Are you running a business in the food industry? Do you have a hard time keeping your ingredients fresh and healthy? Have your sales tumbled recently because of unsatisfied customers?
If you answer “yes” to all the above questions, it’s time to upgrade your cooling systems or repair them. Commercial refrigeration is the essential element of every food supplier and restaurant. Having a dying freezer in the business can be a real pain. It will directly affect the freshness of your ingredients, make it less healthy, and, in some worse cases, decrease your sales.
But how do you know if your freezer needs immediate care or which is the best freezer for your business? Below we provide you with common signs to detect whether your freezer is dying and a guideline for choosing a new freezer.
Common signs your refrigerators is dying
1. Food is going bad too quickly
Foods have an expiration date, and they are supposed to be usable until the printed expiration date. But, if you keep noticing that the food is rotten and smells bad before its expiration date, the freezer probably does not perform well. It’s unable to maintain enough cold air to keep its interior temperature. As the food expired quickly, there are several possible problems: your freeze is too old, or there’s a specific problem with the motor or the gasket.
2. The coils are burning themselves
Unlike the interior of the freezer, its exterior usually emits some heat. It is because freezers use a lot of power to keep the interior cold. However, suppose you found the freezer coils (usually at the back of the freezer) are constantly excessively hot or smell burnt. In that case, the freezer isn’t run efficiently and may worsen without intervention. Unless you are an electrician or professional, it is hard to tell whether these coils are overheated or normal. We suggest you get an electrician who can help you inspect the freezer to prevent it from getting any worse.
3. The freezer is at the end of its lifespan
Have you ever wondered how long a freezer will last?
Well, most commercial freezers are designed to last from 12 to 20 years. If you’re having any problems on this list and other issues, it might be because your freezer is too old. Old freezers started to perform worse, keeping its interior cold and probably damaging your power bills. You can save more money in the long run by simply replacing it. Otherwise, you could sink money into repairs for a fridge that’s already on its way out.
Repair or replace?
It is a tough decision to make whether you want to fix the freezer or upgrade it with a new model. For some, replacing their old freezer means they have to invest more money; therefore, they decide to fix the problems. Fixing some minor issues can be a good solution considering you don’t want to invest in a brand new one. However, an old freezer might have a dozen problems to fix and replacing it might be a better choice.
1. Cost of repairs vs cost of a new fridge
First, you should ask professionals for two or more quotes regarding the possible repairs on your freezer. These costs usually don’t cover labour costs; therefore, you should set a buffer cost of $40 to $70. Once you have the average price of fixing the freezer, you should start researching current refrigerator trends and options to find a freezer that matches your business needs. If the cost of repairs is more than 50% of the price of a new one, consider replacing your old freezer.
2. The age of the fridge
As mentioned above, a commercial freezer can last between 12 to 20 years under good maintenance. If your current freezer is under 12 years old, then it is worth repairing; otherwise, you should consider replacing it as soon as possible. Many new models have been invented with cool features like power-saving, temperature control panels, and solar power. Now, a freezer similar to your old one might cost half of its old price. So, it is better to replace it than fix it.
3. Check the fridge’s warranty
Commercial freezers have a more extended warranty than residential refrigerators, of up to 2 years. Unless you bought the freezer a long time ago, you should check with your manufacturer or retailer about the freezer warranty. If it is under contract, you can either replace a new one or have a professional repair it without any fees.
How to choose the best freezer for your business?
Sure, forking over a large sum of money for a new freezer might seem a bit painful. But since more recent models are designed to be more energy-efficient, you can think of the new purchase as an investment in a more cost-effective solution overall. Bear with us if you feel you’re due for a replacement refrigerator.
The extensive range of commercial reach-in freezers on the market can make choosing one seem complicated. Still, that same variety also means you can choose one that exactly meets your needs while excluding any extraneous features.
1. Know your size and capacity
Before you go online and start searching for some fantastic feature freezers, you should first consider the available space of your business and the storage space of a unit. Commercial freezers are measured broadly in sections and more specifically in cubic feet of storage. However, cubic footage is frequently overshadowed by shelf or pan capacity. A vast interior with positioned shelving can waste space and more significant power expenses.
On the other hand, you must provide enough space for air to flow and maintain proper temperatures. So, if you’re undecided about which size to buy, go big. Consider how much physical room you have, including installation space and any doorways or corridors the freezer needs to pass through to get there.
- Rather than total cubic feet, consider shelf space or pan capacity.
- Maintain sufficient airflow to allow the compressor to operate.
- Choose a larger freezer; an overstuffed freezer will not survive long.
2. Top-mounted compressor or bottom-mounted
A top-mounted compressor will be more expensive than a bottom-mounted one. As the compressor is on the top of the freezer, it is less likely to become clogged with grease and require maintenance. However, top-mounted compressors must work harder and consume more power because the air they suck in will be warmer since heat rises.
On the other hand, a bottom-mounted compressor may become clogged in kitchens that use a lot of dry materials, such as bakeries, when flour and other components fall near the floor and are drawn in by the compressor. Bottom-mounted compressors have significantly less storage capacity, but the storage is easier to access because the lowest shelf is higher.
- Warmer air is drawn in by top-mounted compressors than by bottom-mounted compressors.
- Bottom-mounted compressors collect more dust, flour, and debris and must be cleaned more frequently.
- The position of the compressor will affect how low the lowest shelf rests.
3. How many doors does your freezer need?
Commercial freezers are available with a variety of door configurations. Because they typically become longer with each additional section, some of your options are limited by the amount of space available to you. The majority of them have swing doors, full-length doors that swing open. Half doors also swing open, allowing you to open the upper and lower halves separately and save energy by reducing cool-air loss when the doors are open.
Sliding doors may be a better option if you are concerned about the doors swinging open and blocking traffic. These doors are ideal for narrow aisles but can only be opened on one side at a time. These doors are available in glass constructions, which provide visibility and reduce the time the doors are open by allowing users to locate what they need before opening the unit.
- There are numerous models available, some with up to three doors.
- The number of doors corresponds to the size of the freezer.
- If you need to keep the walkway clear, choose sliding doors.
4. Some special features
The unique features available on commercial reach-in freezers can make a big difference in your kitchen’s workflow. Pass-through freezers, for example, are ideal for transporting frozen or prepared foods from one area of the kitchen to another, such as from the prep area to the cook line.
Suppose you plan to store entire racks of frozen food; roll-in boxes are the best choice. They have a ramp that allows you to roll the whole frame in and out as needed, which is suitable for hotels or restaurants that need to prepare many desserts ahead of time. Removable gaskets are available on some reach-in freezers, making cleaning much more accessible. Some models come with digital thermostats, making it easier to read and adjust the temperature while also providing more accurate readings.
- Pass-through freezers are ideal for kitchens with multiple sections.
- Look for some features that make cleaning and maintenance easier
- Temperature accuracy and control are improved with digital thermostats.
5. Power consumption
Double-check their energy consumption once you’ve narrowed down your options to the best commercial freezer that matches your needs. Ensure the reach-in freezer won’t overload the circuit it’ll be plugged into, and determine whether you’ll need a 115-volt or 208-volt model. Consider ENERGY STAR certified freezers, as their energy efficiency can save you a lot of money over a year. Also, make sure you understand the freezer’s clearance requirements and that you have enough space to meet them.
- Ascertain that your kitchen is capable of supporting a new, high-powered piece of equipment.
- Compare the voltage to the power system you have.
- When possible, purchase ENERGY STAR-certified equipment and check for government rebates.
- Double-check that the freezer will fit in your planned space, with enough room for air circulation.
While most companies offer a range of freezer models to choose from, McClelland offers your business custom design which 100% suit your business space and requirements. We also guarantee a preventative maintenance programme that ensures your freezer runs efficiently and lasts longer.
Whether we’re giving advice like this or repairing your freezer, McClelland is glad to help keep your business growing and strive with efficiency and safety. The next time you need your freezer repair or maintenance services, let the McClelland team know or conveniently schedule service online.