When it comes to your company's commercial refrigeration units, few things take as much daily abuse and use as your walk-in coolers. If you are setting up new commercial refrigeration equipment, this is the best time to put a plan in place to protect the doors of those walk-in coolers. Remember that the more they are used, the greater the risk of damage if you aren't proactive about it now. Here are a few tips that will help you not only keep your doors properly functional but also protect them from damage over time.
Start With Professional Installation
With the cost involved in adding commercial refrigeration equipment to your facility, you might be considering skipping the professional installation in favor of doing it yourself. This could actually be harmful to the lifespan of your walk-in coolers.
Professional installation ensures that the coolers are level, which eliminates a lot of the physical stress on the door from it being uneven. In addition, a professional installer can position the door so that it is plumb against the cooler, which preserves the seal around the gasket of the door.
Finally, the professional installation also means that you have someone onsite who can recognize potential hazards to the doors, choose the right hardware to keep them secured, and select an installation location that will protect the doors from unnecessary obstructions.
Add Kick Plates To Both Sides
Remember that your walk-in coolers are going to see a lot of traffic in and out, especially on delivery days. This means that people will have their hands full as they come in or out of the door, and a common solution to ensure that the door closes is to use their feet. This can cause wear and tear on the door over time.
Avoid this accumulated damage by installing kick plates on both sides of the walk-in cooler doors. Kick plates are made of heavy-duty metal, and they are secured with rivets or bolts on the door. They provide a barrier between the outside world and the door itself, giving people a place that they can press against without causing damage to the doors.
Maintain Your Doors Properly
Walk-in cooler doors usually come in one of two styles. You may either have self-lubricating doors or you may need to lubricate the hinges periodically. The frequency of lubrication usually depends on how much use the door receives, but it should be done annually at least. Your commercial refrigeration technician can tell you how often the lubrication should be done.
In addition, inspect the door regularly for any wear or damage on the gasket. If the gasket is drying out, cracking, or no longer making a proper seal, you need to reach out to a commercial refrigeration technician to replace it. Not only can a failing gasket cause damage to the door over time, but it can also lead to air leaks, which can threaten your inventory and increase your utility bills.
Schedule Routine Service
Work with a commercial refrigeration technician who offers annual inspections and maintenance services. That way, you can have the coolers inspected regularly, maintained properly, and even repaired when needed. Annual preventative maintenance can extend the life of your commercial coolers significantly, so don't discount the importance of this.
As you can see, there are things you need to consider as you prepare to install new commercial walk-in coolers in your facility. Find a commercial refrigeration technician who can help you choose the right units and get off on the right foot with your new equipment. He or she can answer any questions you have and help you plan your installation schedule.