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Chilling with refrigeration maintenance

Wed 11th Mar 20

Did you know that, as well as helping to prevent costly breakdowns, regularly maintaining your refrigeration units can help to save on your energy bills? That’s because systems that are kept well, run more efficiently, too.

In a fish and chip shop or restaurant, as in any other catering business, your refrigeration equipment is essential to running a healthy and profitable business. Without your fridges and freezers, you’d be serving lukewarm drinks and you’d have to rely on fresh food coming in daily. When they break down, your business breaks down with them, with big cost implications, too.
So, maintaining your refrigeration units is essential, as well.

The Fry team has put together a handy hint list that will help to keep your fridges and freezers running smoothly. Some of the maintenance you can do yourself, while other aspects will need a professional engineer.

Do it yourself – weekly…

Check the temperature – It can be easy to knock a temperature setting when you’re in and out of your units regularly. If the temperature is too high, the contents will spoil. If it’s lower than is necessary, your refrigeration will be working harder, and you’ll probably need to defrost more often, both of which can shorten the life of your unit.

Keep the area clear – If your refrigeration air flow is blocked, it can put a strain on the unit, making it run inefficiently and possibly increasing power consumption.

Clean inside and out – Using bleach and caustic substances and materials can damage your units. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning.

Make time monthly…

Check the seals – If the hinges, latches or seals on your unit’s doors are not well maintained, they may leak cold air, making them less efficient and more costly to run. A simple test for your door is to close a piece of paper halfway into the door. If you can easily pull it out, the door may not be sealing properly.

Inspect the coils – Dirty condensing and evaporator coils mean the flow of heat through them is obstructed, causing inefficiencies. It’s a good idea to have these cleaned by a professional, using specialised cleaner, regularly.

Clean the fans – Grease and grime on the fan blades will cause them to slow down the motor. So, these should be cleaned regularly, and it’s a good idea to call in the professionals for this job.

At least once a year…

Maintenance service – An annual or, better still six-monthly, service and maintenance check by a refrigeration professional, including a detailed inspection, cleaning and tuning of your units is a good idea. This should mean that your units will be running smoothly, safely and efficiently.

Keeping your refrigeration units well maintained will help you to limit the risk of breakdown, reducing food waste and the chances of bacteria settling on your ingredients, and help you save money, too.

Sometimes, though, even the most well-maintained units can fail. Should this happen,

Your restaurant insurance may have it covered. Check with your broker today to make sure your contents insurance includes frozen food, that you’re covered for business interruption, and that you’ve got public and products liability insurance in place, too.

For information about insurance for your restaurant or hospitality business call our Hospitality Division on 01473 343330 or email hospitality@ryans.co.uk