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When it comes to food storage, whether for long-term storage, distribution, or restaurant use, managing energy costs is crucial. Studies have shown that for facilities that specialize in cold storage for long periods of time, more than 60% of their operating budgets is taken up by utility costs alone. Whether you work in a restaurant, a warehouse, or anything else with a lot of refrigerated storage, managing these costs is critical to the success and long-term financial health of your business.


One of the first areas that businesses find is causing a rise in their energy costs is the cost of running the refrigerators. The majority of food storage facilities use typical CO2 fridges, which is a time-tested method but tends to run more inefficiently than other solutions. Alternative solutions have been explored, such as central ammonia (which use ammonia to power their cooling) and CO2-cascade systems (that use two CO2 coolers running in tandem) but they haven’t found wide acceptance yet and may bring issues of their own, particularly if your facility has been using its old refrigerators for a long time.


If it’s not a practical solution to change your refrigeration setup, there are steps you can take to make your current refrigerators run more effectively. Careful organization of the items you keep in your fridges can help the cold air flow better and prevent your fridge from working too hard and driving up your utility costs. Installing wire shelving or walk-in cooler shelves can help manage the airflow as well by allowing cold air to flow better and reducing strain on the fridge’s motor.


The lighting used in your warehouse can have a big impact on utility costs too. While many food storage facilities have to be careful about the lighting they choose to avoid spoiling food or affecting their products, switching to industrial LED lighting has shown several benefits such as reduced cost of usage and lower heat generation, which prevents spoilage and reduces the amount of effort the fridges and freezers have to exert.


Sometimes, managing energy costs doesn’t have to be as detailed as changing the lights and shelving in your facility. Much like at home, leaving doors open or opening doors too often can lead to cold air escaping and cause an increase in electricity and heating/cooling costs. Make sure your employees are trained on proper door usage – it sounds funny, but it’s true – and if you’re feeling adventurous you can switch to things like motion sensors and timed doors to help regulate door usage and prevent loss of needed cold air.


There’s a lot more to reducing energy costs, and there’s a lot that can go into it, but these are the important steps that can help most facilities to prevent charges. If you want to know more about what new storage or installations can do for you, contact today.

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