Many businesses in the food industry use walk-in refrigerators, and a malfunction or breakdown can lead to costly losses. Identifying some of the most common warning signs that your cooler may be having an issue may allow you to call in an HVAC specialist who can make repairs before the situation escalates.
“Commercial refrigeration repairs can be costly especially in the middle of the Las Vegas summer. It’s best to have regular maintenance done to ensure your unit won’t break down,” explains Junior Petersen of 32 Degrees Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration.
Here are some warning signs.
1. Frost Buildup
When you start seeing frost buildup in your walk-in cooler, it may indicate that the temperature is fluctuating widely, causing items to melt and then refreeze. It could also indicate areas where excessive condensation is occurring or a problem with the sealing that allows warm air to enter into areas where it should be cold. You may be seeing frost buildup for many reasons, but the cause is not always apparent. To diagnose what could be causing the problem and avoid more expensive repairs later on, call in an HVAC specialist to inspect and fix the problem.
2. Unusual Odor
If you start to experience unusual or stale odors that linger in the walk-in cooler, it could indicate that some area is not effectively freezing the food, allowing it to go bad. This could suggest faulty temperature control. Another possible reason for odor could be coolant leaking from the condenser or other parts. Having your unit inspected by an HVAC technician will help determine the source of the problem.
3. Water Leaks
Leaking water is a sure sign that your freezer is not working correctly. It is often a sign that the cooler’s sealing or insulation has been damaged, causing temperatures to drop and items to defrost. With time this could push your freezer to work harder to try and maintain freezing temperatures. It could also cause mold or mildew, creating unsanitary conditions for food storage and negatively impacting air quality. Once you spot water leaks, call an HVAC professional to identify the cause and make necessary repairs.
4. Strange Sounds
Walk-in coolers can sometimes have a bit of a hum. This sound should, however, be low and consistent. When you start to hear unusual sounds like rattling, squeaks, and shaking, it could indicate a mechanical problem with the equipment. Never ignore strange sounds as they are a common sign of malfunctioning. Call your HVAC professional for an inspection and repairs as soon as possible.
5. Fluctuating Temperatures
You do not need to see frost buildup to tell that there is a problem with temperature regulation in your freezer. Whenever you notice the temperature in the space is not consistent, it may indicate a faulty thermostat, issues with insulation, or that staff are leaving the cooler door open for prolonged periods, letting in warm air that is lowering temperatures. When temperatures rise, it often forces the freezer to work harder to lower it, increasing the risk that a breakdown will occur. Whenever you have fluctuations you cannot explain, call an HVAC specialist to figure out what is wrong and get it fixed before you suffer a costly breakdown.