Refrigeration: Chilled Out Energy Savings for Your Commercial Refrigerator and Freezer
Work smarter, not harder, and save money with these energy-smart solutions.
If you need to cool down large quantities of hot food quickly, you need a blast chiller. Your refrigerator was not designed for this job and it will have to work extra hard to bring the temperature back up to the proper degree.
Place your refrigeration unit in an area where it will not get too hot. Putting it next to cooking equipment will only make it work harder.
Propping open the door to the refrigerator or freezer allows cold air to escape. This not only jeopardizes the integrity of foods within the units, but also costs a bundle to pay for that wasted energy.
Many models have an externally-mounted digital thermometer for easy monitoring. If it is set too low, the condenser unit will run longer than it should, wasting energy and making your machine work too hard.
To keep your equipment performing efficiently and with the least amount of energy, establish a regular maintenance plan with these maintain and save tips.
Clean evaporator coils. Your refrigerator or freezer’s condenser is a virtual magnet for dust and grime, blocking air flow to the coils and bogging down efficiency. Thoroughly inspect and clean evaporator fins and coils in order to avoid service calls and keep your utility bills low.
You need an airtight seal to keep your refrigeration unit functioning at the proper temperature. Worn gaskets will allow warm air to creep into your machine and diminish its efficiency. Regularly inspect and replace worn gaskets.
All machines need air circulation in order to operate efficiently. Whether you have a top or bottom condensing unit, make sure the vents are free and clear of debris.
Be sure to replace refrigerator condensers or motors should they fail. High-efficiency motors are the ones for the job. Since these motors operate long hours, high efficiency means big savings.
Saving energy dollars begins with choosing the right equipment. Learn which energy-smart features can save you the most money and help you to conserve electricity or gas with these shop smart & save energy dollars tips.
Commercial refrigerators and freezers that have earned the ENERGY STAR can lead to an energy savings of about 35%. On top of that, ENERGY STAR qualified products can save about $150 a year.
Automated features can give you an edge in the kitchen. You can program shorter defrost cycles as well as other important functions that will increase your energy efficiency. Advanced monitoring systems are especially useful and can sound an alert for the following:
- Open-door alarm
- High and low temperatures. If you power goes out, some models will even record how long your food has been in the Danger Zone.
- High and low voltage
- Filter cleaning needed
- Temperature patterns and history
Customize your refrigerator and freezer’s interior to fit your needs. With an inefficient configuration, you can waste energy by spending too much time with the door open, as you search for product.
Buy an oversized refrigerator only if you need one. Otherwise, it is a waste of energy.
A tight seal on your doors is the first line of defense against energy waste. Magnetic gaskets help close the door and keep it closed, and these are generally very simple to retrofit.
Many types of energy-efficient commercial kitchen equipment have rebates available from utility companies. It pays to check with your local utility provider since rebates can cut a significant portion off your initial cost.
More from Going Green...
- Why Go Green in the Commercial Kitchen?
- Going Green in Your Commercial Kitchen: First Steps
- Investing in Green Equipment for Your Commercial Kitchen
- Greenwashing: Not All Things Green are Gold
- Training Your Commercial Kitchen Staff to Go Green
- Green Glossary
- Seals and Certifications in the Commercial Kitchen
- Top 10 Energy-Saving Tips for the Commercial Kitchen
- Energy Assessments for the Commercial Kitchen
- Energy-Efficient Hoods in the Commercial Kitchen
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