It's not every day that your commercial freezer needs an emergency repair, but such repairs can make themselves felt on your restaurant's bottom line. The following tips can help save you money by preventing these expensive repairs from happening on a regular basis.
Preventative Maintenance is the Key
When it comes to commercial refrigeration, an ounce of prevention is often more affordable than a pound of cure. Waiting for a major breakdown to occur before servicing your commercial freezer is not only expensive, but it can also shorten your equipment's overall lifespan and interfere with other restaurant operations.
Minor refrigeration issues, such as condensation clogs, refrigerant leaks and rubber gasket failure, can easily lead to compressor failures, rust and corrosion and other serious problems that cost time and money to repair. Many of these expensive breakdowns can be prevented through preventative maintenance performed by an experienced technician.
Having a preventative maintenance plan in place offers a broad variety of benefits:
- Having a plan in place reduces your maintenance expenses by reducing the need for emergency repairs.
- Preventative maintenance also reduces your current refrigeration equipment's overall energy consumption.
- Last but not least, preventative maintenance can help prolong the life of your commercial freezer.
Some Maintenance Items Can Be Done On Your Own
For further savings, a great number of preventative maintenance items can be performed yourself. For instance, cleaning your commercial freezer's condenser coil is usually only a matter of carefully vacuuming the coil with a wet/dry shop vacuum or blasting away dust and debris buildup with compressed air.
In addition, you can also lower your overall energy bills and prevent compressor issues by keeping an eye on your commercial freezer's rubber gaskets. Over time, these gaskets can harden, crack and warp, preventing your freezer door from having a perfect seal. This allows chilled air to escape, causing the compressor to run longer and harder to maintain ideal temperatures.
Rubber gaskets can be replaced with little to no difficulty, although the exact process normally depends on the freezer manufacturer. Other air leaks can be fixed with careful applications of silicone caulk. Rust and corrosion issues can also be prevented simply by being aware of how foods are stored within the freezer itself. For instance, acidic foods should be kept covered to prevent corrosion and avoid cross-contamination with other foods.
Being proactive when it comes to maintenance is the best way of not only reducing overall maintenance costs, but also reducing the likelihood of emergency repairs.
Consider Replacing Your Most Troublesome Equipment
There's a cost-to-benefit ratio to consider when it comes to refrigeration equipment that's always in need of impromptu repairs. Not only do you have to consider the cumulative cost of repairs over a certain period, but also the downtime involved and inconvenience of alternative storage measures. Overall, the cost and inconvenience of maintaining your commercial freezer must not outweigh the benefits involved in using it.
If you find yourself spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on frequent repairs, then it may be time to consider investing in brand-new refrigeration equipment. The initial sticker shock of the new commercial freezer may prove uncomfortable initially, but the time and money saved will make up for your initial expenditure over time.
Keep After-Hours Service Calls to a Minimum
The most expensive commercial refrigeration service call is often one that's made after business hours. Many technicians charge overtime rates that are often double the per-hour rate for regular service during business hours.
While there are plenty of scenarios where an after-hours service call is all but unavoidable, the best way to avoid paying a premium for emergency service is by reducing the likelihood of ever needing said service to begin with. This can be accomplished simply through regularly scheduled maintenance and proactive care of your refrigeration equipment.