Refrigeration is an essential part of many businesses, especially restaurants and supermarkets, who rely on fridges and freezers to keep their stock chilled. Not having access to refrigeration can lead to a loss of profits or a loss of resources available to you. This is why it is important to make sure your refrigeration appliances are kept in pristine condition and replaced if needed.
However most of the time it isn’t as simple as a fridge breaking and you needing to replace it, but small signs that the performance is not where it needs to be for the effective running of your business.
Here are 5 signs you should contact your refrigeration company for the supply and installation of a new fridge.
1. Excessive Fridge Maintenance
If you are constantly running commercial refrigeration units, the chances are you will eventually run into some maintenance issues. This could be a part not performing as expected or a broken element that needs replacing. While these are natural repairs you will go through, you need to be wary of the maintenance on your fridge becoming excessive.
You could soon find yourself paying more in maintenance bills than the cost of buying a new fridge outright. If you’re seeing the gaps between maintenance becoming shorter and shorter, it may be time to consider installing a new refrigerator. You should also replace your fridge if you find the maintenance you are doing is becoming more large-scale. Replacing a part every now and then is normal, but whole fridge maintenance including substituting many parts is a sign that your fridge needs replacing.
A general rule of thumb is that every time a machine is repaired, it loses some of its efficiency. So if your machine is requiring constant repair, it’s probably getting worse every time.
2. Food Spoiling Quickly
The purpose of a fridge or freezer is to slow down the spoiling of food or stop it outright via freezing. Without this, you would not be able to keep some types of food for an extended period of time. For example, raw chicken will begin to spoil if kept out for about two hours, while in the fridge this can take a couple of days to do so.
The best way to see if food is spoiling quicker than usual is to keep a close eye on the best before and expiration dates on products. If your fridge is working properly, it should be fine to use up until this date. But if you notice that food is starting to go off before these dates, this could be a sign that there is a problem with your fridge and needs replacing.
One of the more obvious ways to check if food is spoiled is the smell. You’ll probably notice a bad smell emanating from your fridge before even opening it, as the smell of gone off food is quite intense. If you have a sensitive stomach, it’s probably best you don’t breathe in too close to the spoiled food, but you might need to do so to pinpoint exactly what has gone off.
3. Too Hot Or Cold
You should be monitoring the temperature inside your fridge to ensure it is working at its best. As is the case with Goldilocks, you want it not too hot and not too cold. A healthy refrigerator should have a temperature of between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius. This is enough to keep your food chilled without freezing it completely.
If your refrigerator is above this temperature and won’t come down, this could be a sign of a serious problem with your fridge. It’s usually caused by a flaw in the seal, such as a worn-out hinge, a fault door gasket or damaged panel joints. A non-complete seal will lead to cold air escaping from the fridge. This will in turn mean the fridge has to work harder to try and keep the food cool, which could cause problems with other parts of your fridge overheating and potentially breaking or your energy bill rising. Food that is too warm will cause it to spoil very quickly, losing you money from loss of resources.
You also don’t want to have your fridge too cold. An easy way to see if your fridge is too cold is to see if there is a buildup of frost inside. You want your fridge cold, but not this cold. Just like when it’s too warm, this can be caused by a tear in the seal or when the door is not properly caused. Another possible cause is the defrost function not working or a problem with the air vents. You don’t want your food frozen as it becomes inconvenient to defrost, and will sometimes be inedible once defrosted.
A great way to measure the temperature of your fridge is to install a thermometer inside. This can track the temperature and allow you to see if your fridge is too hot or cold. If your fridge is too hot, you’ll also probably notice the outside of the unit is hot to the touch. This is a clear sign there is a problem that needs to be dealt with.
4. Energy Bills
A big sign that your fridge or freezer needs to be replaced is a high energy bill. If your fridge is running at its best, your bill should reflect this, but if you see it slowly starting to creep up, there may be issues you need to look into. A high energy bill is likely caused by a fault in your fridge, causing other parts to work overtime to compensate for this. But by doing this, the fridge will draw more power to try and compensate, causing your energy bill to be a lot higher.
You can keep an eye on this by examining and comparing your energy bills every month to see if there is any change. A small change in your energy bill is probably nothing to worry about, but you should look into the issue if you’re starting to see a significant change. While it can be hard to pin down what appliance is causing the increased energy bill, you could install a smart metre to your fridge so you can accurately measure how much energy it is using and see if it is the issue.
5. Strange Sounds
When it’s running at its best, a fridge should be pretty silent. Larger units may make a faint humming noise, but this is still normal. If your fridge or freezer is making strange sounds, this could be a sign that you need to replace it. You could be hearing rattling, ticking or scraping sounds. One of the more common sounds will be from the motor. If it is loud and constantly running, you probably have an issue with your fridge that is causing it to work overtime to keep the food inside at the optimum temperature.
Sounds coming from the back of the unit could mean an issue with the compressor, condenser fan or defrost timer, while sounds from the inside could mean an issue with the evaporator fan. Sounds coming from below the fridge could be the drain pan rattling, which can be easily fixed. Some of these sounds can be resolved with a simple clean and tightening, but others could be a sign of more serious problems in your system that either require professional help or for the unit to be replaced.
If even after repair the sounds continue, this is a sign of a serious issue and that the fridge probably needs replacing instead of just maintenance.
Fridge Maintenance & Supply From The Experts
If you’re having problems with your commercial or industrial refrigeration, get in touch today with Ian Hobbs Technical Services Ltd. We offer a complete service of refrigeration solutions that are bespoke to the requirements of your business. This includes site surveys, design, installation, service and maintenance.
Not sure if your refrigerator will be covered by us? We can assist with a comprehensive range of solutions, including:
- Cold rooms
- Cold store
- Display cabinets
- Refrigerated catering equipment
- Ice machines
- Display refrigeration
- Blast chillers
- Cellar cooling
- Chilled water systems
- Medical and environmental systems
- Preventative maintenance
- Refrigerated trailer hire
If you need refrigerator maintenance or supply, get in touch today by calling 01761 414 356 to talk through your business requirements with a member of our team. We don’t just offer refrigeration services, so visit our website now to find out more about our electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation solutions.