For most people, last summer was fabulous. Long, sunny days and balmy evenings enabled everyone to go outside, relax and have some fun (without an umbrella for a change!)
The food retail sector saw a rise in consumer spending too as more people enjoyed eating out and buying food for picnics and BBQ’s.
Whilst this is great news for food retailers and eateries, the hot weather was challenging in terms of keeping food and drinks at the right temperatures. Refrigeration and air conditioning systems certainly felt the strain, especially equipment that hadn’t been serviced in a while - a wake-up call for those that suffered technical breakdowns, and risky from a health and safety point of view.
Preparing for hotter summers
If the hot weather taught those selling food and drink one thing, it should be to make sure that cooling equipment is in tip top shape to maintain the quality of produce, and to ensure that customers are comfortable when they are on your premises.
With summer on its way again, food retailers and eateries can begin to take stock of how they coped with the extreme heat last year and consider how to be better prepared this year.
Here are a few tips of our own that will save you money and reduce any risks of downtime:
1. Have your refrigeration equipment checked over. If you don’t have a maintenance plan for your equipment you can still have it checked and serviced. A ‘health check’ will look at the wear on mechanical parts, temperature settings and refrigerant containment.
2. Reduce your energy bills. Well optimised equipment will not only work more efficiently, it will keep running costs down too. If your equipment is more than 7 years old then you could consider replacing it with modern technology which offers A+++ energy efficiency and contains R32 refrigerant, which offers the lowest environmental impact and low running costs.
3. Hygiene. Air conditioning and refrigeration equipment gathers large amounts of dirt and bacteria in the filters. To avoid any risks of food contamination, these filters should be cleaned regularly.
4. Install a doorway air curtain. You can save energy costs by installing an air curtain over the door of your shop or restaurant. Air curtains help to keep the outside temperature out and the inside temperature constant, therefore reducing the energy used by the air conditioning and refrigeration equipment inside.
5. Check cellar or basement storage temperatures. Many pubs still use traditional cellars to store beer and wine to protect the integrity of the goods. It’s essential that temperatures are constant and that equipment is regularly checked. Also, as these areas are often confined spaces, poorly maintained equipment could be a fire risk.
6. Consider a maintenance plan. Any business that uses refrigeration or air conditioning, particularly on premises that store and sell food and drink, should have a maintenance plan in place. A maintenance plan will ensure that all of your equipment is safe, all parts are intact and working efficiently and, importantly, your goods are protected all year round.
Loop Air Conditioning can provide you with FREE ADVICE and guide you on the best maintenance plan for your business. Alternatively, if you would like to book an immediate health check, just to ensure that your equipment is safe and ready for winter, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01438 833600, or complete our online form.
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