Chicago Is A Great Place To Do Refrigeration Work

There are literally dozens of reasons why Chicago is a great place to do refrigeration work. There are thousands upon thousands of potential customers including all the bars, restaurants, hotels & schools throughout the area. One of the best reasons to work in the refrigeration trade is all the beautiful views we get to catch from roof tops across the city!

Chicago Sunrise From Humboldt Park

Recently Mitch Byrne of Northeast Cooling was honored to be quoted in a blog post & press release done by Emerson Climate Technologies. The post was titled “The Top 10 States to Work in HVACR”. According to the blog Illinois ranked number five. It was beaten by California, Ohio, Florida & Texas. California, Florida & Texas we can understand due to all the excessive heat. While these states “may” have beaten Illinois in Emersons post we believe Illinois is a much better state to work in! We believe Illinois provides a superior advantage when it comes to a potential customer base & great networking opportunities. When you consider all Chicago has to offer like thousands of businesses in need of refrigeration & HVAC we find it hard to believe there is a better state to work the trade in!

Chicago has some extreme & unpredictable weather. We go from Blazing hot Summers to sub-zero windy & icy Winters. All these weather changes are tough on commercial refrigeration equipment. Remote or outdoor compressor units have the hardest time dealing with all these temperature fluctuations. Peak season weather is hardest on these units. That includes the hottest AND coldest days of the year. Believe it or not, some of our busiest days are when the temperature dips below zero degrees. This causes all sorts of low ambient problems for outdoor refrigeration compressor units. We have done whole blogs on this very topic. Here is more information on how cold weather affects outdoor refrigeration units. The bottom line is that between the great views, temperature swings, REAL seasons & phenomenal customer base we truly believe that Illinois is the best state to work in HVAC & Refrigeration!


Refrigeration Maintenance Pays: A Client Lesson

It never pays to be penny-wise & dollar-foolish when it comes to maintenance of commercial refrigeration. Hopefully you can learn from this customer’s expensive lesson!

We received a call on a Saturday in August for emergency service. As Murphy’s Law would have it, their 2-door cooler broke down on the weekend, when repairs come at a premium.

Let’s backtrack for a minute. We quoted this customer a full comprehensive maintenance plan back in November of 2011. This maintenance, if performed, likely would have prevented the cooler in question from breaking down. The maintenance would definitely save the customer on energy usage & extend the life of the equipment. Unfortunately, as is all too often the case, the customer did not schedule or approve our refrigeration maintenance proposal. Have a look at our quote below for the maintenance work:

Fast forward to the emergency service call. Their 2 door cooler was running at 70 degrees, which we diagnosed as a bad condenser fan motor. Most likely, the fan motor overheated due to the condenser coil being plugged with grease. The compressor was extremely overheated & tripping off on overload. We had to cool the compressor with ice, degrease the coil several times & replace the condenser fan motor. All this was done at our Saturday rate, which is 1.5 times our regular rates. Now take a look at the invoice for emergency Saturday service:

(Note: Our current regular business hour rates are as follows $65 service charge $115.50 per hour plus parts)

 

Here is how it breaks down:

  1. The emergency service on the one cooler was almost $200 more than the entire maintenance proposal for 12 Refrigeration Units.
  2. The other 11 Refrigeration Units are still overdue for maintenance.
  3. The compressor on cooler serviced has been severely strained & may fail soon.

This scenario is something we see all the time: We try to preach the benefits of  routine maintenance, but it is all too often ignored. For the handful of clients who routinely maintain their refrigeration equipment, the units are operating much more efficiently and have far fewer breakdowns than units that are not serviced regularly. We recommend a thorough maintenance inspection be done a minimum of twice per year.

Here are a couple other maintenance-related posts that are useful:

DIY Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance Inspection

5 Steps To Conserve Energy & Extend Life Of Refrigeration Equipment

Problems Caused By Lack Of Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance

Please contact us with any questions regarding commercial refrigeration.


Celebrate summer in Chicago (& functioning refrigeration equipment!)

It’s already been one hot Summer in Chicago! Our days are filled with cooler, freezer & ice machine repairs at all types of restaurants, bars & hotels. Service has taken us from southeast Wisconsin down to the Loop in Chicago. Most emergency Chicago Refrigeration service was a direct result of a lack of scheduled maintenance.

But now it’s time to pause & take a break with a night of fun & libations during the Dog Days of Summer!

We are cordially inviting clients & friends of Northeast Cooling to join us at The Beer Bistro North, a great new bar in Lincoln Park! The event is on Thursday, July 26, between 6-9pm. We are providing 3 hours of open bar &  food for your enjoyment!

The featured craft beer will be Ommegang Witte, with other domestic beers & martinis available. Food includes Gourmet Sliders, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Wings, Jumbo Pretzels, Bruschetta, Calamari & more. We are hoping all of our clients & friends will be able to attend. Please come out & celebrate summer with Northeast Cooling!

Register with the invite below. Space is limited so pull the trigger soon! Thanks!

 

 


5 Steps To Conserve Energy & Extend Life Of Refrigeration Equipment In Chicago

The following is a short, but extremely important, list of things end-users can do on their own to reduce power usage and extend the life of their commercial refrigeration units including coolers, freezers, and ice machines.

 

This list is easy to check, and  critical in maintaining proper product temperature. If, after reading this, you should have any questions please feel free to contact us!

1: KEEP CONDENSER COILS CLEAN:

This includes condensers on coolers, freezers, and ice machines! The condenser coil is the heat exchanger on refrigeration units. It’s the coil located on the outside of unit and expels the heat from refrigerant by passing it through a coil with the aid of a fan. It is ESSENTIAL TO KEEP THIS COIL CLEAN for proper operation of the unit. Failure to do so will result in expensive repairs including, but not limited to, compressor failure, fan motor failure, capillary tubing restrictions, burnt wiring and thermostat failure.

We recommend that the condenser coil be pressure cleaned by a service company at least every six months. In between professional maintenance users can clean the coil with a brush. The brush method does not clean within the coil though, and should not be considered a substitute for regular maintenance. On a kitchen line these coils may need to be degreased and cleaned more frequently. Self contained coolers and freezers usually have the condenser coil located at the base or on top of the unit. It can usually be accessed by removing 4 Phillips type screws at the corners of a cover. Ice machines generally have condenser coil located at rear of machine. It may have an air filter covering it, that should be washed. Routine inspection should be done frequently. A clean condenser coil is one way to GO GREEN by saving on power consumption and greatly prolonging the life of  the equipment. The following picture is a condenser coil long overdue for cleaning. We see this on a daily basis.

Refrigeration Condenser Coil

2: UNIT CLEARANCES:

In order to maintain proper air flow around the condenser coil it is important to keep minimum clearances around units. Most factories recommend 2 to 4 inches of clearance around sides & back of self contained units. Our recommendation is the more clearance the better!  We would like to see 5 to 8 inches of clearance around sides and the  back of unit. We understand that space is limited in commercial kitchens. We also know that the more air that can freely move through the condenser section of a unit, the less power will be consumed and the longer vital components will last. Jamming coolers against one another and directly against a wall is a sure way to expend the most amount of energy and guarantee many problems. We do not recommend boxing coolers in under bars or any enclosure. Not only will this create airflow issues, but units that are built-in are extremely difficult and time-consuming to service.

3: GASKETS:

Your refrigeration has worked hard to achieve proper product temperature, why let the cold seep out? Routinely inspect the door gaskets (seals) on all coolers and freezers.  Make sure all four sides of gaskets are making good solid contact with door frame. Check for tears, rips, or missing magnetic strips in gaskets. If gaskets are found to be worn out and not sealing well they should be replaced. The key to maintaining temperature and reducing run times, as well as power consumption is a good door seal. This is especially true in a hot kitchen!

4: DOOR HINGES & CLOSERS:

To ensure that doors on refrigeration units close properly most hinges have spring cartridges that assist in closing the doors. On larger coolers and freezers, especially walk-in equipment there may be a hydraulic door closer located at the top of the door on exterior section. Most cooks, and kitchen employees, are much too busy rushing orders out to be worried about ensuring doors are properly closed. This is why automatic door closers are so vital. If automatic door closers are not working properly then there is a good chance the doors are ajar. Doors that are not closed all the way will lead to excessive run time, inefficient use  of energy, and shorten the life of the equipment. It will also cause the evaporator coils to ice up. Check your door closure operation by opening the door all the way and then gently pushing it closed. If closer is working correctly it should do the rest of the work and pull door closed. If door does not close on its own we recommend new hinges or closer hardware.

5: CALCULATE ACCURATE INTERNAL FOOD TEMPERATURE:

We recommend using a product sensing thermometer versus an air sensing thermometer in refrigeration units due to rapidly changing ambient conditions. Using an air sensing thermometer only tells you how cold the air is in a refrigeration unit at the moment you open it. There are times when it does not give an accurate picture of a product’s actual temperature. For actual average product temperature use  Sure Temp Glycol filled thermometer. This thermometer is encased in liquid and will provide an accurate average temperature reading of the product in a conditioned space. After leaving the Sure Temp thermometer in a conditioned space for a few hours take a look and see what the temperature reading is. On a cooler 34- 40 F degrees is good. If it’s colder you can raise the thermostat to a warmer setting and thereby save energy. A freezer storing ice cream should be around  -10 F. After establishing average temperature with Sure Temp thermometer adjustments to the thermostat can be made.

We hope this information has been useful and IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS about energy conservation, maintenance, or the Sure Temp thermometer in the Chicago area GIVE US A CALL AT: 847-409-3332.

 


Northeast Cooling offers Emerson’s Energy Saving Refrigeration Units

Emerson Technologies
Emerson Technologies

Northeast Cooling is pleased to announce that it will be offering some amazing new energy saving products by Emerson Climate Technologies. We will be offering both the K5 compressor and the XJ condenser and are ready to assist businesses upgrade to these Green units. Both products were showcased at the AHR Expo last month in Chicago.  These new Emerson products show great promise in the effort to Go GREEN for businesses with walk-in coolers, freezers, and other commercial refrigeration needs.

Emerson K5 Compressor
Emerson K5

Copeland Scroll® K5 Refrigeration Compressor

Emerson recently debuted its new commercial refrigeration systems that have the potential to help businesses reduce their refrigeration expenses by up to 10 percent. The unit is powered by the Copeland Scroll® K5 refrigeration compressor. The compressor is designed for those with large volume refrigeration needs in commercial situations. It is equipped with CoreSense ™ technology that allows a contractor to diagnose issues on-site and remotely. This technology reduces downtime and even unnecessary service calls saving you time and money!

Emerson XJ Outdoor Condenser
Emerson XJ Outdoor Condenser

Copeland Scroll ® Outdoor Condensing Unit, XJ Series

The Copeland Scroll ® Outdoor Condensing Unit, XJ Series, offers the highest energy efficiency available to those needing commercial refrigeration. The XJ Series features the latest  Copeland Scroll® compressor technology with a “variable speed fan motor control, large condenser coils, and a high efficiency fan blade design to deliver up to 40% higher annual energy efficiency when compared to standard industry offerings.” The XJ Series can lower utility bills and can pay for itself in less than a year. As an outdoor unit is also quieter and more attractive than current standard units, making for happy customers and neighbors. This unit also has CoreSense ™ Diagnostics that enable service technicians to locate and troubleshoot issues, again savings for you: the business owner.

 

Click here to try Emerson’s handy calculator to see how they can help save energy and dollars!

 

Give us a call today and let us find the best suited product to help you Go Green and save money.