One of the most common issues that occurs in commercial freezers is an excessive buildup of ice. Over time, icing can reduce the efficiency of the system, and potentially compromise the freshness and quality of the food due to the elevated moisture content in the unit.
Solving freezer icing is important for any business with a commercial freezer, but to address the issue you need to understand why icing occurs in the first place.
Here’s everything you need to know.
How commercial freezer icing issues happen
In most cases, ice buildup in a freezer is a result of a combination of warm, humid air in the cold environment of the freezer. The presence of this humidity could be due to improper seals at the doors (due to old or worn gaskets or seals). If the door doesn’t seal properly, outside air can get inside, where it causes problems such as icing.
You might also have issues with deteriorated hinges or door closers that aren’t working. In some cases, the problem could be due to how you use the freezer. If employees leave the doors open while restocking items or keep the door propped open for extended periods of time, this will result in large amounts of warm air getting inside that could result in icing.
If the ice has built up around the evaporator coil, this could be a problem with some of the technical elements of the freezer, which will require a technician to inspect and fix. In addition, if a drain line becomes clogged, you could see pools of water that freeze near the drain. Finally, insulation panels can start to get ice buildups if they are older and have lost some of their efficiency.
If left unaddressed, the ice buildup caused by the above issues can damage freezer components, drastically increase operating costs and utility expenses and reduce the lifespan of your commercial freezer.
Resolving and preventing icing
There are several steps you can take to prevent icing from occurring, or to resolve commercial freezer icing issues you’ve already been having. These include:
- Inspect: You should regularly check the gaskets, door hardware, drains, insulation panels and other components in the system and repair or replace them as necessary if they have deteriorated past usable condition. Letting these parts continue to deteriorate will only worsen the issues with icing.
- Curtains: Many businesses install air curtains or vinyl strip curtains in front of the door when walking into the freezer as a way to prevent warm, humid air from getting inside while people come in and out when loading or unloading items.
- Defrost: Part of good ongoing maintenance and operation is making sure you regularly run defrost cycles for enough time. This will go a long way toward preventing buildup of ice.
Interested in learning more about some of the strategies you can use to prevent or solve commercial freezer icing? Contact the team at Commercial Equipment Service Inc. today for more tips or for help caring for your refrigeration equipment.