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.

Lake County Social Networking

Northeast Cooling is highly active on social media networks such as Twitter and on our Facebook Page.  We’ve been able to find real business benefits to utilizing these platforms and engaging with others.  However, as important and beneficial as our online connections have become, we truly value the opportunity to get to meet fantastic people face to face.  In support of that, we like to help promote and sponsor local Chicago business, groups, and people who help to enhance those opportunities.

We’re proud to have been a supporter and sponsor of Lake County Social Networking (@LakeCSN on Twitter) since it’s inception last year.  Tim McDonald founded the group with the intent to create meaningful connections & help support local Chicagoland businesses.  During that time we have had the pleasure of meeting & networking with great people that live & or work in Lake County Illinois.

The last meeting was held at Flatlanders Restaurant in Lincolnshire on October nineteenth.   The guest speaker that night was Ramon De Leon.  If you’re unfamiliar with Ramon, he’s a social media superstar and has been featured on countless blogs and he’s presented at conferences throughout the country.  Ramon has been very successful enhancing his Chicago Domino’s brand utilizing social media platforms.  So basically, when Ramon speaks…we listen.  Ramon gave a fantastic presentation on social media and how he has found success promoting his Dominos brand.  He had so many good points it was hard to keep up and jotting everything down became difficult.  Here is a quick summary of some great tips that really resonated with me during his presentation.

Takeaways from Ramon’s presentation on social media

  • Engagement is very important. Reach out and connect with your followers
  • Monitor OPN ( other peoples networks )
  • Social media is a tool that can be used to help with a business plan, NOT replace it.
  • Talk about your customers most of the time, not your own business.
  • Use to keep up with what people are saying about your brand.
  • Monitor the conversation about your brand & respond.
  • Use foursquare for your business & create an rss feed of your foursquare feed. Thank people for checking in
  • If using social media logos in advertising make sure to include the url’s. Don’t make it hard for people to find your business
  • Make sure your business blog is mobile compatible & works well with all types of phones.
  • Check out and learn from informative websites and blogs, such as the Social Media Examiner.
  • Create a hash tag or multiple hash-tags for your business

So that’s what we learned and talked about.  What tips have worked with you to promote your brand?  Leave a comment and let us know!

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.