Sometimes, it isn’t the quality of your marketing or the appearance of our shop front that makes or breaks your season – it’s merely a matter of paying attention to the day-to-day care and handling of your equipment. This is especially true for firms that rely on machinery and tools that take more abuse in the warm seasons – like refrigeration compressors. Whether you’ve recently invested in new, efficient Dorin compressors or are soldering on with units you’ve had in service for years, ensuring your refrigeration compressors are regularly serviced and inspected is part of keeping the ship that is your business sailing smoothly.
Why Does My Compressor Matter?
The truth is, it depends on your business sector. Most companies deal with refrigeration compressors as part of their HVAC system, or as an incidental nicety in the break room fridge. But for some, like catering companies and ice cream shops, the refrigeration compressors installed on site can play an integral role in the firm’s ability to remain open. For food-related industries, there are strict regulations about the temperatures at which foods must be stored, prepared, served, and handled. It’s easy to see how having a refrigeration compressor fail can spell disaster, especially during the warm months ahead.
What Does the Compressor Actually Do?
If you’re new to dealing with refrigeration in regards to shipping, storage, or any other “mass” area, don’t fret. The compressors you’ll encounter here are essentially the same as the one in your very own kitchen fridge. Basically, refrigeration is a cycle:
- First, the refrigeration compressor condenses the refrigerant being used, as the gas becomes pressurized, it heats up;
- Then, the hot gas winds its way through the coils on the back of your fridge/freezer, allowing the heat to dissipate and the gas re-condenses into its liquid form but remains under pressure;
- Next, the pressurized liquid flows through an expansion valve that acts as a gateway to a less pressurized environment;
- Finally, as the liquid seeps through the valve the pressure lowers, allowing it to boil and forcing it back into its gas form and through the compressor;
The repetition of this cycle releases heat from the fridge, each time the refrigerant liquid converts to vapor. Without the refrigeration compressor at it’s core, your fridge would effectively be a very expensive picnic cooler, without the handy cupholder.
What Maintenance Do Refrigeration Compressors Require?
There are plenty of variables in refrigeration compression units that must be considered in order to give appropriate maintenance advice, however for most units there are a few key areas that should be attended to on a regular schedule. These include:
- Evaporators: check the condition of electrical connections, the function of fan motors, cleanliness of fan blades, position of defrost heaters, condition of evaporator coils, inspect drainage channels and pans for blockages, and clean the surface of the coils.
- Compressors: check electrical connections for corrosion and other defects, inspect electrical components for wear and tear, check the defrost timer for corrosion and proper function, inspect controls for appropriate set points and functionality, check and oil level, inspect defrost controls, check refrigerant level and charge as needed, repair refrigerant leaks if necessary, check suction at the superheat point in the unit, inspect all hose lines for wear and tear, clean unit covers, and replace any missing caps.
- Condensers: clean the coil, check fans for signs of wear, clean fan blades, and lubricate motors as necessary.
Keeping a log of any maintenance activities is vital so that the next person who comes along knows what your team has done in terms of care for the machinery your firm depends on for success.
If you’re looking for ways to ensure the refrigeration compressors in your facility are definitely up to scratch, the best course of action is reaching out to an accredited service firm for an inspection. This will give you clear insight as to how well (or poorly) your systems have been maintained in the past, as well as a clear direction for ongoing maintenance and repairs going forward.