It may seem obvious, like leaking floors and spoiled food, but do you really know when your walk-in cooler is trying to tell you something? Does it need a face lift or is it time to retire? Day-to-day use of your walk-in, including foot, hand cart and trolley traffic, can impact its condition, performance, and appearance. Damaged walk-ins promote the growth of harmful bacteria that cause food spoilage. They also compromise operational efficiency and increase your energy bills. Be sure to recognize the signs so you know when it’s time to refurbish your walk-in cooler or trade it for new.
Spoiled Food before Expiration Date
If perishable items are often spoiling before their expiration dates, it’s a sure sign of an operating error with your walk-in. Tossing spoiled inventory is literally throwing money out the door. Not only does it negatively impact the bottom line, it will have your blood pressure rising faster than the time it takes for you to boil water.
Utility Bills Keep Going Up
If you notice your utility bills steadily inching up over time it could mean the insulation has diminished and is allowing heat to creep in, or cold air to seep out. Your walk-in cooler gradually attempts to fix the insulation problem by using extra energy. If you noticed a drastic hike in your utility bills over recent months you might be dealing with a broken thermostat or malfunctioning motor causing the walk-in to use more energy than necessary since it cannot properly regulate itself.
Ice and Frost Build-up
Are you regularly scraping ice out of your cooler or losing food to frost bite? Then there might be excess moisture allowing ice to accumulate. Excess moisture is most often caused by air leaks between panels or other walk-in cooler components.
Standing Water and Leaks
Damaged seals can lead to water leaks and puddles. Lots and lots of puddles. Did we mention rust? How about spongy floors? All symptoms of a bigger problem. Stagnant and standing water causes mold and mildew build-up too as well as ice accumulation. Avoid health inspection issues and lost inventory due to mold and mildew by keeping track of any leaks.
Up and Down Temperatures
If your walk-in cooler is always working to regulate the temperature it may be time to simply replace the unit. Temperature fluctuations can be the symptom of many cooler problems like insulation failure or a broken thermostat.
If your walk-in is showing any of these signs, a proper evaluation by a certified technician is in order. A professional walk-in cooler installer will be able to check for any damage or internal failures. If repair costs are taking a toll on profits, it’s time to consider refurbishing or replacing your walk-in cooler. It may be easier and less expensive than you think.