Too many companies pour capital into expensive refrigeration systems but then overlook the importance of taking good care of that equipment. If you want to get the most from your system — long life, high performance, energy efficiency and compliant operation — regular service and maintenance are essential. You can get ahead of potential issues before they become problems, avoid costly breakdowns, and extend the longevity of your system. That adds up to significant financial savings over time, plus it builds your brand as you prove to be a consistently reliable partner to your customers.

Here are five good reasons to have your refrigeration equipment regularly inspected and maintained:

1. Safeguard Your Inventory

If your refrigeration system doesn’t keep your inventory at precisely the right temperature, you can lose it all. Fresh and frozen foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other perishable products are worth nothing if they are spoiled or degraded. The financial and logistical issues of replacing these inventories can be expensive and time-consuming. Plus, if you become the company whose inventory issues are causing a backup in the supply chain, your reputation can be damaged as well.

We’ve had new clients come to us with horror stories of losing several thousands of dollars or more in inventory losses because they neglected to have their systems regularly inspected and checked for proper operation. They learned the hard way that the benefits of preventive maintenance far outweigh its cost.

2. Protect Your Customers

Refrigeration systems that are designed to maintain the freshness and safety of perishable goods must be monitored and maintained to avoid spoilage. For products such as fresh or frozen produce, meat or seafood, for example, failing to keep products at the correct temperature can result in textural degradation, discoloring, bruising and/or microbial growth. In addition to the costs associated with losing your inventory, you run the risk of harming end consumers, potentially opening the door to lawsuits and reputational damage, if you sell those spoiled items before you are aware that they have been compromised.

On the other hand, when you do closely monitor your equipment to ensure appropriate temperatures, your high-quality products will lead to satisfied customers, greater demand and conscientious protection of the public health.

3. Minimize Downtime

When a piece of equipment breaks down, the operational impacts can be severe. You find yourself needing to reassign employees who were involved in revenue-generating tasks to inventory duty — typically, moving product from areas that are becoming warm to areas that are still cold. The larger the area affected by the equipment malfunction, the greater your productivity and profitability losses.

Regular maintenance by technicians who know how to keep your equipment up and running can help you maximize your operational efficiency and minimize financial losses associated with breakdowns.

4. Maintain Regulatory Compliance

Safety and environmental stewardship are at the heart of industry regulations; these legal standards exist for good reasons. But when you’re running a refrigeration operation, they can be a headache, too. Monitoring your refrigerant emissions to meet every safety and environmental standard can be tough. The penalties that can be imposed when you don’t meet those standards can be even tougher.

Refrigerant leaks — of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) — top the list of compliance concerns as they have been proven hazardous to the environment. Companies that have adopted “greener” refrigerants, including hydrocarbons (HCs) and A2Ls, need to pay close attention to regulations as well as potential flammability.

Once again, having a knowledgeable refrigeration technician check over your systems regularly can minimize the potential for noncompliance with safety and environmental standards. These preventive maintenance checks can help you keep your equipment leak-free. If a leak should happen, it can be detected early, so that you can report it accurately and take action to resolve the issue.

One more note about compliance: Insurance companies often require companies that are building food-storage facilities to put a temperature monitoring system into place to help protect against food loss. On every visit, your service technician should verify that your monitoring system is working as it should.

5. Run at Top Energy Efficiency

While it’s true that the cost of energy in Texas is relatively low compared with the rest of the country, energy efficiency still offers you the opportunity to rein in utility costs. An inefficient refrigeration system — one that isn’t properly cleaned and maintained — works harder and consumes more energy, resulting in higher utility bills. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning condenser coils, replacing dirty air filters and lubricating moving parts, can significantly increase your system’s efficiency and reduce its energy consumption.

Each of the areas outlined above represents potential risk to your bottom line and/or your reputation as a reliable business partner and industry leader. Avoiding that risk is as easy as scheduling regular service for your equipment. Ongoing monitoring and maintenance are vital to protecting your investment and your brand over time.

ARI provides service plans to keep refrigeration systems running at their best. Our ARI+ membership offers a variety of benefits and features, including 24/7/365 emergency service, priority service escalation and discounts of up to 10% on replacement parts and repair services. Contact us anytime to discuss your needs and how ARI can help.