When you are in hospitality, it is important to ensure appliances, such as your commercial refrigeration unit, is at peak performance. You may be wondering how long your commercial refrigerator will last.
Commercial refrigerators usually last for about 10-15 years. It is possible to get 20 years out of this appliance if it is cared for properly. Keeping the commercial refrigerator clean and well maintained will improve the longevity.
The following article is a more detailed explanation of how different factors affect the life of a commercial refrigerator. We will also explore how to keep your refrigeration unit working efficiently for the duration of its life.
How Long Do Commercial Refrigerators Last?
The majority of commercial refrigerators typically last 10 to 15 years according to. There are a few of factors that determine how long the refrigeration unit will last. These include:
The quality of the refrigeration unit is an important factor.
The maintenance of the refrigeration unit is a critical influence on its longevity.
How well the commercial refrigerator is made has a lot to do with how long it will last. Following proper care and maintenance guidelines may help the refrigerator last much longer.
How the Quality of the Refrigerator Affects its Lifespan
You should not cut corners to save money when it comes to a commercial refrigerator. Buying a brand that is known for its quality in materials and performance is essential and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
If you decide to buy a cheaply made commercial refrigerator you will most likely be looking at:
- Higher utility bills.
- Frequently needed repairs and replacement of parts.
- Replacement of the refrigerator in less than 10 years.
A few top brands that make long-lasting commercial refrigerators include:
Delfield refrigerators are designed to be durable and long-lasting, with energy efficient techniques embedded in them. Their efficiency keeps your food fresh without wasting any unnecessary energy so that it can last for ten years or more.
Traulsen is the most highly regarded appliance brand for the longevity of their products, refrigerators included. They tend to last longer than most other brands since they usually don’t need a lot of repairs and are energy-efficient. As long as it’s kept well maintained, Traulsen is the longest lasting refrigerator on this list.
The last brand that has a reputation for making long-lasting refrigerators is Beverage-Air. Beverage-Air makes fridges that will last for years while working at their top performance. No matter if you’ve had one for 5 years or 15 years, Beverage-Air makes reliable and high-quality fridges.
The Maintenance of the Commercial Refrigerator
The second factor that affects how long a refrigerator can last is how well maintained they are. According to Retail-Insider, “Negligence can cut the life expectancy of a commercial refrigerator in half and reduce the unit’s overall efficiency.”
Checking the Compressor and the Coils
A refrigerator’s compressor is responsible for keeping the fridge running, pushing cool air in and warm air out. If you touch the compressor and it feels hot, then it needs to be repaired. A hot compressor usually means something is wrong with the compressor’s coils responsible for keeping the fridge and motor insulated.
One of the biggest factors in the maintenance of your commercial refrigerator is making sure the evaporative coils are cleaned on a monthly basis. If they are not cleaned regularly, this causes inefficiency in the refrigeration unit and can cause the compressor to fail eventually.
According to Arista, it is recommended that you have your commercial refrigerator inspected and professionally cleaned twice a year. This, with your personal maintenance routine, will greatly improve the performance of your commercial refrigerator.
Inspect the Refrigerator for Dust Accumulation
It is extremely important to keep dust and debris from forming on
- Compressor and compressor fans
- Cooling fins
Not only will a build up of dirt on these areas cause your unit to work harder and improperly, large accumulations of dust can also be a fire hazard. This is due to the compressor becoming hot because it is working too hard, and the dust being combustible.
During routine professional servicing, a thorough cleaning with an air compressor is often used to ensure the unit is free from dust.
Cleaning the Vents
The vents on a refrigerator make sure the air circulation is good to keep the food from freezing while still preventing any bacteria from rotting it. To keep the vents clean, try not to put any food directly in front of them.
This can cause food particles to seep into the vents and block them, making the air circulation inefficient. If the vents do get dirty, then wiping them out with a Clorox wipe should do the trick.
Keep the Refrigerator Clean and Organized
organized will help with efficiency and longevity. Locating needed items quickly ensures the refrigerator will not loose excess energy due to having the door open for long periods.
Make sure vents are free of crumbs and other debris. Check for accumulation of condensation or water buildup in the drain area and bottom of the fridge. If there is water accumulation, it may be due to a clogged drain hose. Make certain these hoses are cleaned thoroughly, and water is able to flow freely through them.
Inspecting Rubber Gaskets
A sudden inefficiency in your commercial refrigerator is often due to a dirty or faulty rubber gasket. This gasket seals the doors to the body of the refrigerator when it is closed. If these are damaged or dirty the cold air can leak out.
Check the doors to see if the rubber seals are molded or torn. If they are, then you should either clean them or replace them to restore the refrigerator’s cooling ability.
Frost builds up with in the refrigeration unit. The automatic defrosting turns on and melts this back to water and the water is funneled through the unit to an exterior exit. If there is not a drain or an evaporation pan beneath the commercial refrigerator, you will end up with more than a mess.
The reason a Condensate Evaporation pan is suggested is because the water is collected in a tray. This is not just any tray that need constant emptying. The condensate tray has a heating element in it that dries the water condensation out as it drips from the refrigeration unit.
Keeping your unit free from water accumulation ensures molds and mildews will not build up in the unit. Molds and mildews not only affect fresh foods, but they also affect the functionality and performance of the refrigerator. Molds and mildew can gunk up moving parts, causing the refrigerator to work harder.
You do need to maintain the condensate evaporation tray to ensure it works:
Be sure to follow the maintenance guidelines of your condensate evaporation tray to keep it working at it’s best.
Prolonging the Life of the Condensate Evaporation Pan
The condensate evaporation pan is an integral part of extending the life of your commercial refrigeration unit. As such, it is just as important to properly care for the condensate pan to ensure it is working properly.
- Trouble Shooting
Your condensate evaporation pan needs frequent checking to ensure the water condensation is evaporating the way it should. At least once a month, the pan needs to be cleaned with a stainless-steel cleaner. This helps keep any buildup of minerals and slime from inhibiting the unit from working properly.
Do not use abrasive cleaners or those that contain ammonia or bleach on the stainless-steel condensate evaporation unit. Ammonia and bleach can break down the stainless-steel protective covering.
If you have any issues with your condensate pan, refer to your owner’s manual, or reach out to the company that makes them to help troubleshoot the issue. Have your condensate evaporation pan inspected by a professional when you have your refrigerator inspected.
Before you do any maintenance always remember to unplug the condensate pan.
How Long Your Commercial Refrigerator Will Last
The commercial refrigerator is a major expense in any business that deals with food preparation. Ensure you get the most from your investment by:
- Keeping the interior and exterior clean and free of dust and grime on a monthly basis.
- Have a service professional inspect, clean and repair your commercial refrigeration unit at least every 6 months.
- Install a condensate evaporative pan with a heating unit to ensure there is no mold or mildew build up.
How long your commercial refrigerator will last is dependent on the quality of the product you buy, and how it is cared for. A high-quality commercial refrigerator can easily last 10 years. With proper maintenance and care it may last twice as long.