Commercial Refrigeration Routine Maintenance and Best Practices

Commercial Refrigeration Routine Maintenance and Best Practices

Your commercial refrigerator may be one of the most important pieces of equipment in your whole kitchen because it keeps cool the food you need to create all of your dishes. A breakdown or maintenance issue in your commercial refrigerator means that you will need to fix it quickly, or the slowdown will cause a loss of customers and profits. The best thing you can do is to maintain your commercial refrigerators well, keeping them clean and following the maintenance requirements set by their respective manufacturers. Failure to do so on your part will make your commercial restaurant equipment be potentially at risk of not being covered by warranty, and being rendered unusable, depending on the severity of the issue. You only need to follow a few guidelines to ensure that you are treating your equipment correctly, whether you own a brand new True T-49-HC refrigerator, Hoshizaki R1A-FS refrigerator, or another commercial refrigerator that has been in your kitchen for years.

Note: Before performing any maintenance or cleaning on your unit, be sure you read its manual, as the manufacturer may require you to avoid using certain solutions, and you may void your warranty if you don’t heed their instructions. It’s best to read the manual several times during the life of your commercial refrigerator so you’re always up to date on the mechanics and performance requirements of your equipment. Any cleaning you will do must be done after you unplug the machine!


To keep your commercial refrigerators running in perfect shape, you will need to schedule regular maintenance checks. On each check, make sure the door is sealing correctly, and that other functions, such as the condenser, are running appropriately. You can also turn to a certified commercial refrigeration repair service to make sure the equipment is thoroughly checked for any issues or concerns. Having regular maintenance on your commercial refrigerator will save you headaches and money down the line.

Cleaning the Interior of Your Commercial Refrigerator

First, read the manual of your particular brand to see what cleaning methods they recommend. Take care you aren’t using any of the following: steel wool, bleaches, and caustic chemicals, as these can damage your commercial refrigerator's finish, and may leave a powerful chemical smell behind. You certainly don’t want that smell present in your customers’ food, do you? You can use warm water and a mild soap detergent to freshen and clean any debris, spills, or mess in the refrigerator. Take care to remove crumbs as well, as they may clog any of the ports, blades, and other processes of the commercial refrigerator. Don’t neglect your shelves either, because those need to be cleaned up weekly, so spills don’t have time to harden and be hard to remove later on. After you clean up the spills, clean the gaskets (following the instructions in the manufacturer’s manual) to make sure they continue to seal correctly; failure to have a good seal may result in your commercial refrigerator won’t cool properly.

Mechanics and Processes

Your commercial refrigerator has a lot of moving parts, including condensers, motors, fans, and blades. Some of these parts may need to be cleaned by you weekly or monthly, depending on the frequency of use and the manufacturer’s guidelines. You can clean the parts such as a coil with a recommended commercial coil cleaner to properly remove any buildup that may be on the coil and could potentially slow down any processes. You will be able to locate the coil by checking the manual of your model. In many commercial refrigerators, the coil is easily accessible for quick cleaning so you don’t have to strain to find it. The fan can generally be cleaned with a soft cloth to remove dust and debris, but if you have an extremely dirty fan, consult with your manufacturer.

Replacing Parts in Your Commercial Refrigerator

If you need to replace a part in your commercial refrigerator such as a lightbulb or a condenser in another model, then you should only use parts from suppliers recommended by your equipment’s manufacturer. Again you could void your warranty if you use non-covered parts, but you also may cost yourself a lot more later on if the parts are faulty or aren’t made to properly run your machine. The equipment’s manual will often include recommended suppliers for replacement parts, or you can buy the replacement parts directly from the manufacturer. Industry leaders such as True, which makes the highly-regarded T-49, advise that only qualified service experts in commercial refrigeration should replace the parts in a commercial refrigerator.

With any refrigerator purchase comes a commitment you must make for its continued excellence. You are responsible for the care and maintenance of your commercial refrigerator, and by following these simple guidelines, you can get plenty of years out of your equipment. You may contact your model’s manufacturer to see if they have any plans that could help with the service and performance of your equipment. Don’t forget to instruct your employees on the proper care and maintenance of your refrigerator.


  1. comment authorDaryl Apr 19, 2017

    I have a model T-49 and I cannot find any service ports the for the compressor. Am I looking in the wrong place or is this a closed system where you have to add the ports for servicing? Thanks

  2. comment authorChristian Reyes May 11, 2017

    This article is truly an informative one for all those who have refrigerators for commercial purposes. The author gives us important instructions on how to take care of a refrigerator needed for business use. The readers are repeatedly advised to avail the services from the manufacturing companies. Overall, I found the article very useful and I have learned a number of things from it.

  3. comment authorAnnika Larson May 22, 2017

    It has always been a dream of mine to own a restaurant. Part of this would include the use and maintenance of a commercial refrigerator. Thanks for the tips on the routine of upkeeping these appliances. Having a certified commercial repair service check the equipment, as you said, is a great way to save money down the line.

  4. comment authorSarah Anderson Sep 22, 2017

    Ugh! Thank you for listing the obvious right at the top of the article! Clean the inside of your fridge! I swear, I thought this was a given but my husband's love of Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares has taught me that far less commercial kitchens than I want to think about are keeping their refrigerators clean. And aside from the germs, a commercial fridge is a huge investment I would think you'd want to keep in good condition! At least I know that if my husband and I ever open our own restaurant (ha!) we'll be sure to keep the fridge clean and make sure we have a professional check it out at least once a year. And they say TV doesn't teach you anything...

  5. comment authorAngela Grayson Jan 9, 2018

    Thanks for sharing . These are quite nice tips with explanations. You have explained everything nicely. Very helpful especially for people who are thinking about refrigerators for commercial purposes. Very nice.

  6. comment authorLarry Weaver Feb 26, 2018

    I appreciate the tip to make sure that the door is sealing correctly when running maintenance checks on commercial refrigerators. If I owned a grocery store, I would be sure to keep my refrigeration maintained with the best parts to ensure that the food refrigerated always had the best chance of being stored. Taking care of shelving for a refrigeration case would also be something I would try to make sure to do.

    comment authorGoFoodservice Invalid Date

    Excellent feedback, Larry! Thank you for your contribution!

  7. comment authorAlexandria Martinez Mar 14, 2018

    My brother has been trying to figure out if he wants to get some refrigeration service. It is interesting to read what you said about replacing parts in the commercial refrigerator. Having this type of service would make these replacements a lot easier.

    comment authorGoFoodservice Invalid Date

    Thanks for stopping by, Alexandria! I'm glad you found this information useful!

  8. comment authorPiyush Bansal May 30, 2018

    Thanks for sharing such an such an detailed post it was very useful for me.Especially the mechanics and processes point.

  9. comment authorTaylor Bishop Jun 1, 2018

    Thanks for the interesting read about taking care of a commercial refrigerator. It's good to know that you need regular maintenance checks for these to keep them in shape. I'm interested to learn if this refrigerator maintenance should be done once a month or even more often than that.

  10. comment authorSummer Bice Aug 31, 2018

    This is a really good read for me. Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I have ever read. Thanks for posting this informative article.

  11. comment authorTrevor Sep 6, 2018

    Great post. Regular maintenance is key to ensuring your refrigeration equipment performs well for a long time. Most people seem to forget about this, then wonder why things break down!

  12. comment authorDuncan Lance Oct 11, 2018

    I do like that the article goes over the several different moving and mechanical parts that most commercial refrigeration units or rooms have. In order to make sure that your commercial refrigerator is working at optimal efficiency at all times, you will need to make sure that these parts are regularly maintained. However, if you do not know how to do that yourself, you may need to get the help of a professional commercial refrigeration service.

  13. comment authorEmery Jean Chambers Oct 29, 2018

    I appreciate you saying that I need to conduct regular maintenance and make sure that all the doors are still functioning and the machine is still working in order to keep it working in an optimal state. I will be sure to do this since I am aware that a commercial refrigeration system is very expensive. We have yet to buy one, but I have already set my mind in making sure that it stays functional in the years to come.

  14. comment authorAdrian Jones Mar 1, 2019

    It's great how you elaborated on the importance of getting a commercial refrigerator repaired since it's also an appliance that needs maintenance to make sure that it's running well to keep the food inside it fresh. Before having the repairman come over, it's important to make sure that the fridge is clean, so getting it cleaned out with using warm water and mild detergent is one of the best ways to make sure that the fridge is as clean as possible. If I had the chance to take a closer look at a commercial-sized refrigerator, I would make sure that the inside is clean before even thinking of calling a repairman over to take a look and check out why it's not cooling as efficiently as it normally should.

  15. comment authorSteele Honda Mar 21, 2019

    Thanks for the tips on commercial refrigerator maintenance and practices. I think if you had a business that had commercial refrigeration it would be a good idea to know of a company that could help you with repairs. That way if you did ever need them you could save time and probably money by calling them right away.

  16. comment authorBluestar May 14, 2019

    Thanks for sharing this great tips for forum posting seo it’s great interesting tips. keep sharing

  17. comment authorJenna Hunter May 22, 2019

    I really like how you mentioned making sure that the door seals correctly. This would be really good to check my refrigerator for because It doesn't close very well. It would be really helpful to have a professional come and fix it.

  18. comment authorSub Zero Jun 13, 2019

    Thank you so much for sharing the post with everyone. It is exciting to read, and people can get all the information about taking care of the refrigerator from the post. The post also shares the tips of maintaining the health of the refrigerator. All those things are great and enlightening.

  19. comment authorAshley Johnson Aug 1, 2019

    I liked that you said that one thing to consider when you have a commercial refrigerator is scheduling routine maintenance to ensure that it will function properly. I would imagine that a professional would know best how to repair your commercial refrigerator since they have the education and experience to do so. I would be sure to hire an experienced professional to repair my commercial refrigerator instead of trying to fix it myself so that I could enjoy a well functioning unit for my business.

  20. comment authorEileen Benson Aug 29, 2019

    It stood out to me when you explained that regular maintenance is essential if we want to save ourselves from stress down the road. I've been thinking about opening a small cafe with my sister because we both have a lot of time on our hands now that our kids have moved out. I'm happy I read your article because now I can see why prioritizing commercial refrigeration services will be essential to our success!

  21. comment authorBue admin Sep 18, 2019

    Thanks for sharing this great tips for forum posting seo it’s great interesting tips. keep sharing

  22. comment authorTaylor Feb 28, 2020

    It's interesting to learn that you should always check if the condenser is running properly. My brother runs a cookie delivery business and mentioned how is current refrigerator isn't keeping cool. I'll have to share this with him so he knows what to look for as he calls around for a repairman.

  23. comment authorIvy Baker Jan 14, 2021

    It is nice to know that you will want to make sure that you keep the refrigerated truck in good shape. After all, you need it to get food and other things place not spoiled. My sister wants to consider getting a refrigerated van to help her with the catering business she wants to start.

  24. comment authorCraft Group Mar 29, 2021

    Great information!! Thank you for sharing helpful info with us. Keep sharing...

  25. comment authorCharlotte Fleet Sep 17, 2021

    Thank you for your tips on maintaining commercial refrigeration. I love how you stated that you can save headaches down the line with regular maintenance. I'd think that it would be important to pick a maintenance service with lots of experience.

  26. comment authorOlivia Smart Dec 7, 2021

    My friend has been wondering how she can keep her commercial refrigerators running well at her new restaurant since she got them installed a few weeks ago. Thank you for explaining that you should schedule regular maintenance checks on them to keep them in shape. I'll talk to my friend about this so that she can schedule something in the next few months.

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