Here at Big Bear, we know commercial refrigeration … we specialise in keeping things cool!
Every day we talk to our clients about how to keep their systems in optimal condition. We’ve put together some of our most frequently asked questions … we hope our answers will help you.
Unfortunately, this question is like the old adage – ‘how long is a piece of string?’
There are so many variables that we are not able to determine how long your stock will last, but we can help to fix the problem fast.
As soon as you notice a change in temperature you should call for a technician.
In the meantime, if you have an alternative cooling unit that is working, we recommend transferring your most sensitive produce and then minimising access to the malfunctioning fridge to reduce the rate at which the temperature increases. Some items such as fresh meat, seafood or milk should be carefully monitored, but other produce like uncut fruit and vegetables, or even some cheeses are less of a concern.
If the issue arises in the middle of winter and your business is in Katoomba then you will most likely have minimal stock loss, but if you are a café in Bondi and it’s a warm summer’s day, then you need to act quickly.
We have some great tips on how you can reduce your energy usage. One of the best ways is to install air curtains or strip curtains. Both act as a barrier to reduce the amount of cool air that escapes.
Air curtains are fitted above the doorway and can be set to turn on once the door is opened. The air flows down from the unit and stops the warmer outside air from entering the cool room.
Strip curtains are industrial PVC and fit across the doorway to allow easy access for people to walk through into the cool room but quickly shut behind them to minimise any temperature change.
Installing door alarms and red warning lights can also help reduce the length of time that a door is left open. Both are economical options and can notably improve the awareness of your staff.
Undergoing regular professional maintenance is by far the best way to maintain the cleanliness and efficacy of your system.
In our six-monthly planned preventative maintenance service, we assess the entire system for its cleanliness and where needed we:
Whilst we do look after some large retail customers, we are passionate about working with small businesses, too. Big Bear is a small business, so we understand the pressures and constraints felt by café owners or independent corner stores. Delicatessens or take away sandwich bars, restaurants and service stations … there’s no limitation to the type of businesses we help. If you have a commercial refrigeration system, then we will work with you.
Some of the most obvious signs that your system is starting to age relate to repairs and costs. If you need to call a technician on site more frequently and the cost of each repair is increasing, then it’s time to consider replacement.
The average life of a system is between 10 and 15 years so if the unit you have is older than that it will start to become inefficient. Of course, if there are no breakdowns, then there’s no problem, but you will just need to be mindful that it will eventually succumb to age.
The main benefit of regular maintenance is that you avoid the expensive call out fees that you are charged when an unexpected breakdown occurs outside business hours.
These out of hours events don’t just cost you the price of the technician, they often also need to involve a supplier to obtain any parts or any other service depending on the severity of the issue.
The repercussions of after-hours faults are huge.
Finding an issue in a maintenance routine means you can have it fixed during normal hours. If you look at this in financial terms, a small issue fixed in a maintenance session is charged at around $80 an hour, versus an out of hours fee which can be upward of $400 an hour!
A regular maintenance service starts at $250, which is far less than the $450 starting fee for an emergency midnight breakdown call.
We pride ourselves on our honesty and integrity. Our Fair Pricing system means that when we quote your job, we make our best estimate of the time it will take to complete, but if the job takes less time than the original quote, we’ll only charge you for the hours worked. So, you know that our quote is the maximum you will pay… but the final invoice could be significantly less.
All Big Bear invoices are transparent in their charges and we are happy to give you any information relating to the service we’ve provided. Whether that is toll receipts, GPS mapped travel routes or a detailed breakdown of parts. We will ensure you feel confident with the final payment.
Big Bear offers a pre-summer maintenance check, which is the best way to be prepared for the long summer days and increased temperatures.
We completely check the system, which includes pressure cleaning condensers, assessing evaporator fan operation, ensuring gaskets and doors are in optimal condition and checking that the switchboard ventilation fan is clean and in full working order.