Why food retailers may be suffering more costly refrigeration leaks than they realise, and how they can prevent it.

Costly refrigeration leaks for food retailers

Commercial refrigeration systems can quickly become leaky. However, they don’t need to be. Indeed, business owners are often unaware of how much refrigerant leaks are actually costing them.

By adopting some best practice techniques, food retailers, distributors, and their contractors can significantly reduce the amount of refrigerant leaking from commercial cooling systems. The leak testing and routine maintenance programmes can minimise refrigerant leakage considerably.

The scale of the refrigeration leakage problem

Supermarkets and food stores often have multiple refrigerated storage and display units. These systems can experience high rates of refrigerant leaks. Average leakage rates in such establishments vary, but it has been reported as being anything from 14% to 30%.

The use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) in refrigerants has very high global warming potential. Studies have shown that the direct carbon footprint of a store from refrigerant leakage can be as high as 40%.

When refrigerant leaks become a problem

A robust installation process is the first step to achieving a refrigeration system that minimises leaks. However, this doesn’t always happen right from the outset. Large, interconnected refrigeration systems are prone to higher leak rates. This is because of the in-situ components and multiple joints required to connect equipment together. Much of this work happens “in the field” after the initial installation.

When a refrigeration system is first installed, assuming it has been expertly installed, it will operate at peak performance. Over time, ad hoc and reactive repairs, often undertaken under retailing time constraints (perishable food rarely waits), mean that systems drift from their initial baseline capability.

As systems age, regular refrigeration maintenance programmes become imperative to prevent leaks, fix problems before they worsen and cut associated costs. A standard protocol of performing leak checks at every call out and check is also a simple step towards quickly identifying issues.

Call the experts

At Brooktech, we offer comprehensive refrigeration maintenance and servicing plans, using the latest technology to keep your systems leak-free and operating at their optimal performance.

contact us today to find out more. It will save you a cool sum of money in the long run.


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