GreenChill awards Whole Foods for their GREEN Refrigeration Efforts

Whole Foods Receives GreenChill Award for its GREEN Efforts


Northeast Cooling is thrilled to see several major retail grocery chains, not only participating in the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership, but receiving awards for their commitment to the program.

GreenChill was launched in November of 2007 as a response to the phase-out of ozone depleting hydrochlorofluorcarbons.  The GreenChill Partnership pairs the EPA with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease impact on the ozone layer and climate change.

GreenChill started with just six founding partners in 2007; today there are a total of 54 partners, including SuperValu, Whole Foods, Publix, and Target. This brings the total number of individual stores involved in the initiative to over 7,000! It is estimated that these 7,000+ stores make up over 20% of the entire supermarket industry.

Recently, the EPA awarded honors to some of these stores. Among those honored is a chain widely recognized in the Chicago area: Whole Foods. For the second time since becoming a GreenChill Partner, Whole Foods received the Most Improved Emissions Rate Award. This award recognizes the GreenChill Partner with the highest reduction in refrigerant emissions rate. This rate is based on the previous year’s emissions rate.

GreenChill works with supermarkets to provide support through the transition to utilize more environmentally friendly refrigerants, reduce refrigerant use, and eliminate leaks, as the refrigerants used by supermarkets contribute to climate change and deplete the ozone layer, which is vital protection from carcinogenic ultraviolet radiation. It is essential that HCFC emissions are reduced in a timely fashion in order to comply with the Montreal Protocol for the complete phase-out of hydrochloroflourcarbons by 2030 worldwide.

Target joins the GreenChill Partnership

Another locally, and nationally, recognized chain, Target, has also joined the GreenChill Program and has a goal of earning the Energy Star label for at least 75 percent of its U.S. locations by 2016.

Northeast Cooling couldn’t be more supportive of larger chains making the huge effort to go GREEN!


Freeaire® Changing the face of Commercial Refrigeration for the Greener

“Freeaire® – Save Energy, Save Money. Save Maintenance. Save the Planet.”

We like everything about that slogan!

We’ve just discovered Freeaire® and it looks to be an innovative way to create an amazingly efficient Green Commercial Refrigeration system.

Freeaire®’s systems create energy efficient ways to provide retail and commercial refrigeration utilizing natural weather patterns.

Saving you money

The heart of the Freeaire® refrigeration system is its patented electronic Cooler Controller™. This computer is able to create maximum efficiency by operating each component of the conventional refrigeration system only as much as is necessary to produce the desired temperature. This unit can be used globally and in any climate. It’s the computer’s job to make sure all energy is being used efficiently and effectively. No component is allowed to run unnecessarily which saves money and the environment.

Protecting the Environment

Freeaire® is aiming to be part of the solution to our global climate change and excessive use of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels are a major contributor to smog and other nasties that plague the air we breathe. Refrigeration and cooling account for a very significant percentage of commercial and retail energy consumption. For every kilo-watt hour saved, twice that can be saved in CO2  from being emitted into our environment. Freeaire®’s brainiac computer is able to run your commercial refrigeration equipment at its utmost efficiency and thereby save you money and save the excessive use of fossil fuels. Seems like a win-win.

Using Renewable Natural Resources

We are most intrigued by the Freeaire® Polar Power™ package. In climates that are seasonally tundra- like, it allows for the use of fresh, naturally produced cold outside air. Utilizing seasonably cold air is a renewable source of energy, much like the harnessing of wind and solar power. This is such a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to use our natural resources!

The Freeaire® system is “appropriate for coolers and freezers for food warehouses, food processors, grocery and convenience stores, restaurant chains and more, Freeaire® delivers green, sustainable refrigeration with maximum energy savings.”

Check out their website and see if they are right for you!

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.

Chicago Restaurant Refrigeration Energy Checklist

Chicago restaurants and those across the United States spend on average $2.90 per square foot (ft2) on electricity and another $0.85 per ft2 on natural gas annually.  In real dollars, that equals to about 3 to 5 percent of total operating costs that are typically spent on energy.  With the economy hurting, it’s important for restaurants to squeeze every available option to cut down on expenses.  At Northeast Cooling LLC, we take that challenge seriously and offer help to our clients where we can.

We’re a top Chicago commercial refrigeration and ice freezer maintenance, repair, and sales company…but part our success comes from helping our clients with their business, not simply with refrigeration and Chicago ice machine repair.  Because roughly 15 percent of energy dollars are spent on refrigeration, our education to our clients helps turn real energy savings into real dollar savings.

As another step to help Chicago restaurants and their green refrigeration and energy savings initiative, we’ve created a checklist Chicago restaurants can use to ensure high efficiency and refrigeration energy savings.

Chicago Restaurant Refrigeration Energy Checklist

  1. _____ Install strip curtains—replace damaged strip curtains.

  2. _____ Install door closers—repair or replace damaged door closers.

  3. _____ Align refrigerator doors—ensure they close properly.

  4. _____ Keep refrigerator doors, ice machine and prep table covers closed.

  5. _____ Maintain good airflow around the evaporator—remove boxes from front and any objects (plastic bags) from rear.

  6. _____ Replace and insulate faulty condensate drain line heater wire.

  7. _____ Install an evaporator fan controller in walk- in.* Or install high efficiency ECM motors on evaporator and condenser fans.

  8. _____ Clean condenser coils.

  9. _____ Clean evaporator coils.

  10. _____ Check defrost time clocks and set properly.

  11. _____ Check evaporator for icing. (If ice is present, call a commercial refrigeration service company.)

  12. _____ Check walk- in cooler and freezer temperatures. Adjust temperature to proper setting.

  13. _____ Check refrigerant level and recharge if necessary—sight glass clear = full charge.*

  14. _____ Turn off door heaters if no ice.*

  15. _____ Purchase ENERGY STAR reach- in refrigerators and freezers.

We hope you can take this checklist to your restaurant and initiate some and eventually the entire list.  For any help or questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 847-409-3332 and contact us.

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.

Manitowoc Foodservice Earns Energy Star Partner Of The Year 2010

Manitowoc Ice Machines

Our Vendor, Manitowoc Foodservice, Earns Energy Star Partner Of The Year!

As a Chicago commercial refrigeration and ice machine service, repair, and sales company…finding the very best vendors is a must.  We pride ourselves on being able to offer restaurants around the Chicago area with the absolute best commercial refrigeration parts and equipment available.

In addition to the highest quality parts and equipment, restaurant energy savings and green refrigeration are also an area of our expertise.  So when we heard that our Vendor, Manitowoc Foodservices, was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2010 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award, we were ecstatic for them.

Why We’re Proud To Sell And Repair Manitowoc Ice Machines:

Manitowoc Ice Machines are among the highest quality ice production units on the market today.  They not only deliver excellent ice production, but they save our clients some hard earned money with energy savings and help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Commercial ice machines that have earned the ENERGY STAR are approximately 15% more energy-efficient and 10% more water-efficient than their conventional ice machines.  And because refrigeration and ice machines are such a large piece of the overall energy cost for restaurants, this reduction means real monetary savings.

According to the EPA, the 2010 Partner of the Year Awards are given to manufacturers and retailers that successfully promote and deliver ENERGY STAR qualified products, saving consumers money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The awarded winners were selected from more than 17,000 organizations that currently participate in the ENERGY STAR program.

If you have any questions about Manitowoc Ice Machines or anything about green refrigeration, please let me know.  Please contact us via our website or by phone (847.409.3332).  Congrats again to Manitowoc Food Service for their award, we’re proud to be selling their top quality equipment and using their parts.

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.