As temperature-controlled environments, cold rooms require careful monitoring and regular maintenance in order to perform according to requirements. Major faults can lurk beneath the surface for a long time before they result in a noticeable problem, and even if your cold room appears to be working just fine, minor issues can impact the efficiency of your refrigeration system, increasing your operating costs. Here are some of the key reasons to pay attention to your cold room – with professional maintenance at least annually, and a full refurbishment every few years.
Why Should You Refurbish Your Cold Room?
Over time, a cold room can gradually become less effective. This happens in a variety of ways, from insulation starting to deteriorate to older evaporators and condensing units starting to break down. With heavy use, problems can start to arise with your floor as well, increasing the risk of spillages and accidents. As you might expect, small problems in minor components can gradually become bigger if left unaddressed – resulting in bigger expenses and more downtime when you do come to address them. If your cold room is not running efficiently, you’ll find that it is more expensive than it should be. Your running costs will increase, cutting into your profits, and potentially spoiling your produce, too.
A poorly maintained cold room can also lead to more immediate, physical problems. An unexpected shutdown or refrigeration failure could lead to products becoming damaged, and perhaps rendered worthless, while safety issues could lead to workplace accidents
Behind The Cold Room Doors
A key spot for maintenance issues is the cold room door or doorway. Keeping a strong seal is essential; without it, your cold room simply won’t function as efficiently as it should.
If the seal is broken or damaged, then the temperature will start to rise as warm air floods into the cold room through microscopic gaps. As a result, your refrigeration equipment will need to work a lot harder. In the short-term, this can lead to higher running costs. However, if the problem is left unaddressed, it can grow even more severe. Your refrigeration unit can overheat or become damaged through overworking, leading to a potential breakdown and even more expense to fix or replace.
A poorly maintained cold room door can also be unsafe. The shifting temperature can cause ice to form around the doorway, creating the risk of slippages and skids. The door can also become more difficult to open, leading to potential strains or other injuries as employees exert more force to open it.
Furthermore, door handles are often placed under a lot of strain and are at risk of breaking if not regularly inspected and maintained. If a handle breaks, an employee could get trapped inside the cold room – a situation which can quickly become very dangerous. All of this means it is essential to keep your cold room door maintained.
Replace Or Refurbish?
It may be possible to refurbish or upgrade individual cold room components – such as the door, particularly if the existing damage is not yet severe. However, at times refurbishment is all but impossible, and may in fact cost more than a full cold room door replacement.
Sometimes even obvious damage can be fixed, without a full replacement needed. For example, rips in the steel layer may be jagged and unsightly but are a fairly simple fix. Your equipment will not need to be replaced and, after refurbishment, should work as well as before, if not better.
You’ll know that your cold room needs replacing if the panels or ceilings have started to delaminate; this indicates that they are losing their insulating properties. A full replacement is likely to be cheaper in this situation than continual patch up jobs.
Contact MTCSS today if you think your cold room is in need of refurbishment or replacement. We’ll take a look at your specific situation, and help find the best and most cost effective solution.