Commercial refrigeration needs regular maintenance checks and cleanings to prevent costly repairs and to keep equipment running smoothly. Here’s what should be included in a maintenance checklist.
Keep It Clean, Inside and Out
Remove the contents and scrub the interior of the refrigeration system with a soft brush, warm water, and soap. This should be done on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. Stainless steel exteriors shouldn’t be cleaned with rough scrubbers or chlorine cleaners; a washcloth soaked in warm water and vinegar works best and will help preserve the material and expand the life of your equipment. In addition to surface clearnings, you should work with an HVAC company to optimize the mechanical parts of the system in order to keep it running during long periods of time.
Keep Condenser Coils Clean
Although refrigeration systems may continue to function even when the condenser coils are dirty, it will have to work harder. This could increase electric bills and cause the refrigeration to overheat and break down. The condenser coils—located on the back of the refrigerator or at the bottom near the condenser—should be kept free of grease.
To clean the coils, first, disconnect the refrigeration. Remove the dirt from the coils with a stiff bristle brush, and then use a vacuum to clear any remaining dirt or grease. According to many manufacturers, the condenser coils should be cleaned once every three months.
Check Air Filters Regularly
Too much grease and dust on an air filter can cause ventilation problems over time. Clean the filters with a shop vacuum to remove dust and clear grease buildup with a degreaser. The air filter should be replaced if the debris has caused splits.
Test Commercial Defrost System
In addition to checking the air filters and condenser coils, you should also test the defrost system periodically for proper operation. This will help eliminate the buildup of frost that can reduce the efficiency of evaporators.
Ice Machine Maintenance
The ice machine should be part of any commercial refrigerator cleaning routine. Every few weeks, the ice in the machine should be removed, and the inside should be checked for mold and mildew, cleaned with a mild detergent, and rinsed thoroughly.
Water filters should be changed every six months to maintain the quality of the ice and the speed of ice production, as well as reducing mold build up. Consult the manufacturer’s manual or a refrigerator repair specialist if mold or slime are noticed, as this may be a sign of yeas or bacteria build up. This is important to help prevent health inspection failure.