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Commercial Refrigeration 101

Our in-house staff of certified HVAC/R technicians can install, service, and repair your commercial refrigeration systems. We work with both big and small systems, and our goal is to meet your needs in a way that surpasses your expectations by finishing on time and within budget.

Here is an overview of our commercial refrigeration services as well as links to helpful posts and educational information.

Commercial Refrigeration Installation

We can help you design a commercial refrigeration system from the ground up, or we can put in replacement refrigeration units based on your current system. We specialize in installing the following types of commercial refrigeration systems:

  • Walk-in Coolers & Freezers
  • Restaurant Refrigeration
  • Supermarket Refrigeration
  • Big Box Store Refrigeration
  • Bakery Refrigeration

We pride ourselves on providing clean, quiet, non-disruptive installation services that don't get in the way of your ability to keep your business running. If you don't see the commercial refrigeration system you need on the list, contact us to talk about your preferences.

Commercial Refrigeration Repair

Our commercial refrigeration technicians can troubleshoot and repair every aspect of your system. In particular, if you're having issues with any of the following parts, we can help:

  • Compressors
  • Condensers
  • Coils
  • Condenser Fan Motors
  • Evaporators
  • Evaporator Fan Motors
  • Recirculators
  • Motor starters
  • Control systems
  • Circuit boards
  • Water Inlet Valves
  • Any other parts causing issues

Timely repairs help you to avoid inventory loss by keeping items at the necessary temperatures. They also help to safeguard the efficiency of your system, reducing wasted energy and keeping your bills low. If your system is leaking refrigerant, we can repair it as quickly as possible to ensure your business is compliant with EPA regulations and not in danger of facing fines or penalties.

Commercial Refrigeration Services

We also offer routine maintenance to help you avoid unexpected breakdowns and emergency refrigeration repairs. To ensure optimal performance, refrigeration services include the following:

  • Cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils to reduce undue pressure on your equipment
  • Taking apart and cleaning ice makers to safeguard against mold, bacteria, and dangerous viruses
  • Checking and repairing gaskets, seals, hinges, and handles
  • Cleaning and inspecting fan motors
  • Checking for refrigerant leaks or line degradation
  • Monitoring insulation integrity
  • Clearing debris from drain lines
  • Calibrating thermometers and checking defrost settings
  • Looking for loose electrical connections
  • Performing additional preventive maintenance as needed 

How to Clean Your Refrigerator and Ice Maker

When you run a business that relies on refrigerated food or ice for drinks, you need a sanitary place to keep these items. To protect your inventory, your customers, and your business's reputation, you should clean your refrigerator and ice maker on a regular basis.

Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

To store cold food, frozen supplies, ice, and similar items, you need quality commercial refrigeration equipment. Depending on your situation, you may need reach-in refrigerators and freezers or walk-in coolers. You may want convenient undercounter or worktop refrigeration to optimize space, bar refrigeration so you can see drinks, merchandising refrigerators and freezers to display food for your customers, refrigerated display cases to appeal to diners, and more. On top of that, you may want combination refrigerators and freezers or specialty freezers made just for ice cream.

How Commercial Refrigeration Works

Commercial refrigerators work very similarly to residential refrigerators, but they come in a wider variety of designs, featuring a range of specialty options. Basically, commercial refrigerators pump liquid refrigerant into a condenser which consists of numerous coils. There, the refrigerant cools down and releases its heat into the surrounding components. As the refrigerant cools down, it moves through an expansion valve where it evaporates, turns into a gas, and becomes even colder. At this point, the cold gas absorbs warmth from inside the commercial refrigerator, ensuring that space and its contents stay cold. Then, the now warm liquid returns to the condenser, and the process starts again.

Commercial vs. Residential Refrigeration

The main difference between commercial and residential refrigeration is how these units are used. Residential refrigerators typically just need to store enough food for a family, while commercial refrigerators have to meet a variety of needs including storing ingredients for a restaurant, holding drinks for a bar, and displaying items for customers in a convenience store, supermarket, or cafe. Commercial refrigerators and freezers tend to be bigger than their residential counterparts, and they must be serviced by commercial refrigeration specialists.

The History of Commercial Refrigeration

To keep items cold, people from prehistoric times to the industrial revolution used ice houses. These were simply insulated shacks, rooms, or boxes filled with ice or snow to keep perishables cold. In the mid-1700s, researchers began exploring different ways to create mechanical refrigeration, and by 1834, inventors had created the vapor-compression refrigeration cycle which is the blueprint for contemporary refrigeration. Businesses embraced refrigeration decades before most residential users, and the rest is history.

How to Troubleshoot Common Commercial Refrigeration Issues

To keep your business running smoothly and to save money on energy bills, you need to keep your commercial refrigeration system running smoothly. Luckily, with some issues, you may be able to troubleshoot them yourself. Always make sure your refrigerator is getting power and that the switch is on. If the refrigerator isn't staying cool enough, check its position to ensure air can circulate around the components and make sure internal vents aren't blocked by food.

Cleaning the compressor helps if the refrigerator is too hot, and removing ice from the evaporator fan can help if the refrigerator is too cold or has icy buildup. You can also easily troubleshoot issues with broken light bulbs, overflowing condenser pans, or clogged tubes.  

Commercial Refrigeration for Restaurants, Bars, Convenience Stores, and More

When you run a restaurant, a bar, a convenience store, or a variety of other businesses, you rely on commercial refrigeration for your livelihood. You need refrigerators that can keep ingredients cold and artfully display items to appeal to your customers. You need the most efficient refrigerators to keep costs low for your business. Ideally, you should know how to troubleshoot the basics, but you should also work with a service technician and a commercial refrigeration repair specialist to keep your system up and running.

Commercial Refrigeration Parts

Occasionally, you may need to buy commercial refrigeration parts. As times goes on, your refrigerator may need new parts to keep running smoothly. That may include fans, motors, coils, and tubes. In other cases, you need parts to support the items you store inside your refrigerator, such as shelves, drawers, and shelf clips. Additionally, you may need external components such as new doors, seals, or caster wheels. When you contact an HVAC/R specialist, they can help you figure out which refrigeration parts you need.

The Connection Between Commercial HVAC and Commercial Refrigeration

Both commercial HVAC and commercial refrigeration focus on controlling the temperature in a space. While commercial refrigeration keeps temps cool in a relatively small space, commercial HVAC systems keep temps comfortable for humans in spaces ranging from single offices to large multi-unit buildings. Specialists use many of the same tools and techniques to maintain these systems, and they must pass tests to get licensed to repair commercial systems.

We work with everything from small commercial refrigeration units to large industrial refrigeration systems, and we serve businesses throughout Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire, Southern Maine, and Rhode Island. If you need a new refrigeration system or repairs to your existing system, contact N.E.T.R. today at 791-933-NETR.

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