Your commercial refrigerator or freezer has many components, all working in harmony to provide reliable food storage conditions. Door seals are an integral component of the refrigeration system, helping to maintain a constant temperature. Knowing the importance of the role they play can alert you to maintenance issues and identify effeciency losses in your business.
The humble door seal may seem a minor component and insignificant at first glance, however ineffective door seals can waste thousands of dollars over time. Next to staff wages, electricity costs are many restaurants largest operating expenditure. By understanding the function of door seals and checking them for damage regularly, you can avoid wasting all that precious energy.
Door Seal Mainentance
- Regularly inspect door seals for small rips or tears. Have torn seals replaced as soon as practical.
- Clean door seals regularly and wipe up any spills as soon as possible. Food particles can become caught in the folds and crevices of the seal, creating a health hazard. Many liquids contain sugar and other substances that can deteriorate door seals and also create health hazards.
- Lubricate door seals using a silicone lubricant or petroleum jelly.
- Condensation or icing around doors can be an early warning sign of door seal failure.
- Health Department inspectors are constantly on the lookout for split and ineffective door seals as part of their site inspections. Make sure your door seals are up to scratch before inspection time.
Door Seal Abuse
Staff inattention is a leading cause of premature door seal failure, particularly on under counter cabinets. During busy service periods, it is easier for staff to open a refrigerator door by inserting their fingers into to door seal area rather than using the door handle. Over time this action will certainly cause a tear in the door seal. Once a door seal is split, it is likely to capture and retain debris, causing health hazards. If staff have long fingernails, this can rapidly shorten the door seal life. If you find that staff are constantly opening doors incorrectly, consider staff training. If this fails, then additional door handles installed to the top to door surrounds often prove effective in reducing door seal wear.
Spillage is almost guaranteed at one time or another in a busy kitchen. If sticky products are spilt on door seals and not effectively removed, they can have the effect of gluing the door seal to the cabinet frame. When the door is opened again, undue stress is applied to the soft door seal material, causing it to split. Failure to clean a door seal of spillage residue as soon as possible will likely cause a repair bill you don’t want.
Door Seal Replacement
Door seals are an important part of any walk in cool room or commercial refrigerator. Properly functioning door seals help to regulate correct temperaure, protect stock and reduce running costs. Door seal checks as part of a regular maintenance program can ensure your seals are functioning as designed. When it comes time for seal replacement, ensure the correct size and profile is fitted by a professional to allow proper closing and sealing of the door, keeping the cold air in and hot air out.