How to prolong the life of your used walk-in cooler

Check our list of the most effective methods to help your used walk-in cooler perform like new.

restaurant walkin cooler

Equipment such as walk-in coolers and other large refrigeration systems can be extremely costly, which is why purchasing a used walk-in cooler makes perfect sense for small restaurant businesses operating on tight margins. To get the most out of your second-hand walk-in cooler, however, you’ll want to ensure you’re doing all you can to prolong its life.

Thankfully, we’ve taken the guesswork out of pre-owned cooler maintenance. Keep reading to find out our top four tips for prolonging the life of your used refrigeration system.

Do a monthly clean of the condenser unit

The condensing unit houses some of the most vital components of your used walk-in cooler, as it contains the condensing motor, condensing coil, and compressor. If dirt and debris were to accumulate within these parts, they could lead to a malfunction and prevent your cooler from running. 

Avoid breakdowns by performing a thorough clean of the condensing unit and its parts once a month to prevent build-up. Cleaning the cooler is a simple 4-step process:

  • Locate the condensing unit of your cooler, which will be on top of the cooler, underneath the unit, or in a remote location. If your used walk-in cooler came with a product manual, find your condensing unit location there.
  • Next, shut off the power of your walk-in cooler temporarily.
  • Use the reversed airflow feature of a handheld vacuum to blow dirt, dust, and other particles from within the unit parts. Then, suck up any remaining residue using the normal vacuum function. 
  • Plug your cooler back in!

freezer temperature monitor

Get rid of dirt and dust build-up on the cooler’s fan blades

Over time, dirt and debris can also build up on your used walk-in cooler’s fan blades, causing friction and slowing down the speed of the blades. When the fan blades slow down, the motor has to work faster and wears out at a faster rate. 

Cleaning the fan blades should be carried out every 2-3 months. When cleaning the fan blades, shut off the power of your cooler temporarily, use a mild detergent with water to wash away debris and grime, and then plug the cooler back in. 

Clean and inspect the gaskets 

If your used cooler’s gaskets become loose, cracked, or caked in grime, they will become ineffective over time, causing cold air to escape from the cooling unit. Bad gaskets increase the ongoing energy costs of the unit as warm air seeps into your cooler. 

Prevent this by routinely inspecting your used cooler’s gaskets, ensuring they make a tight seal and show no signs of wear and tear. Be sure to clean them every few months with detergent and water, too, as dirt, dust, and other muck can interfere with and loosen these seals over time.

Use a temperature monitor to help schedule  maintenance 

Regular preventative maintenance can avoid catastrophic equipment shut-downs and product loss events. When temperatures gradually rise, it’s essential to identify and promptly schedule a technician. 

While restaurant management currently manually tracks food temperatures, most equipment is left unmonitored after working hours or during peak periods, making it hard to identify and fix gradually increasing temperatures. 

For businesses looking to streamline equipment temperature tracking, a temperature monitor (such as Therma°) analyzes equipment 24/7 and alerts your team to equipment failures, power outages, and human error. If your walk-in cooler was to rise in temperature due to malfunction or any other mishap, our temperature monitor sends an SMS, phone call, or email notification to the appropriate team member.

Visit our website to see for yourself how Therma’s remote temperature monitor can prolong the lifespan of your used walk-in cooler. 

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