Your restaurant's walk-in cooler is designed to stay at temperatures between 32 and 55 degrees to keep food at a safe temperature. To operate, your walk-in cooler has to use a significant amount of energy. Even though some energy is necessary, you could be wasting energy with your walk-in cooler. Identifying possible sources of energy waste can help you improve how you use your walk-in cooler.
1. Your Cooler Isn't the Right Size
Choosing the right size for your walk-in cooler is very important. The cooler should be large enough that you can store enough food to operate your restaurant. However, if it's too large, then it will use more energy than what is needed. Take time to carefully consider the walk-in cooler size that will be most efficient and effective for your restaurant's needs.
2. The Door Gaskets Are Worn Out
Door gaskets that don't seal properly will allow cool air to leak out. This will make it harder for you to keep food at proper temperatures, leading to potential food safety issues. Additionally, if the gaskets don't seal like they are supposed to, then you will waste a lot of energy. Check door gaskets regularly to make sure that they aren't broken and that they create a tight seal.
3. The Door Seals Need to Be Replaced
The door seals on your commercial refrigeration unit help hold cold air in. Over time, these rubber seals can become worn out. Once they begin to split, stretch, or otherwise show signs of wear, replace them to maintain an airtight seal in your walk-in cooler.
4. Your Cooler Isn't Organized Properly
The way you organize your walk-in cooler has an impact on food safety, energy efficiency, and productivity in your restaurant. Distribute items evenly among the shelves of your walk-in cooler.
By distributing items throughout your cooler without overpacking certain shelves, you can help air flow more evenly throughout your cooler. Then, your cooler does not have to work as hard to stay cool, so energy use is reduced.
Also, make sure that you don't place food or other items in front of the fans inside of your walk-in cooler. Doing so will block the air from traveling through the cooler. This could lead to the food that is in front of the fans being too cold, and other food in the cooler might not get cool enough.
Plus, the fans might run more than usual to try to cool the entire walk-in cooler, which uses up more energy and can even cause fans to burn out more quickly.
5. You Leave the Doors Open
In many restaurants, employees commonly leave the walk-in cooler doors open. After all, if employees are in and out of the cooler all day anyway, it might not seem like a big deal to leave the door open for convenience. However, keeping the door of the walk-in cooler closed when not in use is important.
Another option to help prevent energy loss is to install a strip door curtain. These curtains also make entering and exiting the walk-in cooler easy.
6. You Don't Clean the Coils Often
The coils on your walk-in cooler have to be cleaned a couple of times a year. This cleaning helps with getting rid of dust and debris that can keep your walk-in cooler from working efficiently.
Walk-in coolers can waste a lot of energy. You can prevent your walk-in cooler from wasting energy by recognizing potential problems and making changes. Contact our team at A M Refrigeration Service if you need help with buying, installing, and using your walk-in cooler.