Thanks For Making It Out To Northeast Cooling Game Night

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the great folks that joined Northeast Cooling at Pinstripes BBB in Northbrook for our very first Game Night. This was also my first time at Pinstripes and I was very impressed.

What a great venue! The bowling and bocce were a certainly a big hit. In addition to all the fun we had, the food and drinks didn’t disappoint. It was a night to remember and a place we are looking forward to visiting again!

We can’t wait to have our next Game Night at Pinstripes!

Thank you all for making it a such fun night!









Neil & Amy & Aidan







Commercial Refrigeration Going “Green” – R744 & Retrofit Viable Options Over R22

Refrigeration Goes Green

Even in the recesses of your local grocery store or corner pub, the initiative to provide cleaner air and a more stable environment is alive and well. We don’t often think about grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and other businesses as being Green, but in reality these types of businesses are being charged by The Montreal Protocol to clean up their act completely by 2030. Commercial refrigeration currently relies heavily on R22 as a refrigerant; however, this kind of refrigerant is known to deplete the ozone layer.

With the worldwide phase-out of ozone depleting HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) including R-22, we need to start thinking of other alternatives, especially Green alternatives.

Under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, the U.S. agreed to meet certain obligations by specific dates:

  • January 1, 2004: U.S. is required to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 35% below U.S. baseline cap.
  • January 1, 2010: U.S. is required to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 75% below U.S. baseline cap.
  • January 1, 2015: U.S. is required to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 90% below U.S. baseline cap.
  • January 1, 2020: U.S. is required to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 99.5% below U.S. baseline cap.
  • January 1, 2030 U.S. is required to reduce its consumption by 100% below U.S. baseline cap.

What this means is that within the next four years the U.S. needs to be 90% below its previously allowed usage cap of R22. R22 has been the most commonly used refrigerant for decades. Both commercial and residential consumers need to find alternatives to R22 for their cooling needs.

R744: A Natural Alternative

One such option is provided by Linde, a leading supplier of refrigerants for over 40 years. Linde has operations in 40 countries on five continents. They are currently offering a more eco-friendly option to R22. A carbon dioxide called R744 is a refrigerant grade CO2. R744 can be used for a variety of refrigeration needs, such as, air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, process chilling, or heat extraction. Linde believes R722 will help meet the world-wide environmental regulations.

Carbon dioxide has been used as a refrigerant since the 19th century. When fluorocarbons were introduced the 1930s, CO2 fell out of favor, and was all but cast aside by the 1950s. Today, with its low environmental impact, CO2 is now seeing a resurgence in popularity from refrigeration system designers and users.

Advantages of R744

According to Linde, R744 is now regaining popularity due to a number of advantages:

  • Low toxicity
  • Non-flammability
  • Zero ozone depletion potential
  • Very low global warming potential (GWP=1)
  • Excellent thermodynamic properties and low energy requirement

RETROFIT: Another Option

Another option is to start thinking retrofit. There are numerous commercial refrigeration systems that still use R22 gas. Although it is currently still possible to use R22, because it is being phased out, the cost is going up drastically. We recommend replacing the compressor unit and TXV expansion valve on coolers or freezers and then retrofitting to a new style of gas. This is especially valuable when an old R22 system compressor fails. The failure of the system becomes an opportunity to retrofit it to run on a gas that produces less ozone depletion during the repair process.

Honeywell Has a Retrofit Option for Current R22 Users

“Supermarket customers are looking for an R-22 replacement that can work in both retrofits and new equipment installations,” said Paul Sanders, Commercial Director for Honeywell Fluorine Products in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. Genetron Performax LT offers a significant reduction in total greenhouse gas emission with the added benefit of lower operating costs.” Genetron Performax LT is an A1- rated refrigerant, indicating it has low toxicity and is non flammable. Honeywell advises against retrofitting too soon. The company suggests considering all aspects including the energy consumption of the refrigeration equipment throughout its remaining life. Retrofitting could prove to be more harmful to the environment when you add global warming potential into the equation. Sound service and maintenance schedules are vital to keeping any cooling system healthy and environmentally sound.

Whichever option you choose to use should be a carefully considered decision.  Give us a call at Northeast Cooling to discuss what refrigeration option is best for you and your business. We strive to meet your needs in the Greenest way possible.


Spring Cleaning for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment – Comprehensive Maintenance Checklist

Spring has Sprung!

Thoughts turn to blue skies and flowers. (Shh! Yes, it is snowing right this very minute in Chicagoland!)

Have you given thought to your commercial refrigeration needs? Probably not. When everything is chugging along in perfect working order, preventative maintenance often slips our minds. So, we’d like to give you a gentle reminder that preventative maintenance is always better than trying to find a cure for something that has already met its demise.

The best way to stay on top of your preventative maintenance needs is to keep a to-do list. Sounds like one more thing to add to your already full schedule, but it can be very simple. No need to complicate things. All you need is a straightforward checklist with the following:

  • Task
  • Department
  • Person
  • Date Checked

To make things easy for you, we’ve put together a list of items you should check on a regular basis.

Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance Checklist

Basic Refrigeration Maintenance Check List:

  • pressure clean / degrease condenser coils
  • clear condensate drain lines
  • check condition of  door gaskets
  • monitor thermostat operation and adjust as needed
  • monitor temperature and cycling
  • check compressor operation and control wiring
  • check refrigerant level
  • oil motors if oil ports exist
  • check unit thermometer
  • check suction line insulation
  • inspect door hinges & door closers
  • check and adjust defrost timers

Ice Machine Maintenance Check List:

  • all removable parts should be taken out and cleaned
  • bin drain should be pressure cleaned
  • an acid wash should be done on evaporator
  • bin should be scrubbed and sanitized
  • after cleaning ice level sense probe will need to be adjusted

Maintenance Check List for A/C:

  • pressure clean condenser coil
  • replace air filters
  • replace blower belt
  • clear condensate drain
  • check thermostat operation and settings

Did you know it can be dangerous to have a dirty ice machine?  It is very important to keep your ice machine clean!

Important Ice Machine Maintenance Tips

  • Clean Ice Cooler: Do this every other week and you’ll have ice cubes that are uniform in shape and don’t harbor an unpleasant odor. You risk your machine shutting down if you don’t clean regularly.
  • Check for Brown Slime: Ice machines can develop a brown slime.  This brown slime develops from specific types of yeast such as: airborne yeast, beer, brewing yeast, and baking yeast. We recommend that you consult your ice machine manufacturer’s manual.
  • Check Ice Machine Temperature: It’s important to keep your ice machine in a cool location. It will expend less energy and make better cubes.
  • Replace Ice Machine’s Water Filters Regularly: Every six (6) months. Ice quality will increase, and the speed in which ice is produced also increases.
  • Clean Your Condenser Coils: Condenser coils are often ignored by restaurants. Dirty condenser coils have an adverse effect on your ice cooler’s temperature, resulting in slow ice production. If your condenser coils are weighed down by gunk and grease, you should give us a call or Tweet us!
  • Maintain a Regular Professional Cleaning Schedule: Ice machine cleaning should be on your list of highly important kitchen jobs.  We recommend you hire a certified technician, like Northeast Cooling, to clean your ice maker every 6 months.

It’s easy to take your commercial refrigeration, especially your ice machine, for granted. It’s always there: churning out perfect cubes for your every need. To keep those cubes perfect, you need regular preventative maintenance.

Benefits of Regular Preventative Maintenance

  • Reduce power consumption. It’s easy to be GREEN with a little preventative care.
  • Extend life of equipment, especially critical components like the compressor, capillary tube, and condenser fan motor.
  • Avoid costly EMERGENCY service caused by lack of maintenance.
  • Avoid mold growth and contaminated “spotted” ice. (To combat this, have ice machines taken apart and cleaned at least twice per year.)
  • Properly maintained line coolers won’t cause system oil and capillary tube breakdown and/or compressor failure.
  • Proper door seal reduces power consumption and extends life of equipment.

Find more helpful information on how you can save energy, and money, by following @Refrigeration on Twitter and Northeast Cooling on Facebook.

ENERGY STAR LED Lighting Will Make Your Business Shine

With Earth Day quickly approaching in April, and a general push to do as much as we can to conserve natural resources, it’s only RIGHT to mention commercial refrigeration lighting. Okay, so commercial refrigeration lighting isn’t the sexiest part of your business, but it is an integral one. It’s essential, or at a minimum desirable, to showcase your products in light that shows their best side.

Enter ENERGY STAR Qualified LED lighting products.

What is LED lighting?

LED stands for light-emitting diode. LEDs are small light sources that make lighting more efficient and durable than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. LEDs emit light in a specific direction, while other types of bulbs emit light and HEAT in all directions. LED lighting uses both light and energy more efficiently while generating almost no HEAT. This helps your refrigeration system run more efficiently, saving you hard earned money, while preserving our energy sources.

How are ENERGY STAR Qualified LED lighting products different from other lighting products (fluorescent or incandescent)?

  • Reduces energy costs: Uses at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting, saving on operating expenses.
  • Reduces maintenance costs: Lasts 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting and about 2 to 5 times longer than fluorescent lighting.
  • Reduces cooling costs: LEDs produce almost no heat.
  • Easy and affordable to retrofit: Low cost, minimal disruption of service.
  • Durable: Won’t break like a bulb. Estimated 5-10 year bulb life.
  • Reduces Carbon Footprint: No mercury and no chronic replacement and disposal.

ENERGY STAR reports that, “Qualified commercial products use at least 75% less energy and last 35 times longer than incandescent lighting. Plus, qualified LED lighting produces virtually no heat and provides optimal light color for any environment.”

Not only are commercial refrigeration LED lighting products energy efficient, they are a sound financial and environmental investment. LED lighting products can help you save substantially on cooling costs. These savings afford the opportunity to develop other areas of your business.

Producing clean, clear, sharp, natural lighting while saving energy and protecting the environment: That is very sexy.

Come see Northeast Cooling at Green Chicago’s Earth Day Event on April 18th. We’d love to share our thoughts about environmentally friendly cooling options.

“Business Cards Suck. Hashable is awesome.”


Could it be true there will be no more trading of business cards around the proverbial water cooler at networking events for this Chicago based Ice Machine Repair guy? If Hashable has its way, that’s exactly how things will go.

During a recent interview with Fast Company, Michael Yavonditte, CEO of Hashable, said he wants his new brainchild to change the face of networking.  Hashable takes LinkedIn, Twitter, and Foursquare to all new levels with simple hashtagging. You check-in with people instead of just places as with Foursquare, you can exchange electronic business cards via a LinkedIn connection, and you can have all this posted directly to your Twitter feed for the world to see.  On top of that, there’s a leaderboard feature to provide some competition among friends. The leaderboard ranks users by “Hashcred.” This way you can see who the real movers and shakers are within your network.

Yayonditte goes on to say that, “People are really interested in accessing who is connected to whom, and how strong those connections are. That is the kind of data we have.”

Hashable and all its shiny new functionality will be unveiled and debuted at SXSW next week. Not only can you check in with your friends, there is no need for business cards! No business cards?! No fumbling! No forgetting who you met and where you met them! No more losing other people’s business cards! It’s all in your phone!  With its practicality and entertainment value, it’s possible Hashable could become what Foursquare was last year at SXSW.  A new sensation.

To connect with people, first register at Hashable online and get the app for your phone. Once you’re set up, you simply use the standard hashtags, or you can create your own, then add a person’s Twitter handle and you have made your connection. Some examples are as follows.

#justmet @InsertYourName





There’s also an Introduce feature, so you can play matchmaker on business and personal levels. Digital matchmaking in real time: who could have imagined?

To exchange business cards you simply use the Exchange Business Card feature. Once you’ve connected Hashable to LinkedIn your information is stored and ready to send electronically to your newest business contact or your latest love interest.

Hashable, now in Beta, available to the public without an invitation, recently released a new feature called, “The Inner Circle.” This allows users to see each other’s primary contact information and their interactions.

Before the official launch at SXSW, there will be several #HashUps. We, in the Chicagoland area are lucky enough to have Chicago pre-SXSW #Hashup next week on Tuesday, March 8th at Sushi Samba Rio!

While in its infancy, Hashable seems like a boon for the networking world. Give it a try and see if it enhances your business interaction and your social networking.


Be sure to check out the Hashable cheat sheet. Very handy for beginners.