Commercial refrigeration systems are essential for many businesses. Industrial fridges and display freezers are necessary for preserving the quality and safety of various perishable goods across multiple industries.
These machines can be power guzzlers, consuming significant energy and quickly racking up utility bills. Fortunately, there are several practical ways to save energy without compromising the efficiency of your refrigeration systems.
Here are our top nine hacks to help your business reduce energy costs while maintaining optimal refrigeration performance.
1. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Units
When considering upgrading your refrigeration units, focus on energy-efficient models if money savings is your goal. These modern, innovative units are designed with advanced technologies that consume less power while maintaining optimal cooling performance. Look for features like variable-speed compressors, which adjust their speed based on cooling demands to reduce energy consumption during off-peak hours.
Since energy-efficient models are becoming more common on the market, they’re no longer as costly as they were when first introduced to the industry. We recommend shopping around and finding one that works with your budget and provides the long-term savings you want.
2. Optimize Temperature Settings
Maintaining precise temperature settings is crucial for energy efficiency. Consider investing in programmable thermostats or controllers that allow for precise temperature regulation and scheduling. This way, you can adjust temperatures based on business hours, ensuring energy isn’t wasted during idle times.
Use the Adaptive Defrost Controls
If temperature settings aren’t a feature of your current refrigeration unit, you might want to replace it with an updated model. When purchasing new appliances, consider systems with adaptive defrost controls that monitor frost buildup and initiate defrost cycles only when necessary. Features like this are designed to prevent unnecessary defrosting, optimize energy use, and closely monitor temperature.
3. Conduct Regular Maintenance
Like all mechanical equipment, a comprehensive maintenance routine improves efficiency and extends the lifespan of your refrigeration systems. Committing to ongoing maintenance is required to prevent premature aging and to avoid excessive energy consumption.
If you don’t currently do this, schedule routine checks to inspect the following:
- Refrigerant levels
- Condition of the evaporator
- Condenser coils
- Electrical components
An efficient system operates with less strain, leading to reduced energy consumption. If you aren’t in the market to purchase a new unit, regularly maintaining your current one is a practical workaround.
Investing in Refrigeration Maintenance Contracts
Consider signing up for preventive maintenance contracts with professional service providers. These contracts offer regular inspections and tune-ups, ensuring your systems remain energy-efficient throughout their lifecycle.
4. Implement Night Curtains or Covers
You may not have thought of this trick, but covering your unit can save you money over time. How so? Installing these covers during off-peak hours can minimize energy loss due to heat transfer, especially in environments with varying ambient temperatures.
Night curtains or covers are particularly beneficial for open display cases or freezer sections.
5. Utilize Proper Refrigeration Organization
Effective organization within refrigeration units promotes better airflow and aids in energy conservation. You should create a layout that places perishable items strategically to minimize door openings and reduce warm air infiltration. This practice maintains consistent temperatures within the unit, reducing the load on the system.
Here are some additional tips:
- Maintain temperature zones.
- Use shelving and storage equipment to reduce clutter.
- Clean units regularly to reduce cooling system failure.
- Monitor internal temperatures.
- Optimize airflow by arranging items.
If your fridge is organized and cleaned, the motor won’t need to overexert itself to maintain a regulated internal temperature. In turn, you can save on your monthly energy bill and preserve the unit.
6. Invest in Motion-Sensing Technology
Another hidden hack from our techs is incorporating motion-sensing technology for on-demand lighting within commercial refrigeration units. Motion lights can automatically switch on or off based on movement, ensuring they’re only active when necessary and saving additional energy.
For best results, we recommend hiring a professional electrician experienced in this type of installation. They’ll also know the best motion-sensing technology for your refrigeration unit and budget.
7. Install Energy-Saving Fan Motors
Energy-saving fan motors are designed to operate efficiently while consuming less power. When paired with optimized airflow configurations, these motors contribute significantly to reducing overall energy consumption. If your refrigeration unit is relatively new and doesn’t need to be replaced, you can install a fan motor for a few hundred dollars and begin to experience long-term savings.
8. Conduct Blower Door Tests
Consider conducting blower door tests periodically to detect air leaks around refrigeration unit doors. Identifying and sealing these leaks can substantially improve energy efficiency.
Since this process requires specialized equipment, it’s best to outsource the work to a qualified, licensed professional. They’ll conduct the test, identify leaks, seal leaks, retest, and maintain records. Once they conclude their service, you can have peace of mind knowing your refrigeration system is no longer wasting energy.
9. Utilize Energy Management Software
If your refrigeration unit is older, consider integrating energy management software into your system. This software interfaces with remote monitoring systems, collecting and analyzing data regarding energy consumption. By leveraging this affordable technology, you can detect usage patterns, receive optimization suggestions, and track trends in energy utilization.
These insights empower you to take proactive steps towards energy conservation, potentially yielding substantial savings and extending the lifespan of your dated refrigeration unit. You’ll also know precisely when it’s time to replace your system with a new, highly efficient one. You can purchase these systems at department stores or HVAC sales companies.
Bonus Tip 10. Explore Energy-Efficient Commercial Refrigeration with Leading Edge Mechanical Inc
By implementing these strategies, you can enhance the energy efficiency of your commercial refrigeration systems to reduce energy costs and contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly operation.
Our final bonus tip is to work with the energy efficiency pros at Leading Edge Mechanical Inc for your sustainable upgrade. Our techs know everything there is to know about getting the most value from your refrigeration systems while lowering your energy bills.
Set up a consultation by calling us at (218) 237-5125 today.