A commercial refrigerator or refrigerators is the backbone of every restaurant, grocery store, and corner store. So much of their inventories are either chilled or frozen and must stay at a cold temperature, so business owners need to depend on their fridges to keep their products preserved and their customers safe.

If a commercial fridge shows any of the following signs of malfunctioning or age, now may be a good time to consider upgrading the fridge to a more modern one. These are five of the most telling signs that your fridge may need an outright replacement rather than a regular repair job in order to function at its best.

Sign 1: It looks like snow…on the inside

Frost buildup inside of a fridge definitely means something is wrong, especially with your fridge’s ability to cool down a fridge. In this case, it’s cooling way down, more so than it really should. Frost can usually build up when a door is not properly closed or the seal is torn, forcing the compressor to work harder than usual to cool down the inside of the fridge. A more likely cause, however, is the defrost function not working properly.

However you look at it, it should not look like it’s about to snow inside of the fridge, and the cause is too complex for a simple DIY fix. Calling in a professional as soon as frost is discovered (if it’s discovered) is highly recommended.

Sign 2: It’s warm…too warm

One of the most common signs a commercial fridge is going to have to be replaced is when it has difficulty with maintaining a consistent cold internal temperature. A healthy refrigerator should be able to keep its contents chilled between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius (36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit). Any temperature fluctuation will indicate that there’s a problem for your technician to look at, especially if that unit is struggling to keep its temperature below 2 degrees.

A too-warm environment is usually caused by a flaw in the seal, such as damaged panel joints, a faulty door gasket, or a worn out hinge or two. This can cause cold air to escape from the fridge and thus demand the compressor to work harder than usual to keep internal temperature going, which in turns drives up your energy bills. Heat can also mean that dust has built up on top of the condensers, which while fixable may also be a cause of concern if maintenance hasn’t been performed regularly enough.

Sign 3: What’s that smell?

The first thing we know that nobody wants to discover while they’re shopping is food that smells really, really off. You should never smell food that’s spoiled when you’re taking it out of the fridge, especially when it’s not even close to the expiration date stamped on it. Spoiled food is yet another sign of a fridge on the brink of breakdown. It means something is most definitely wrong with the fridge’s cooling process.

What’s the second thing, you’re wondering? Higher than usual energy bills in your mailbox or inbox (depending on how you receive your bills these days). Again, it could be your fridge’s fault, especially if it can’t keep up with maintaining a cool temperature, because when it does so it’s also draining energy.

Sign 4: There’s a leak…and another one…and another one!

Any leak from the fridge is a cause for concern! If you or, even worse, your customers discover a pool of water surrounding or leaking out onto the floor in front of the fridge, there are a couple reasons why. The most fixable reasons are that the evaporation pan is full, the drainage hose is clogged, or the gasket needs to be replaced.

A leak could also be coming from an old or damaged seal on the door, or it means your walk-in cooler was poorly installed in the first place, both of which are more serious situations. Either way, leaving any water puddles untreated is not something we recommend at all, because it will lead to mildew and mold buildup—something your health inspector is going to be very unhappy about.

Leaks may also not be leaks at all, but rather a sweaty fridge. Condensation, while not as alarming, is still another red flag that you cannot afford to ignore. Moisture can accumulate on the outside if the door is not shut properly or if the sealing or gaskets have been damaged. If condensation is appearing on the inside, it means something is wrong with the temperature setting, which if left alone can lead to sign 3 that we just described: spoiled food.

Sign 5: It’s repaired often, making it less efficient

There’s a reason we as technicians do insist that you replace a unit outright over constant repairs, especially if the commercial fridge in question is older than ten or fifteen years plus it hasn’t been properly maintained or cleaned since.

Some fridges that are older than 15 years of use may last up to 20 if they’re really well taken care of. However, if you’ve decided to add repair job after repair job over and over since you first installed the fridge, that’s a more concerning issue because, as we already stated, if it’s been repaired constantly then its efficiency becomes less than it was originally. Put a stop to frequent repair jobs if your fridge keeps breaking down and get a new one instead; it may cost you more money at first, but the savings will benefit your business for years to come.

Need a new commercial fridge installed or repaired? Give us a call! At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@nullrepairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!