For many businesses, cold storage rooms are essential assets, keeping produce or other goods in the best possible condition before sale. However, operating costs can be high: they tend to be in use 24 hours a day, and maintaining cool temperatures is demanding on electricity.
Whichever unit you choose to install, important installation, operational and cold room maintenance tips can help ensure that it runs at maximum efficiency, keeping electricity bills as low as possible.
1. Installation Tips
Establishing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a cold room starts even before it’s up and running. Well thought-out planning and installation can save you money in the long-term.
- Discuss the location of the cold room with the installer. A central position within a room requires additional pipework and refrigerant so potentially could increase operational costs.
- Remember, the ambient temperature of the surrounding air will affect the efficiency of the unit; therefore, bring wall, ceiling and floor insulation up to spec to avoid the industrial cold room from having to work extra hard to maintain its temperature.
- Using low-temperature occupancy sensors, timed switches, and refrigerator controllers can also reduce running costs by limiting the amount of electricity required to operate lights, fans, and other components.
2. Operational Tips
The efficiency of cold storage rooms can be greatly affected by day-to-day practices; in fact, some bad habits can significantly increase energy bills, so it would be beneficial to follow these operational tips:
- Every time a cold room is opened, cold air escapes and warm air from outside enters, so keeping the door closed as much as possible is essential. Discourage leaving the door open, even for the shortest time while stock is loaded or removed from the cold room.
- Install insulated curtains inside the door of the cold room to reduce the escape of cold air when it is open. Cold stop curtains, which are more thermally efficient than traditional plastic versions, also incorporate a unique ‘cold lock’ system to ensure the barrier fits snugly, reducing thermal loss.
- Cold storage rooms should be maintained at a minimum 60% of capacity, to retain cold and reduce the refrigeration cycle.
3. Maintenance Tips
A cold room is a significant investment for any business, so a schedule of maintenance is necessary to enable it to operate at maximum efficiency while anticipating avoidable technical problems.
- Regularly inspect door seals, hinges, catches and the fan to ensure they are operating correctly.
- Be observant for any signs of the cold room operating differently to normal, such as unusual noises or the temperature not being as low as you expect.
- Establish a maintenance schedule with a reputable company to ensure that potential problems are detected, and minor performance issues rectified before they develop into more costly breakdowns.
By following these simple yet effective installation, operational and maintenance tips, you can increase the energy efficiency of your cold storage room and reduce running costs, helping your business to enjoy greater profitability. For more information, please get in touch with one of our cold storage specialists today.