Is your walk-in cold room your number one energy thief in your business? Restaurants, supermarkets, hospital, and flower shops - listen up. This little room may be causing you drama in the bills department as well as being not a best friend to the environment.
If you want to make a change and turn your cold room into a sleek, energy-optimized machine, then read on to learn how - whether you’re buying new, or want some upgrades to your current config.
Consider this: an energy inefficient single air conditioning unit can drive up the cost of your home electricity bills significantly. Now think about how that translates to the power required to cool a cold room, to keep it at a specific temperature all the time.
In a 2013 study of 14 gastro-pubs in the UK, comprising of kitchen, restaurant, cellar, and bar, refrigerated storage accounted for a whopping 41% of the total electricity bill of the entire space. Not only this, the survey concluded that around 50% of these units had a fault or developing problem.
When you only think about the space you have to put a cool room in, and don’t pay much concern to the energy considerations required, you’ll end up not only having frequent whopping bills, you’ll be doing the environment a disservice.
Unfortunately, with walk-ins, you don’t get those little Energy Star stickers that you see on other commercial fittings that can indicate considerable energy savings - so you’ll need to put some more thought into how to make yours energy efficient.
“...kitchen, restaurant, cellar, and bar, refrigerated storage accounted for a whopping 41% of the total electricity bill of the entire space. ”
So, you have a cold room already that you don’t want to replace fully - you just want to do some tweaks to boost your energy efficiency overall. Here are some tips that will help lower your energy output:
Add plastic strip curtains, an automatic door closer, plus an alarm
The coldness you lose from an open door takes extra power to replace, to get your cold room back to the right temperature. While it’s not really feasible for staff to do less trips to the walk-in, adding strip curtains at the entryway will stop the escape of plenty of cold air. With an automatic door closer, they won’t be able to “just leave the door open” for short trips. Adding a door alarm will alert staff if there is an item holding the door ajar.
Keep spare parts on hand - or at least know where to get them in a hurry
Breakdowns can happen, especially over the summer months when your equipment is working harder, and especially if it’s getting older. It’s not a bad idea to keep spare parts on hand of some of the items more prone to failure in your cold room. For other parts, make sure you know where you can get a hold of them in a hurry! If your cold room starts malfunctioning you will want to be able to fix it as fast as possible to avoid stock spoilage.
Have an active temperature monitor setup
Have a temperature monitor display inside or outside of the door? Sure, that’s old tech. Why not get an app for that? You can now keep tabs on temperature from anywhere, via notifications on your mobile - perfect for spotting a potential crisis before it occurs. You can even configure these alerts, so that if you don’t acknowledge them, a call out will be made to a repair person - who can be out there within a 2 hour window.
Old cool room just isn’t cutting it anymore, or you’re looking to fit out a new one, perhaps in a new premises? Thinking first about energy efficiency for the situation is perhaps even more important than your outright costs. Ongoing energy bills can soon chew up the savings you’d make on a cheaper installation.
Fitting out the most energy efficient walk-in is a combination of maximising interior storage space while having a smaller floor plan, the most energy efficient fittings (such as lighting), and some clever tech solutions for monitoring and alerts.
If you’d like help with boosting the energy efficiency of your current walk-in or want to build an energy-optimal new room, that’s where we come in. Eco Climate Solutions are your Perth locals in helping businesses just like yours find the best solutions when it comes to cool room efficiency - and other power-hungry areas of your business. Ask us how we can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.