How to Avoid Refrigerated Cooler Case Failure
Knowing how to avoid refrigerated cooler case failure saves grocery and convenience store managers money, time and grief. In fact, regular cooler case maintenance saves money in multiple ways, from extending equipment life to lowering power bills to cutting down on expensive, outside contractor costs.
You also save on inventory loss. Think about all of that highly-perishable meat, dairy and produce in your cooler cases. Are you loosing valuable product to units that don't correctly regulate temperature? And what about your store's reputation. Would you feel comfortable buying food from a case that smells bad or leaks water?
Luckily, avoiding refrigerated cooler case failure isn't difficult. Follow these simple maintenance tips to keep your equipment in good working order and your perishables safe and fresh.
Cooler Cases: What are the Costs?
There are over 38,000 supermarkets in the US with a median total store size of 41,300 square feet, according to the Food Marketing Institute. EnergyStar estimates that these stores operate more than one commercial refrigeration case for every 1,000 square feet of space.
That adds up to over 1.5 million refrigerated cooler cases in operation across the country.
These units vary greatly in cost, depending on size and technology, but with prices starting at over $1500 each, they are not cheap. Imbera Food Service estimates that commercial refrigerators last about 10 years. But store owners can stretch that to 15 or even 20 years for some high-quality models with the proper maintenance regime.
Poor maintenance practices will cut that lifespan dramatically. Neglecting regular inspection, cleaning and repairs might reduce your refrigerated cooler case's life expectancy to only seven years. Plus, dirty units have to work harder, and can use an eye-popping 90% more energy to stay cool. This leads to higher power bills and less profits.
Cooler Case Cleaning: Time for a Professional?
Surprisingly, there is no official cleaning frequency protocol for this costly and vital equipment. Some professionals suggest cleaning once a week. Others say coils must be cleaned every 30 to 90 days.
In reality, grocery store managers are stretched thin, hemmed in by tight profit margins and plagued by a high employee turnover rate. The thought of training staff to take on this slow, manual task may be daunting. An employee risks injury from sharp sheet metal and coils. There's also the danger of an overzealous worker damaging cooler components by using the wrong cleaning chemicals or scrubbing delicate areas too hard.
Many store managers hire a local HVAC professional to inspect, clean and maintain their coolers. The cost of this service varies by region and size of store, but, for the conscientious grocery manager who wants to avoid refrigerated cooler case failure, it's a necessary line item.
Or is it?
Cooler Case Cleaning: The Easy, In-House Solution
There is a way to safely clean cooler cases and avoid refrigerated cooler case failure without the cost and hassle of hiring an outside contractor. User-friendly Kaivac's Cooler Case Cleaner allows staff to maintain meat, dairy and produce cooler cases quickly and easily without outside costs or risk to sensitive, expensive equipment.
Operating the Cooler Case Cleaner is simple:
- Fill Cooler Case Cleaner tank with hot water
- Remove product from case.
- Use indoor pressure washer to flush dirt from fan and coils
- Recover liquid, soils and matter with wet vacuum
- Use attachments to clean fan blades and other parts
- Drain recovery tank and rinse
- Plug unit in to recharge
Extend the life of your equipment, save money on power bills, cut down on pricy contractors and avoid refrigerated case failure with the Kaivac Cooler Case Cleaner. Click here to learn more.
Get detailed information about how Kaivac helps you clean better and faster:
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.