If you own a business such as a restaurant, coffee shop, market, convenience shop or anything else that uses commercial refrigeration, it's important to understand the basics of refrigerant and refrigerant leaks. Wondering why this topic is important and what you need to know? Here's an overview of what every business owner needs to consider:
1. Leaking refrigerants are terrible for the environment.
The fluorocarbons in refrigerants pose direct danger to the atmosphere. If a leak in your refrigeration unit allowed one kilogram of fluorocarbons to escape, that would have the same environmental impact of letting your car run without stopping for six months solid.
2. There are strict laws regarding the release of refrigerants.
As a business owner, it's important to understand the laws around refrigerants. For example, if you know about a leak and don't fix it in a timely fashion, you may be subject to fines or penalties. Similarly, in most cases, you are not allowed to work with refrigerants on your own -- this is one of the many jobs you need to outsource to a professional.
3. It's important to understand the signs of leaking coolant.
So that your commercial refrigeration system doesn't leak without you knowing it, you should be aware of some of the signs. If your refrigeration unit isn't cooling adequately and you cannot find any other culprits, the issue may be leaking refrigerant. In other cases, eroded coils or a hissing sound (like escaping pressurised gas) indicate you may have an issue.
4. Only a licensed refrigeration technician can handle leaks.
As indicated above, you need to hire a professional if your system is leaking. These professionals have tools that help them precisely detect the site of a leak. They are also licensed to remove old coolant and safely dispose of it, and they can fill up your unit with new coolant.
5. New refrigerators have more environmentally friendly refrigerants.
If you want to create an environmentally friendly image with your company, your refrigerator should be part of that. That includes efficient practices such as keeping ambient temps lower to reduce the burden on refrigeration systems, but it also extends to issues like the type of refrigerant that is in your cooling unit.
If you have been having a lot of leaks or if you simply want to turn to a more environmentally friendly option, there are new refrigerators being developed with more environmentally friendly refrigerants. For example, one new refrigerant called Solstice ze is based around hydrofluorocarbons, but it is safer and greener.
Talk with a commercial refrigeration expert to learn more about detecting leaks, repairing them or investing in new refrigeration systems.