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!


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!


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.