Cool rooms are essential to most businesses in the food industry. Whether you run a restaurant or a supermarket, you need a reliable cooling system to store drinks, meats and other frozen foods. If a cool room malfunctions, it could lead to expensive repairs, spoiled products and a lot of wastage. If you neglect this issue, you could also be breaching Australia and New Zealand food safety standards.
Therefore, refrigeration/air conditioning maintenance is vital to businesses that handle frozen foods. It’s important to know when the cool room is not working properly so that you can take action as early as possible. Being vigilant and regularly looking for faults in your refrigeration system will allow you to sort out any issues before it gets any worse.
To help you out, we’ve listed five of the most common signs that your cool room needs repair.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, we recommend hiring specialists that offer refrigeration repair services. If your cool room needs to be out of order for a while, you might also want to consider fridge rental services so that you can keep your business going.
Your cool room needs to maintain low temperatures in order to preserve food products for an extended period of time. If you’re noticing condensation on the rubber seals or the doors, it’s a sign that the temperature in the cool room is not consistent.
There are a number of things that can cause condensation. First, your seals might be malfunctioning. If the seals aren’t doing their job, the warmer air from the outside is going to find its way into the cool room. Once it makes contact with a cool surface, condensation will occur.
Condensation could also occur due to blocked vents. Proper ventilation allows the refrigerated air to circulate and helps the cool room maintain a low temperature. If the vents are blocked, it will disrupt the cooling cycle, trapping warmer air in the cool room and causing moisture to develop.
- Frost building up
Frost is often a sign of damaged seals or loose doors. Ice tends to build up when too much warm air makes its way into your cool room and makes contact with the evaporator coil. Since the coil holds cold refrigerant, the hot air will condense and create moisture. This moisture then turns into ice.
Additionally, ice build-up can also occur if you place hot foods into your cool room or if the humidity levels in your venue are too high.
If you notice this sign, you should contact your local refrigeration specialist for advice. Because this particular problem can come about in a variety of ways, it’s important that it’s diagnosed properly. Conducting inaccurate repairs to your cool room could make the problem even worse.
- Increased energy bills
If you haven’t made changes to your cooling system but you notice a noticeable increase in your energy bills, it could be a sign that your cool room needs repair.
A cool room with malfunctioning rubber seals is going to let a significant amount of cool air escape. As a result of this, your evaporators, condensers and cooling fans will have to use more energy to achieve the desired temperature. This is likely the reason you’re seeing an increase in energy consumption and costs.
Unfortunately, high energy bills aren’t the only thing that you have to worry about. An overworked cool room is also more vulnerable to breakdowns and will likely have a shorter lifespan. This means you’ll have to constantly pay for repairs in order to run it properly. Once the whole system stops working, you’ll have to shell out even more cash to replace it.
- Strange noises
It’s normal to hear a subtle humming noise coming from your cool room. However, if you start hearing a buzzing or a chugging noise, it could be a sign of a serious motor problem.
Most cool rooms have air cooler condensers that use waterproof motors and fans. When a condenser is working properly, the fan should be able to spin without obstructions.
Over time, however, these fans will start to get dirty and won’t be able to spin as freely. This often results in the motor and the fan making a noticeable buzzing noise. A dirty fan won’t be able to provide the same level of cooling as a clean fan. As a result, you might also experience condensation and an increase in energy bills.
As such, it’s important that the fans are cleaned and the motors are maintained regularly.
- Unpleasant smells
If you smell a strong chemical odor coming from your cool room, it may be due to a leak in the refrigerant lines. This is often accompanied by some of the previous points that we’ve discussed such as ice formations and unusual noises. Also, a refrigerant leak means there’s less refrigerant being used to cool the air. Because of this, you might notice that your cool room is producing air that’s warmer than usual.
If people are complaining about a strong odor in the cool room, seek the help of a refrigeration specialist as soon as possible.
These are just a few examples of what to look out for in your cool room. If you noticed any of these signs, we recommend talking to a professional. Some of these signs might seem harmless at first. However, if you neglect them, they could develop into serious problems in the future.