SG checks out the Carbon Trust’s website for tips on efficient use of refrigeration
FOR some businesses, refrigeration accounts for half of all energy costs. According to the Carbon Trust, there are simple measures that every retailer can take to reduce such an eye-watering expense.
• Reduce wastage by adding doors, using night blinds or strip curtains and switching off lights in the cooled space.
• Only cool to the temperature required: every 1°C saved could reduce energy consumption by 2%.
• Well-maintained refrigeration systems almost always use significantly less energy. Regularly service units and check that condensers and evaporators are clean and fans and defrost systems are working correctly.
• Don’t overdo the refrigeration. Save money by only cooling a unit down to the temperature required.
• Keep doors closed as much as possible by organising loading and unloading sessions carefully. Ensure all the seals fit properly and have not perished or been damaged.
• Don’t overfill. A unit will be most efficient when there is room for the cool air to circulate. Products should not block the grilles at the front of a retail display cabinet or obstruct the airflow to and from the coolers in cold rooms. That will increase energy consumption and compromise food temperatures. Overloading display cabinets can increase their energy consumption by up to 20%.
• Consider the location of unit. Where possible, keep your fridges far away from any sources of heat (including direct sunlight) and draughts. Severe draughts can increase the energy consumption of open-fronted display cabinets by up to 95%. It’s also crucial to leave space around the unit’s vents so it can draw in and expel air.
• Control the lighting. Make sure any lights inside the unit are switched off when it’s not in use, or outside of trading hours.
• Control the temperature of chilled stock. Make sure the products being loaded into your display cabinets do not warm up by being left in an ambient temperature area.
• Keep the condenser of integral display cabinets clean. That will help it last longer, consume less energy and chill faster. A soft brush or a vacuum cleaner can be used to remove all dust and debris.