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Make Your Refrigerator Work Better and Last Longer [Video]

Performing regular preventative maintenance on your refrigerator can increase the efficiency of the unit, as well as save you expensive repairs down the line. Chris Tavano walks you through three easy parts to check to make sure that your refrigerator is in good working order.

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Transcript

Hi, I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. In today’s episode, I’m going to help you troubleshoot a couple of common issues with refrigeration units.

Two common issues we see with refrigeration units is they’re not getting up to temperature correctly, or down to temperature, cooling in an effective manner. Or the compressor’s just constantly running and burning out. So one issue could very well be that you have an ice buildup on your coils.

As well, you notice that these grates are very thin aluminum vents. A lot of times, what can happen is since these are so fragile and aluminum, they can just fold in right on their selves, and what can very well happen is this can easily get kicked, a pan can fall into this, and at the same time, since they are so fragile and easy to bend, that they’ll just bend closed shut on themselves, and there you will not get any airflow, restricting your compressor to put your coolant at the right temperature range for your refrigeration unit.

So those are two big things that you can do preventively here in the compressor area, so that way your machine lasts a little bit longer. And last but not least, always check your door gaskets. A lot of times, these can start to deteriorate, break down, come off from the glue on the actual aluminum itself. A lot of times, this is where you’re going to get air flow leakage, and your compressor’s going to be constantly running to keep the machine at its refrigerant temperature.

At the same time, the compressor’s going to be working overload, because there’s a constant leak, and the compressor’s going to be running much longer than what it needs to be. So always be sure your gaskets are in good shape, and you replace them accordingly. If you need some tips on how to replace them, go ahead and check out our other video about replacing refrigerant gaskets.

I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply. That’s how you perform some very easy preventative maintenance on your refrigeration units. Until next time!

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Commercial Reach In Refrigerators: Know What To Buy

Commercial Reach In Refrigerator Buying GuideCommercial Reach In Refrigerators: Know What To Buy

Commercial reach in refrigerators are generally used in restaurants for short term food and ingredient storage, as opposed to large walk-ins that store bulk items long term. The commercial reach in refrigerators available through eTundra.com are built for heavy duty use and have a more powerful compressor than residential refrigerators.

More horsepower means a refrigerator’s storage space cools quickly and stays cold despite constant door opening.  This is vital for food safety, and NFS regulations require commercial kitchens to store food products at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bottom vs. Top Mounted Compressors

The compressor is the engine of a commercial reach in refrigerator.  Keeping this engine working effectively and efficiently requires a combination of maintenance and environment.  Some compressors work better in certain environments than others, and purchasing the right unit for the job and location you have in mind is an important decision.

Commercial reach-in refrigerators are made with either a top or bottom mounted compressor.  Top mounted and bottom mounted compressors have advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to make your purchasing decision based on where and how you plan to use the refrigerator.

Bottom mounted reach ins:

  • Are more efficient in hot environments because the compressor is on the floor, where it is cooler
  • Feature an ergonomic storage space with more accessible shelving than top mounted units
  • Should not be used where lots of flour (like a bakery) or dust is present as the compressor will clog easily

Top mounted reach ins:

  • Have better compressor airflow than a bottom mounted unit, making them more efficient.  However, this only applies in a cooler environment
  • Perform better in dusty environments or where a lot of flour is present (like a bakery)

Size and Insulation

Commercial reach in refrigerators come in three configurations: one door, two door, and three door.  Doors can also be halved for more compartmentalized storage.  When considering what size reach in refrigerator is right for your commercial kitchen, keep in mind that the larger the unit, the more energy it will consume.

Energy Star has begun rating commercial reach in refrigerators.  Use the Energy Star guide to identify units that are the most energy efficient.

Of course, energy usage must be weighed against the amount of storage space you need.  Probably the most efficient way to organize your refrigerated storage space is in gradually smaller units the closer you get to the hottest part of the kitchen: the production line.

Start with a walk in for bulk storage, then a two or three door reach in refrigerator stocked with daily or weekly supplies, and finish with a one door reach in refrigerator nearest the line for quick and easy access by kitchen staff.

All commercial reach in refrigerators have thick insulation to maximize efficiency and cool air holding power.  Stainless steel interiors are more expensive than aluminum or galvanized ones, but are stain and rust resistant, can withstand heavy use, and are much easier to clean and sanitize.

Commercial Reach In Refrigerator Maintenance

Most commercial reach in refrigerators are designed for heavy duty use and should perform at a high level for many years.  However, a few very simple preventive maintenance tasks will help ensure that your reach in refrigerator is working effectively and efficiently.

Keep the compressor and coils clean.  The coils are usually black tubes that are packed together on the outside of the refrigerator on the back side.  Wipe dust and dirt off coils and the compressor regularly to maximize life cycle and efficiency.

Make sure the compressor fan has good airflow.  A partially blocked or very dirty compressor fan must work harder to cool the refrigerant in your reach in, shortening it’s life

Replace worn door gaskets.  All commercial reach ins have thick self-sealing gaskets on their doors to make sure cold air can’t escape from the unit.  Over time, these gaskets wear out and lose their effectiveness.  A good indication your door gaskets need replacing is the constant presence of frost on shelves and food products.

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