Inefficient cold rooms can quickly become both expensive and unreliable. This can be offset through regular servicing, professional maintenance, and high-quality parts. However, long term inefficiency, or spiraling repair costs, is a sign that more fundamental changes are needed.
In these cases, your two options are to replace the old system with a new cold room or to refurbish your existing unit. The most cost-effective option depends on the cause of the inefficiency in the old unit and how easily it can be fixed, and the potential long term costs of running the unit following refurbishment – i.e. how much would refurbishment save you compared to the lifecycle costs of a new unit.
What Causes Cold Room Inefficiency?
Cold storage units become inefficient for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the original set-up is inadequate, especially if the room is dated or was installed by an inexperienced supplier. Older units lack the newer energy-saving features, such as insulated flooring, that come with new units as standard, meaning they always cost more to run.
Often, the cause of inefficiency is a lack of preventative maintenance, such as servicing and replacement parts. This can cause a gradual build-up of issues that undermine the efficacy of the unit. Cold storage units can also suffer from general wear and tear that stresses the system.
Do I Need A New Cold Room?
When things start to go awry, whether or not to replace the entire unit is the first question that many people ask themselves. At first, the answer is usually no. Replacing individual parts – so long as this is done professionally and in a timely manner – will often be sufficient to restore the cold room to optimal efficiency.
However, signs that a cold storage unit is having systemic difficulties include rising average energy costs, unreliability, and changes such as frost accumulation. If these become continual, long term problems, replacing or repairing individual components may no longer be enough.
Are you at this stage with your cold room? Maybe, maybe not. The best method of determining how to increase cold room efficiency is to arrange for a professional to carry out an inspection. They will be able to advise you on the best way to reach your productivity requirements and the most cost-effective means of doing so.
Can My Existing Cold Room Be Adapted To Meet New Requirements?
Usually, yes. Whether it is due to a change in business circumstances or because the equipment requires upgrading, existing cold storage unit set-ups are not always the ideal match for your current situation. This doesn’t mean that investing in a whole new unit is the best use of your capital – a refurbishment or upgrade could do the job equally as well.
Optimizing a cold room involves re-thinking the design strategy, materials, and choice of equipment. For instance, alternative shelving solutions may offer a better layout, increasing space, and efficiency. Experienced suppliers will be able to offer advice on adapting and improving a cold room.
Will Upgrading My Cold Storage Unit Increase Efficiency?
Yes. Cold room technology is continually improving. This means that the variety of available solutions is increasing, offering the opportunity to optimize their unit to meet individual requirements. One of the main areas of innovation has been in improving energy efficiency.
This can be achieved through low-energy lighting, installing doors with advanced seals, and improving the floor insulation. Adding five-bar wall protection can also help to reduce costs while maximizing efficiency.
Are There Any Alternatives?
If the cold room is no longer adequate for purposes, an alternative is to opt for a blast freezer or blast chiller. Unlike a cold storage unit, these are designed to be used when needed rather than continually. Blast units demand more energy than a cold room; however, the mathematics swing in their favor depending upon how often they are required.
When considering switching to an alternative option, ask a professional to carry out a needs and cost analysis to determine whether it is the most efficient strategy.
Speak To Us
To establish the value of making strategic changes to your cold storage facilities, have a chat with one of our specialists today.