The keys to efficient refrigeration are;

  • Choice – choose the most efficient appliance for the job
  • Control – get the operating temperature and periods right
  • Operation – keep as much of the cool air in the appliance
  • Maintenance– make sure the unit is working at peak performance

How you can improve refrigeration efficiency:

  • Temperature control – fridge and freezer temperatures must be correct – too high and you risk the quality of your stock, too low and you waste energy – or again risk quality of storage. 1oC lower temperature than required will result in 2% additional energy cost1
  • Time control – for non-perishable items like canned drinks, fit a time switch to switch off the equipment when the shop is closed. It’s cheaper to let the contents warm up and then cool again when required, than to keep the contents cold all the time.
  • Lids, curtains and doors – open displays are very inefficient. Use equipment with night blinds or covers. Make sure they are well fitted and any gaps are avoided. Curtains over refrigerated areas prevent 80 to 90% of air leakage and can reduce refrigeration running costs by 50%2
  • Energy efficiency standards – new refrigerators have better insulation and more efficient compressors than older types. To check performance, refer to the energy rating of the equipment or ask the supplier for the running cost rating.
  • Maintenance – the coils which eject the heat from the refrigeration system (sometimes these are outside the building) should be clean and have good access to a free flow of fresh air. Have units serviced regularly and check that doors seals are in good condition. Defrost freezers as soon as there is any appreciable build up of frost.

1Figures taken from Carbon Trust: Refrigeration Technology Guide.

2Figures taken from Carbon Trust: Refrigeration Technology Guide.