Save Some Cash on Your Utilities
Operating a business can be a rollercoaster, with unpredictable highs and lows which almost all businesses have to navigate – sometimes more than others. Occasionally, business slows down unexpectedly, or there’s a need to shut down for a short time in order to keep the ledger in the black. But even when business is at an unwelcome standstill, there are hidden ways to save money, and prepare to sling-shot forward.
If your business isn’t in full swing, your walk-in coolers or freezers are probably not in use – maybe even empty at the moment – which is the perfect time to reduce expenses and do some maintenance.
A smaller walk-in cooler or freezer can cost roughly $5.00 per day to run, while a larger walk-in can cost as much as $10.00 per day or more. But, if your walk-in unit isn’t being used, there’s no need to keep things running!
Calculate your potential savings. For instance, if you have a large walk-in and your business isn’t operating for two weeks, that’s fourteen days times ten dollars a day (14 x $10), coming out to about $140 to keep your unit running.
If you’re looking to save some money by shutting down your walk-ins, it’s important to follow the proper procedures.
Perfect Time for Cleaning and Maintenance
If you’re planning to shut down your walk-in, this is the perfect time to also do some cleaning and maintenance.
Once your walk-in is powered down, you can easily do a visual inspection of the interior, visible exterior sections and mechanical components. This is the perfect opportunity to inspect the caulked seams and penetrations to verify they’re still tight and to visually inspect the condenser coils to make sure they are free of debris or corrosion. If something appears to need maintenance, be sure to call your local refrigeration service technician for any necessary repairs.
Lastly, you can give your walk-in a thorough cleaning with mild soap and water. This ensure it’s clean and ready for when its back up and running.
How to Shut Down Your Walk-In Unit
While no two units are exactly alike, here are some basic things to consider when shutting down and starting back up your walk-in coolers and freezers.
If you have a drop-in system, shutdown is simple – just disconnect power to the walk-in. Prop open the door, and you’re finished!
If you have a remote refrigeration system (sometimes known as a split system), the typical procedure for shutting down your walk-in is as follows:
- Disconnect power to both the evaporator coil and the walk-in itself.
- After 5 minutes, or so, disconnect the power to the remote condensing unit.
- Make sure that any power that may feed the heat tape for the drain line or any other component in or outside the walk-in is shut off as well.
- Prop open the door to allow the unit to breathe and dry out. Then you’re finished!
When system can be simply powered back on and brought down to temperature. Wait roughly 24 hours, and then product can be placed inside the walk-in again.
If you have a remote (or split) refrigeration system, a couple extra steps should be taken. Again, no two units are exactly the same, but the general startup procedure is as follows:
- Restore power to the remote condensing unit.
- Wait 24 hours prior to restoring power to the evaporator coil and the walk-in itself.
- Be sure to restore power that may feed the heat tape for the drain line or any other component in or outside the walk-in.
- The walk-in size and operating temperature will affect how long it takes your unit to cool back down. Once the complete system is powered on, wait an additional 24 hours for the temperature inside of the unit to cool and hold to your desired temperature. Product can be placed in your walk-in at this point.
If you’re unsure about what type of system you have, call your local refrigeration service provider for help in identification. They can help you identify your system and should be able to get you up and running in short order.
We know business owners are always looking for ways to save. We’re no stranger to that! While no two businesses or walk-ins are alike, shutting them down while not in use will save you money. It’s also a perfect opportunity to get things cleaned and running in tip-top condition before business starts booming again.
We’re here to help, every degree of the way.