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Winter Forecast: Gas and Electric Bills Will Soar. What can you do?

According to the New York Times, Utility companies warn that customers can expect increases of as high as 32 percent during the cold weather. This can not be good news for anyone, especially anyone with commercial refrigeration units.

According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, of all the equipment using electricity in your kitchen, refrigeration uses the most by far – at a national average of 44%.

Consider what 44% of your electric bill looks like. If those bills don’t usually land on your desk, you can assume, for the average restaurant (roughly 3,500 square feet), 38kWh of electricity per square foot per year, and average cost of $0.10/kWh, that would be about $5,800 per year to operate refrigeration equipment.

So what can you do? Maintenance and Upgrades!

Save $1,000 Every Year With Maintenance

Regular, scheduled maintenance can allow your refrigeration unit to run more efficiently and, in some cases, may help prolong the life of the equipment. Maintaining clean condenser and evaporator coils and allowing proper air flow pays off—to the tune of almost a thousand dollars per year for an average-sized food service facility. 

As part of a study, a sample of 10 units were selected to measure the impact of basic condenser-coil cleaning. This would be a chance to note the typical conditions of refrigeration in the field—some units had accumulated some typical dust and dirt buildup, which acts as an insulator and inhibits the condenser coil’s ability to shed heat, making the compressor work longer and harder, while other coils were even more heavily coated with dust and dirt mixed with airborne grease particles.

Basic cleaning reduced energy consumption by 2% (for the coils that were fairly clean to start with) to 49% for one particularly grimy example. For all 10 units, the average was 17% reduced energy consumption.

Tips from Refrigeration Maintenance and Repair Professionals

Other regular maintenance can reduce energy consumption and premature wear as well, though the savings might be more difficult to quantify. Here is a list from Refrigerated Specialist Inc. – a company that provides performance maintenance solutions for commercial refrigeration equipment in hospitality and food service industries throughout north and east Texas.

  1. Ice makers/bins/dispensers: Clean/sanitize at six-month intervals including new water filters. In cases of more aggressive mold or scale accumulations (including yeast, bakery and fried items), poor water quality or high running hours activity, they may need more frequent cleaning/sanitizing. Performing a production test to reconcile against published output capacities is good to confirm the unit is not wasting running hours, energy, and water. Electrical/mechanical testing is also recommended.
  2. Reach ins/under-counters/cold wells: Clean condenser and evaporator coils; drain blow out every six months along with tightening/adjusting of hardware. Calibrate thermostats and timers. Again, harder use or hotter/greasier kitchens may require more frequent cleaning cycles.
  3. Walk-ins: Similar six-month intervals on both evaporators & condensers. Electrical and mechanical testing, hardware adjustments and general tune ups are also recommended.
  4. Frozen beverage (dairy, non-diary, alcohol, or wine based) systems: These are high touch items, with lots of contact with operators and sometimes customers. Follow manufacturers’ directions on cleaning/sanitizing of vats, barrels, and faceplates. Usually this should be done daily. If you make it weekly, you might find no one has done it in months. Keep spare tune up kits on hand (O-rings, seals) and NEVER run out of petrol-gel lubricant, using it correctly which generally means sparingly.
  5. Gaskets: These are a housekeeping item requiring regular cleaning by the operator. Food debris and beverage spills will cause mold growth, resulting in sticking gaskets, in tears and premature failure. Harsh chemicals (for example, bleach when improperly diluted) will clean but will also shorten gasket life. Lastly, keep in mind gaskets need to be relatively soft and pliable, which means they don’t take well to harsh handling. Proper handling during cleaning goes a long way toward keeping a gasket for its full life cycle.

Along with proper refrigeration equipment maintenance, replacing or adding components can allow for optimal efficiency operation of your existing equipment.

At Refrigeration Technologies’, we save our clients’ money by manufacturing and selling smart innovation, retrofit refrigeration energy-efficient technology. Our products pay for themselves within 4 years installed in most cases and the resulting savings can cut your energy bill by up to 30% or more! As utility rates continue to climb, there has never been a better time to invest in cutting-edge technology and see massive savings as a result.

Our technology controls evaporator fans, room temperature, compressor/liquid line solenoid, and defrost heaters while providing multiple alarms when systems deviate from normal use. This provides energy savings that are verified by third party administrators & engineers.

ArtikControl™ maximizes energy efficiency with less compressor run times resulting from shorter defrost cycles. Also a reduction in excessive temperature that occur with mechanical defrost units and the use of latent Energy in the box reducing compressor run times.

With these features and benefits you can be sure your commercial refrigeration is as energy efficient as possible, saving you money on the ever increasing energy bills.

ArtikControl™ consistently monitors your walk-in coolers/freezers and sends out alarms via text and email alerts when problems arise so that any failure or temperature problems are discovered and addressed as quickly as possible.

Refrigeration Technologies will show you how to reduce food spoilage, monitor your temperatures and save energy. These are just a few of the benefits a refrigeration owner or operator will experience with the installation of ArtikControl™ WIC &WIF Technologies

For more Information about some of the most common problems that occur inside walk-in freezers and how our Technologies can give you Peace of Mind, save energy and more importantly put money in your refrigeration operations, please contact us at 888-286-3091 or email me at

Do you have a Talking Freezer?

Contact Refrigeration Technologies’ today to schedule a No Obligation Energy Audit(888) 286-3091

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