One of the last things you want as a restaurant owner is a situation where your commercial cooler suddenly malfunctions, leaving you with no way to keep your perishable items cool —that will cause you to lose business as well as create a situation where you have no choice but to dispose of valuable inventory. The time may come when your best course of action is to replace your commercial cooler rather than continuing to have it repaired and hope for the best. Following are six major indications that it may be time to replace your commercial cooler.
It's An Off Brand
Purchasing off-brand restaurant equipment can result in serious initial savings because they are usually significantly less expensive than their name-brand counterparts. However, repair bills can start to rack up as the units age, and one of the major problems with off brands is that parts can be extremely hard to get. Another issue is that many repair technicians aren't familiar with working on off brands. This can mean potential disaster for your business in the event that your cooling unit suddenly breaks down and no replacement parts or qualified repair personnel are available. The older your off-brand unit gets, the more difficult it may be to find replacement parts and repair options.
It's Not Keeping Things Cold Enough
The temperature of your commercial cooler should be monitored on an ongoing basis. Either you or one of your trusted employees should check the unit daily to ensure that it is keeping the contents cold enough. The temperature of your commercial refrigeration unit should 40 degrees or under at all times. The first thing you should do if you notice temperature fluctuations that go above the 40-degree mark is to check your thermostat to ensure that it is not malfunctioning. If that is ruled out, it may be time to replace the unit. Consistently high temperatures may mean that the motor of your commercial cooler is simply worn out.
It's Experiencing Frost Buildup
The flip side to not keeping things cold enough is keeping things too cold. If you notice frost buildup in the interior of your commercial refrigeration unit, try resetting the thermostat. If this doesn't alleviate the problem, it may be time to get a new unit. Keep in mind that items that are kept too cold can be ruined for use in your restaurant, costing you money not only in product costs but also in labor when you have to pay someone to dispose of the ruined food.
The Doors Have Gone Bad
Cool air leaks out when the seals on your doors have experienced significant deterioration. It's time to replace the unit when this occurs to guard against temperature fluctuations, as well as avoid skyrocketing utility costs.
The Walls and Flooring Are Wearing Out
Commercial coolers take quite a beating over the course of their lifetimes. Food items get spilled on floors and splashed on walls, employees in a hurry may procrastinate about cleaning things up in a timely fashion, and heavy foot traffic can take a toll. If the floors and walls of your commercial cooler have definitely seen much better days, it's probably time to arrange for a replacement.
It's Too Old
Commercial cooler lifespans vary by brand and type, so there's no cut-and-dried age that specifies that your cooler is officially over the hill. However, if it's outlived its warranty by five or more years, it probably doesn't have many more good miles on it. Keep in mind that it's always best to replace a piece of essential equipment before it breaks down for the last time.