Published on Friday, 17 May 2013
Written by The Editors
For operations like convenience stores and delis, refrigerated display cases are among the most essential pieces of equipment. They provide a way to offer prepared foods and single-serve drinks that is both safe and cost effective.
- Many operators can save themselves the cost of a service call simply by managing their expectations. Often technicians are brought in to fix a unit that is simply over-stocked, preventing proper air circulation and cooling. Similarly, many calls are made because operators expect items shipped at room temperature, like soda, to be cooled very quickly. A better understanding of how a unit should be used and what it is capable of can eliminate such wasteful service calls.
- In high-humidity areas, the drip pans that come standard with some refrigerated display cases are too small for the amount of condensation produced. As a result, the pans can overflow, causing puddles to form and presenting a liability hazard. Operators should consult with service agents and manufacturers representatives about having a larger pan installed.
- Turning off the air conditioning at night may reduce electricity bills, but it can prevent a refrigerated display case from working properly. If the ambient temperature exceeds the specifications for the unit, it may not be able to store food safely. Operators may need to adjust their A/C settings or have a fan for air circulation integrated into their HVAC systems.
- Also HVAC related: When deciding where to place display refrigeration, the locations of air ducts must be taken into account. If a vent is blowing directly on a unit, it can disrupt the invisible air curtain that is essential for maintaining the proper temperature.
- The wood trim used in some display units can have short life cycles, especially in humid climates. Operators who purchase such units should help prevent moisture from damaging the wood by properly sealing seams and joints.
- Regular service calls to keep the evaporators and condensers clean and operating properly can cut the chances of expensive failures while extending the life of these units.