Climarite featured in top hospitality magazine

Money saving top tips for commercial refrigeration systems in the hospitality and catering sector.

THE owner of a Lancashire refrigeration and air conditioning company has warned hospitality operators that now is the time to make sure their cooling systems are in good order.

Patrick Connolly, owner and engineer at Ormskirk-based Climarite which services customers throughout the North West, says catering companies can save both time and money with some basic upkeep of their equipment.

“We’re often called out to jobs that could have been avoided if the apparatus had been properly cleaned and used correctly,” he said. “A little TLC goes long way to prevent system breakdowns and expand the lifespan of equipment.“Another major consideration is energy management, with the hospitality industry being particularly susceptible for overconsumption that leads to rising costs.

“If we take restaurants for example, approximately one third of the electrical consumption is used by refrigeration.

“In addition, it is estimated that the sector could cut energy bills by as much as 20% with relatively little effort. Reviewing daily practices and ensuring employees adhere to simple rules can contribute to significant annual cost savings.”

He offers these Top Tips for improved efficiency in refrigeration and air conditioning:

  • Prioritise maintenance: well-maintained systems use considerably less energy; so regularly servicing your equipment is vital. Keep refrigeration condensers clean and dust-free, as well as checking fans – dirty blades will reduce airflow and efficiency.
  • Do not over-refrigerate: only cool to the temperature you need, as every 1°C can save you 1.5-2% of the total energy output.
  • Check seals: all doors on refrigeration equipment should have well-fitting seals, with door gaskets or auto closers fully intact. Damaged or broken seals can often be identified with a simple visual check.
  • Regularly clean and replace air filters: whether using a central air conditioning system or stand-alone unit, even partially blocked filters will send the system into overdrive – costing more money to do the same job. Check the HVAC filter system regularly and be prepared to change it every 3-4 months.
  • Keep doors shut: loading and unloading tasks should be carefully organised so doors are not left open for longer than absolutely necessary. Consider installing strip curtains in cold rooms to reduce temperature fluctuation.
  • Never overstock: always make sure there is plenty of room for the cool air to circulate properly, products should not block grilles, fans or extractors.
  • Give bottle coolers a break: unless you are open 24/7, and providing the seals are in good working order, these systems can be turned off at night. Switching off the lights at a minimum will prevent the system working harder than it needs to.
  • Zone control AC: operating heating and cooling systems at the same time not only increase energy consumption but is likely to wear your system out more quickly – hotels regularly succumb to this pitfall. Again, make sure doors are kept closed and ensure systems are set to a realistic temperature.
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