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.


Avoid Refrigeration Break Downs During Chicago Blizzard Weather

A large storm system is approaching Chicago.  Word on the street is that this could be the biggest Chicago blizzard in a long long time.  While this type of weather can be fun for kids who are looking for a few days off of school, it can be a nightmare for Chicago restaurants.

Here are a few reasons why.

These winters are often typical to Chicago, and they can lead to big problems with commercial refrigeration equipment.  Extremely cold weather can cause coolers and commercial freezers to run warm.  Large amounts of snow fall can also cause equipment to break down and lead to costly repairs.

This is especially true when the compressor units of your commercial refrigeration are located outside where drifting snow can get drawn into cooling condensers.  When this happens the compressors can shut off due to an internal safety switch.  During times of snow accumulation and or drifting snow, care should be taken to insure outdoor compressor units don’t get buried in snow.  This will result in warm product temperature in the conditioned space.

We recommend that after a snow storm, you and your restaurant should have an inspection of outdoor compressor units.  This inspection will help to ensure that they are not buried in snow.  If they are on a roof, a service company should be called out to perform the inspection for safety reasons.

Be sure to keep an eye on cooler and freezer temperatures during and after heavy snow fall.  You should also call for service if there is a rise in cooler or ice box temperature.

Northeast Cooling would be happy to help keep your valuable and important equipment running smoothly during this Chicago harsh winter weather.

For other tips on how your restaurant can save energy and money, be sure to follow Refrigeration on Twitter, and Fan Northeast Cooling on Facebook.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Northeast Cooling would like to wish all of  our friends and customers a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the company of your friends and family today. We are very thankful for all the  new cooler repair business that we have picked up this last year. We are grateful that our clients give us the opportunity to help them with their refrigeration repair needs!


What is SEER Ratings and Why Does It Matter

SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is the way you can size up the energy efficiency of the air conditioning system. SEER ratings permit consumers to compare operating costs of various cooling systems and products.

The higher your air conditioning’s  SEER rating, the better it is because it simply means that your air conditioning system is very efficient which will translate to big savings as it doesn’t need so much energy to cool your place down. Unfortunately the older your air conditioning system is, the lower its SEER rating is.  Normally, a good air conditioning system would give you a SEER rating of 10 but an older system will give you somewhere around half the rating of the newer system.

It would be best to see your place’s air conditioning system as well. Check out for air leakage, duct system and have your system checked for routine maintenance and other factors that would lead to over taxing your system.

Aside from money you are going to save by having a higher SEER rating, you are also helping save the environment from further decline.  The simple equation is that the lesser energy your air conditioning system requires to operate efficiently the lesser the greenhouse gases it emits.  So having  a SEER rating of at least 10 is a win-win situation for you.

If you own an older air conditioning system that does not reach a SEER rating of at least 10, then consider buying a newer model.  You can easily have 15-17 SEER with the new models.  Again, higher SEER = bigger money saved and environmentally friendly as well.