As a baker, your attention is probably concentrated on your oven, mixer, and other appliances when you think about maintenance. However, your bakery's commercial refrigerator, often called a "walk-in," is just as important to the functioning of your bakery. To keep milk, butter, eggs, and other chilled ingredients from spoiling, ensure you're taking on these fridge-related tasks.
Re-Evaluating Kitchen Layout
Your bakery's kitchen layout may not be your doing; when you moved into the place, it may have already been arranged a certain way by the previous owner. However, for the health of your commercial refrigerator, that layout may need to change. Are your ovens located right next to the walk-in? If that's the case, heat and hot air is blowing out all day long. This can be taxing for a refrigerator, which is tasked with cooling the air inside it. The motor may work overtime to keep the temperature cold enough for your ingredients. Your electric bill may even reflect that constant motor action. As a result, that motor can die much sooner than normal, leaving you to scramble for a solution. Therefore, place your walk-in in a location where the temperature isn't being sabotaged by heat. Your electricity bill may even start to slide down.
Keeping Airflow Open
Busy bakeries have regular deliveries, and you and your staffers likely use boxes for customer orders. That means, at any given time, your kitchen could be overrun by all kinds of cardboard boxes. These are probably stacked in such a way to stay out of the flow of traffic, but they could be blocking the flow of air from the walk-in's vents. Keep those vents free to encourage cold air circulation.
Monitor Door Seals
The walk-in's door has a rubber seal which extends entirely around it, just like your fridge at home. That seal needs to remain unripped and intact so hot air from your ovens can't get through into the refrigerated area. However, over time, it's not unnatural for fraying and tearing to happen. The seal is usually easy to replace. By purchasing a replacement and unscrewing the existing one, you can easily attach a new one.
Cover Oranges and Lemons
If you store acidic fruits in the refrigerator, be aware that their acidity could have an effect. Refrigerant lines can sometimes be affected by uncovered acid foods and start to corrode. Cover these foods, or keep them in storage bags to be safe.
Your bakery's refrigerator can survive well if you're aware of the walk-in details above. Keep your commercial refrigerator repair contractor's number close, however; if a walk-in problem arises, they can address and repair it before food spoils.