Refrigeration in the catering and hospitality sector can be responsible for using a significant amount of electricity – in some cases, up to around 40% of the total demand. Therefore, to help operators cut costs, Aquilo Refrigeration has produced a checklist outlining what can be done to ensure that energy usage is kept as low as possible whilst also maximising efficiency.
- If they can be moved easily, site fridges and freezers away from hobs and hot ovens.
- Only open fridge doors when needed.
- Check door seals (gaskets) frequently and, at the first sign of wear, replace them. Damaged seals can account for a substantial waste of energy.
- Defrost and clean regularly.
- Do ensure your fridge contents aren’t packed too tightly, thereby restricting air flow.
- Only use the fridge for items that need to be refrigerated rather than as a convenient store cupboard.
- Don’t set the temperature lower than necessary. The fridge will be a little warmer at the top and colder at the bottom so use the space wisely.
- Clean the condenser coil regularly as, if it’s dirty, it puts more pressure on the fridge to maintain temperature and therefore uses more electricity.
- If you’re considering replacing your refrigeration or buying any new units do bear in mind that the refrigerant used can make a significant difference to energy usage with R290 considered the most eco-friendly available consuming up to five times less energy than old-style refrigerants. Other features that can reduce your energy requirements are easy-to-clean condenser filters which help keep the condenser working at peak efficiency and magnetic gaskets which can be replaced in minutes.