Round Lake Refrigeration

Northeast Cooling is a commercial refrigeration company based in Round Lake Illinois. We specialize in the service & repair of coolers, freezers & ice machines. We do one thing & we do it well! We cater to C Stores, Service Stations, Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, Scientific Labs & more. Read more


KE2 Temp + Defrost Controller Is Innovation In Refrigeration

The KE2 Temp + Defrost Controller represents a major advance in Commercial Refrigeration temperature & operation control. Never before has temperature control, automatic defrost & anti short cycling been combined into one digital controller.

 

KE2 Temp + Defrost Controller For Medium & Low Temperature Reach In & Walk In CoolersWe are excited about the introduction of the KE2 Temp + Defrost Controller to the Commercial Refrigeration market recently. This product offers many new features for the control of medium & low temperature refrigeration systems that had previously required separate components for individual functions.

In the past temperature control, defrost & anti short cycling could be achieved only by using one component for each function. A thermostat was needed for temperature control, a separate defrost clock for defrost & a relay for anti short cycling of compressor. Now the KE2 Temp + Defrost Controller can handle all three tasks on medium temperature Refrigeration Equipment (low temperature applications would still require a separate defrost circuit for evaporator fan & coil heater control). The old style temperature, defrost & anti short cycle controls were usually mechanical. All of these features (temperature control, defrost & anti short cycling) are digital & included within the new Ke2 control.

We know from in the field experience that digital controls offer far better precision & accuracy than comparable mechanical refrigeration controls. KE2 also offers a visual alert for high temperature, low temperature & sensor. The control also indicates when system is in defrost mode & also when system is recovering temperature from a defrost mode. This feature cuts down on false alarms & unnecessary service calls. Ke2 is dual voltage & can operate on either 120 or 208 – 240 volt power supply. We believe that this new product offers great features in one digital control. We will be using the KE2 Temp + Defrost on most refrigeration repair & installation jobs in the future due to it’s features & dependability.

Features of the KE2 Temp & Defrost Controller:

  • Thermostat
  • Off time defrost on schedule or custom defrost
  • Compressor protection – Maximum starts per hour
  • Manual defrost
  • 1st defrost 2 hours after start up
  • Visual alarmingHigh temperature / Low Temperature / Sensor
  • Space temperature sensor is supplied with 10 foot lead

Hardware:

  • Relay for solenoid / compressor
  • 3 digit 7 – segment display
  • 4- button user interface
  • Modbus terminals (KE2 Temp includes RS-485 Modbus Communication)

Please leave a comment or ask about this great new product. Also feel free to contact us with any questions about 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.

 


DIY Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance Inspection

DIY Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance Inspection

We’re here to help you with all things commercial refrigeration. We’d like to help you keep your machines running smoothly between maintenance calls. So, with some information and timely tips our aim is to assist business owners in better understanding when it’s time to make that call to schedule a maintenance appointment for their commercial coolers and freezers in Chicago. We’re also sharing some handy pointers on preventive maintenance that the end user can perform on their own.

First TIP, and essential, to a well running cooler or freezer:

Routine maintenance should be performed at least twice per year.

A thorough plan performed by a service company should include the following:

  • Pressure Cleaning Condenser Coils (degrease if necessary)
  • Pressure Clean Drain Lines
  • Monitor Temperature & Cycling
  • Check Refrigerant Level
  • Check Condenser and Evaporator Fan Motors & Blades
  • Check Electrical Connections: Wiring & Compressor
  • Check Unit Thermometer: Door Gaskets & Insulation
  • Check Door Hinges & Closers
  • Ice Machines should be taken apart & cleaned.
  • An acid descale solution should then be run through the water circuit.

This is what a dirty ice machine can look like:

Dirty Ice Machine
Ice Machine covered in slime & mold.

If you own commercial refrigeration YOU should be aware of when the last maintenance service was performed.

If  you had maintenance service preformed over six months ago then you might be surprised to learn that it’s now OVERDUE. In between service calls you can help keep your machines running as efficiently as possible by cleaning out the dust and dirt. Most self contained coolers and freezers have a cover at the top or bottom. This cover can be removed by taking out two screws on each side. Refrigeration owners can remove this cover to inspect the condition of the condenser coil once a month.

This condenser so dirty it can cause compressor to fail:

Dirty Condenser Coil On A Commercial Cooler
Dirty Condenser Coil

Here is the same condenser with half,  and then all, of the dirt removed with a brush. BIG difference, right? This is something the end user can do in between full maintenance programs. Although, this does not remove all the dirt it will help you keep your unit running more efficiently between service calls. A service company will still need to come and blow out the coils with a pressure clean a few times a year.

Dirty Condenser Coil On A Commercial Cooler  Dust Blanket Removed From Condenser Coil On A Commercial Cooler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the refrigeration unit is a remote rack type like one pictured below, remove a side cover and look up from bottom to inspect condition of condenser coil.

Remote Refrigeration Rack Unit

 Here are the main things a customer can do between maintenance visits:

  • Check air-cooled condenser coils on coolers, freezers, and ice machines. These are the fan coils on the exterior of the unit. Brush off the dirt without damaging the aluminum fins.
  • Check ice machines. Remove cover and inspect interior for signs of mold or slime build-up. If any build-up is found call a service company.
  • Check door gaskets on coolers and freezers. Inspect for rips or tears.
  • Check automatic door closers and hinges on equipment.

Keep in mind the following:

Equipment may still maintain temperature EVEN when in need of maintenance. It will also use significantly more electricity and be prone to major component failure.

In the case of refrigeration equipment an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a  pound of cure!