There are a bunch of easy maintenance tips and cleaning procedures you may conduct by yourself in order to greatly extend the life and efficiency of your cabinet. Learn here what you need to do to keep your cabinet running efficiently now and for years to come. We will be covering:
It is essential to ensure that the room in which the cabinet is to be installed has adequate ventilation. Refrigerators generate considerable amount of heat and if operated in a small unventilated room, they could cause the condensing unit to run longer and harder to maintain cabinet temperature. Therefore having a detrimental effect on components and increased energy consumption.
In addition to ventilation in the room, please ensure that cabinets with top mounted systems have at least 500 millimetres clearance between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling, this will also allow engineer access for service and maintenance as well as discharge of waste heat. For all cabinets please ensure a minimum clearance of 50 millimetres is provided around the unit to ensure efficient and effective performance.
Do not block vents by stacking boxes on top or in front of the unit as this will result in recirculation of heated air generated by the condenser and would adversely affect performance.
Upon arrival and after moving into position, please ensure the cabinet is left for at least one hour before connecting to power and turning on and ensure all packaging material has been removed. Read the instruction manual and make yourself familiar with the features and operating instructions of your cabinet.
The cabinet should stand levelled to ensure correct operation of self-closing doors and proper drainage of condensate from the evaporator. It is also important to keep refrigerators away from direct sun light, automatic doors (especially in warm climate), heating systems and any heat sources.
Before loading, allow cabinet to reach normal operating temperature. Then ensure the load is equally distributed throughout and ensure air can circulate around and trough stored product. The thermometer should be checked daily to ensure that correct temperature is being maintained.
Products being stored in the cabinet should be ideally refrigerated, ie a back of cold room or refrigerated delivery. Outside of this only ambient products should be placed in the fridge. At no time should hot or warm product be placed inside the unit as this could cause icing of the evaporator.
On models with locking facility, it is recommended that the key be removed from lock during normal work in use. This will prevent bending or breaking off the key and any possibility of accidental locking when the door is open.
If the cabinet exterior is looked after correctly it will retain an as new finish for many years. Normal day-to-day cleaning should be carried out with a soft cloth and soapy water. For a stainless steel finish always wipe the cabinet in the same direction as the grain. Never use abrasive materials, cleaners or chemical cleaners. Occasionally the exterior surface should be polished with a good stainless steel polished to protect it.
The interior should be cleaned regularly with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Dry thoroughly afterwards and where possible remove all racking and shelving to aid the process.
Gaskets are designed to seal the cool air in and keep the warm air out, which is vital to the efficiency of your unit. To clean the gasket, wipe with warm soapy water and a soft cloth ensuring it is completely dry before closing the door.
Condenser coil and evaporator cleaning
Condenser coils in a self-contained cooler need to be cleaned regularly to ensure efficient operation of the refrigeration system. It is estimated that 80% of the owners of refrigeration units never do condenser-coil cleaning and that the remaining 20% do it too infrequently. Experts recommend frequent coil cleaning, once every three or four months at a minimum, and even more frequently in extremely dusty or dirty environments.
Clogged coils cannot effectively throw off heat. The refrigerant flowing through the unit gets too hot (resulting in high pressures) and starts damaging other components. Further, the system draws higher amperage, run times increase, and the refrigerant degrades, restricting its flow. A number of undesired things can happen as a result:
- Energy waste: the amount of energy needed to operate an appliance can increase by as much as 90% to 100% if the coils are badly clogged. Cleaning the coils of these coolers resulted in energy savings from about 20% to 50%.
- Malfunction of the unit: if the unit runs with clogged coils, the owner may face an emergency service call, which can be expensive. In extreme cases, the unit might need to be replaced. Frequent condenser-coil cleaning can dramatically reduce these emergency service events since the unit will run more efficiently as designed.
- Loss of product inventory: if the unit begins to malfunction, it may not be able to maintain the target temperature leading to compromise of the integrity of the items being refrigerated.
- Shortening of the life of the unit: malfunction of the appliance can also lead to a shortening of the useful life of the unit.
- Safety issues for hydrocarbon refrigerant units: refrigeration safety experts have counselled that R290 refrigerant units need to have their condenser coils in a clean condition along with constantly running fans in the condenser-coil area to promote good ventilation.
Most fridges rely on a drain whole and drip pans to remove condensation so it's important that these function properly. Inspect these periodically to ensure that there is no blockage.