Part Three of a Series
By Martin Flusberg
Refrigeration is one of the biggest energy users in a typical restaurant, and there are some simple things that can be done.
Leaking gaskets are a major source of unnecessary energy usage, and can easily be corrected. Automatic door closers can be a cost-effective option for many walk-in units.
Many glass door refrigerators have built in heaters that keep condensation off the glass. While these heaters do not use a lot of energy, they are on 24X7, which can add up. Typically, they are not needed in dry climates or seasons, and can be safely turned off.
Simple controls can also be installed on evaporator fans to make sure they only run when they need to, which is typically only 50% of the time.
Replacing incandescent bulbs inside walk-in units not only saves energy for the bulbs themselves, but also results in less heat and therefore lower demand on the compressor.
For facilities with time-of-use electricity rates, whenever possible ice-making should be scheduled overnight when the rates are the lowest.
Finally, adding inexpensive strip curtains in a walk-in unit can reduce outside air filtration by up to 75%.