Know When To Replace Your Commercial Refrigerator Or Compressor

When it comes to repairs, think of your commercial refrigerator like you would your car. Imagine the compressor in a cooler is like an engine in a vehicle. If the compressor goes bad and is replaced you get a new compressor, not a whole new cooler. The same way the garage doesn’t tell you to get a new car just because you need a bit of engine work. In other words, all the other components including coils, fans, controls, piping, and  gaskets (door seals) are still old. This is similar to an engine in a car going bad and being replaced. You end up with a new engine in an old car. There are a couple of key factors to consider when trying to decide whether or not to do a major repair on a piece of refrigeration equipment. Here are a few things to ponder before pulling the trigger on an expensive repair.

1. How old is the cooler? If older than 10 years it is advisable to price out a new one.

2. What kind of refrigerant is used in the cooler? If the answer is R12, R502, or R22, consider pricing out a new cooler. R12 and R502 have been banned by the EPA for years and R22 is currently being phased out by the EPA.

3. What is the overall condition of the cooler? Check door seals, hinges, floor in cooler, coils, and fans. If everything looks like it’s falling apart, it may be time to price out a new cooler.

We are happy to perform repairs for customers, but don’t want to see them throwing good money after bad.

Commercial Refrigerator Condensing Unit

Last week a customer in Chicago had a large walk-in freezer compressor go bad. The condensing unit that the compressor was part of was around 18 years old. The system was set up to run on R502 gas which is now obsolete, since it has been banned by the EPA. There were two options for customer: 1. Get same compressor and convert the  system to a newer style gas called R404A,  or 2. Replace the entire condensing unit including compressor, condenser coil, fans, controls, and enclosure with a new unit set up for R404 gas. The new unit is far more efficient than the old condensing unit.

Our customer ended up going with option #2 and we installed a new R404A condensing unit for their freezer. That was a good choice.

If your commercial refrigerator is set up to run on obsolete gas it’s time to replace it when any major repair comes up. The unit is most likely very energy inefficient.

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!

Chicago Blizzard And Snow Storm Twitter HashTags

The Chicago blizzard is officially upon us.  As the snow piles up, the Chicago social media community has responded with an avalanche of commentary, photos, and posts.

The following tweets contain all the hashtags I’ve heard of so far for the Chicago Blizzard. Can you help add to the list? Reply to  @refrigeration or leave a comment. Thanks. Be safe if the blizzard actually hits 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.

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.

Team Refrigeration’s Big Day @ #fijihunt Event!

Team Refrigeration had a blast participating in Fiji Water Urban Hunt this weekend! @Leyla_A did a great job putting the event together. We would like to thank all the other sponsors who helped make this event happen & provided great prizes. The companies who got involved in this event all know how great social media is at connecting people. This event is a great example of how social media brings people together online & in real life (IRL)!

Upon arriving @SushiSambaChi I ordered the Churrasco Burger. It came with crispy onions, chorizo mayo & a pretzel bun. It was delicious. My partner @ChicagoDMBlover showed up a short while later & we started gearing up for the scavenger hunt. We both had plenty of extra batteries for the smart phones & I brought a net book. We took off for Navy Pier after receiving our clues.

The first place we hit was Bubba Gumps on the pier. We had to take a picture of the bartender making a VeeV Coctail & post the ingredients on FaceBook & Twitter. We also checked in on FourSquare for extra points, FourSquare is a location based social network which allows you to connect and share tips with other nearby users.

We  made a video singing happy birthday to a complete stranger for extra points. That was embarrassing & fun at the same time! While at Navy Pier we got to see the Blue Angles flying overhead for the Air Show!

Our next stop was the W Hotel Whiskey Sky Lounge at 644 N Lake Shore Dr. This task took embarrassment to a whole new level. We had to be video taped doing 3 dances.  The Running Man, Cabbage Patch & The Robot. We then posted a picture of our team doing the Robot Dance to twitter & Face Book. I definitely plan on going back to Whiskey Sky Lounge. The views of the city and lake front were amazing. We took a nice @fijiwater break while at Whiskey Sky Lounge!

Next we headed to Aja restaurant (@ajachicago) in the Dana Hotel (@danahotel) 660 N. State St. While there we had the bartender make a VeeV cocktail and explain the ingredients to us. We then tweeted the ingredients, posted them on face book and took a picture of the drink being made and posted that as well.

The next stop on our route was the John Hancock building at 875 North Michigan Avenue. There we had to take a picture by the “Sky High Cocktail” from @athousandfeetup image on the lower level. We also found out who designed the building by asking at the information desk. The answer was Fazlur Khan in 1969. We posted this information along with the picture we took to Twitter and Face Book.Our next stop was Lululemon athletica, a yoga-inspired athletic apparel company at 900 N. Michigan Ave. We tried on their clothes and learned about the features…never thought I’d be in yoga wear! The shirts are “anti stink, anti static, seamless & body shaping.”  We tweeted and posted to Facebook about the qualities of the shirts.  By the time we got done  @lululemon it was 5:40 P.M. & we started heading back to Sushi Samba.

Our final task at Sushi Samba was to make ourselves @VeeV cocktails! We were more than happy to do so after walking all over Chicago on a 90+ degree day! Here is the picture of my partner @chicagodmblover making us some nice stiff VeeV & Cranberry Cocktails! The drinks were smooth & excellent!

Teresa (@chicagodmblover) pouring us some VeeV Cocktails!

We had a great time competing  in the scavenger hunt. The after party at Sushi Samba was a blast. The Sushi appetizers were delicious. Good crowd & great to see friends new & old. I snapped a nice picture of my friend @feliciacago (on rite) with Teresa my Fiji Hunt partner.

Team Refrigeration (@refrigeration) Came very close to winning this event…. Let me rephrase that! Team Refrigeration was very close to the winning team when the winner was announced. My new friends @chicofc & @jimmydoestea (team teabaggers) won the event. I was ready with a camera when they found out! I am very happy they ended up winning!

@jimmydoestea & @chicofc #fijihunt Champs!

The night doesn’t end there! After the party at Sushi Samba my partner Teresa & I went out to a phenomenal dinner with  many other friends including @jimmydoestea @chicofc @tamcdonald @chicagodmblover @princessv13 @getyouryggi @mkinchitown @ebarchdesign. We dined like Kings & Queens @kinziechophouse!

This was a wonderful Saturday that won’t soon be forgotten!