Skip to main content

How to Tell If Your Commercial Fridge is Getting Old

Published on: December 3, 2018

IMPORTANT NOTE: . Our company is located in British Columbia, Canada. If you are reading this article in another location, we hope you enjoy the information, but unfortunately we cannot service you. 

It’s a sad fact that all machines wear down over time and eventually must be replaced. However, with certain machines such as HVAC systems, they can last past their warranty date so long as you properly keep them cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.

With commercial fridges, it can be tough to figure out exactly how well it’s holding up depending on if you’re the owner or staff who’s constantly using it. Knowing the signs of when it’s getting too old to use any longer can help you save money for future investments, as well as avoid breakdowns at the worst possible time! So here are some tips on how to tell your commercial fridge needs to retire on account of getting old.

Its Age

We’ll get the most obvious point out of the way first. Any refrigeration that is over 15 years old does not and will not contain the energy efficient technology that newer fridges have. That means if your business is still using an older fridge, it’s causing you to spend more on energy bills than you need to. Plus, when repair is needed, the parts are more difficult to find, which causes a more expensive repair job.

So, if your commercial fridge really is over 15 years old, don’t bother asking for repairs. A full replacement is needed.

Temperature Problems

Is your bottle fridge failing to cool down the drinks inside? In the commercial restaurant industry or the grocery and retail industries, fixing the temperature in a timely manner is essential.

Before picking up the phone to call for help, you can examine the appliance and see if it’s a simple fix before declaring it to be too old. Is the fridge placed directly against the wall? If so, it needs to be slightly shifted away from a wall so it can have room to circulate air properly and efficiently.

Another thing to look at is the gasket. Are you seeing some wear and tear? Commercial fridges are built to withstand countless openings and closings, so it should close and seal completely in order for the fridge to properly cool. If the gasket is looking worn out, though, you should get help.

If you’ve still examined these areas and there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong, other than the temperature problem, it could be something more complex such as a faulty temperature control gauge. An incorrect temperature reading can also be caused because of a blocked vent. Double check by using a thermometer to make sure the thermostat is working for sure. If not, then calling in an HVAC technician to perform an inspection and service is your best chance of fixing your current temperature problems.

Power Fluctuations

Sometimes a fridge may not be cooling properly or powering up the way it’s supposed to. This issue should be resolved immediately. First make sure the fridge, if it has a power switch, isn’t switched off. Check to see if the power cord has been properly plugged in all the way, in case it’s been knocked out of place.

If these two things still aren’t the problem, you should check the wiring for the outlet and ground wires to see if they’re active. If it’s failing it could be because of the power supply, not the unit. You can use a voltage detector to see if voltage is present in the outlet. If even that is absent, it’s a sign your fridge is getting too old.


Most of the time when there’s a weird noise coming from the fridge it’s due to either a compressor on its last legs or evaporator coils that are getting clogged up. While the latter scenario is a fixable one (albeit a messy one—calling in a technician can help with cleanup), the compressor situation is trickier. This part should be kept clean and its location devoid of dirt, dust, hair, grease, and other buildup that can affect the compressor’s ability to cool down the fridge. If you’ve properly maintained your compressor regardless (typically every 90 days), and it’s still running too hot, it’s a sign your fridge is starting to fail.

Other big giveaway signs of noise are hissing and a repeated cycle of cooling that’s frequently switching itself on and off. If these noises are accompanied with other telltale signs, i.e. sweating and leaking, it’s a sign to get some major repair work done or—and this will be better for your business in the long run—a complete replacement.

When in Doubt, Get Help

Even the most top-of-the-line and durable commercial fridges can wear out over time due to their age or, in some cases, a lack of proper maintenance and cleaning. If you’ve already performed your due diligence on maintaining the fridge and you still can’t pinpoint the problem, it’s time to call in a professional. If your commercial refrigerator is still under its parts and labour or manufacturer warranty, you need to check the warranty details to make sure any repairs you or the technician may perform won’t void your warranty.

You can also sign up for a regular maintenance plan and worry less about your fridge or fridges. This can help minimize the need for larger repairs in the near future. There are also financing plans you can consider in the event budget is a concern of yours, which you can read more about here.

Give us a call if your business needs help with its commercial fridge. 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: 1-778-728-1476 or and don’t forget to take a look at our website: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

Request your service today!

Our team of highly trained technicians are standing by ready to help you out with all of your service, repair, and installation needs. You can count on us for on-time repairs, professional installation, and the friendliest customer service in town!

Contact Rep-Air Heating & Cooling today to get started with service by requesting a quote online, or by phone at 778-728-1476.

Request Service

Contact us today to request an estimate or schedule service.