten any fins that may have been bent using a comb, and be sure to NEVER brush side to side. Some higher end refrigerators have automatic cleaners installed that clean daily.

Motor & Fan Blades – Like the condenser coil, motor and blades on your commercial refrigerator should also be cleaned monthly. To do this, use a soft cloth to run over the motor and fan blades. If you must wash the blades, be sure to cover the motor with a dry cloth to keep moisture from entering the motor and causing damage.

Interior – One of the most important things to note about cleaning the interior of your commercial refrigerator is to never use steel wool, bleach, or caustic chemicals. Using these products can damage the finish of your refrigerator, as well as leave behind strong chemical odors that can have an effect on the flavor of your food. Instead, use a warm water and mild soap solvent to clean the interior.

Doors – You should remove the door gaskets from your commercial refrigerator once a week and soak them for half an hour in a mixture of water and soap. Once soaked, just dry and place them back on the unit and check to make sure they create a functioning seal.
While cleaning your commercial refrigerator will keep it looking great and play a part in keeping it running smoothly, you should also perform these important maintenance routines to ensure your refrigerator operates at the highest level.

Maintenance Tips

Replace Interior Lights – Having functioning interior lights allows your employees to be able to identify and get whatever it is then need quickly, which will reduce the amount of time the door needs to be kept open. Be sure to read your manual to see what type of bulb to use, as bulbs with lower wattage may not illuminate properly in colder temperatures.

Have Routine Maintenance Checks – A lot of commercial refrigeration manufacturers have some sort of maintenance program which you can sign up for and have a professional inspect your unit. Having a technician regularly inspect your refrigerator will allow them to find potential problems early so you can handle them before they become costly repairs in the future.

Check the Door Gasket Seal – Use a dollar bill to insert between the gasket and the frame of the door, then close the door. Try to pull the bill out, and if there is some resistance when you pull then the gasket is in working order. If the bill falls to the floor completely or slides out with ease when pulling, your gasket needs to be replaced.

Monitor the Holding Temperature – Food safety should be the top priority of your business, so assuring that your commercial refrigeration unit has a proper holding temperature is extremely important. If the temperature is within the danger zone (40 – 140 degrees) food can spoil. If the holding temperature is irregular, it could be due to a blockage of the vents or a malfunction of the refrigeration system and should be inspected immediately.  

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