How To Install & Defrost a Fridge Freezer | Fridgesmart

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Freezers are a crucial kitchen appliance, lasting an average of 16 years with a good lifespan. They keep food safe and fresh for future use, allowing users to freeze items before they reach their sell-by date. For commercial freezers, it is crucial to pick and set up your freezer correctly in order to maximise the level of efficiency it exudes. 

Installing your freezer wrong or not defrosting it regularly can dearly impact your energy bill. Not only this but defrosting a freezer wrong can easily damage the walls or gas line with serious repercussions. So to find out how to correctly install and defrost your commercial freezer, check out our detailed guide.

How to install a freezer correctly 

Pick a location 

With the long life span freezers have, it is important to pick the right place in your kitchen to place the product. Moving your freezer once it is plugged in can cause delays to your business making it an unrecommended task. Whether you have a chest freezer from the Tefcold STP range or an ISA Millennium Ice Cream freezer,  be sure to carefully consider the placement of your freezer prior to its arrival. 

Let it rest

Once your freezer has arrived it needs time to rest before it is plugged in. The fluid used to cool the compartments inside a freezer can be shaken during transport, meaning a settling period is required for the fluid. If transported upright then 1 hour should be sufficient before plugging in. Alternatively, if your freezer was transported on its side, it requires at least 4 hours before proper installation begins. 

Clean it 

Commercial freezers require proper cleaning before use since they are being used to store public food. Wiping the shelves and surfaces with warm water and washing up liquid should be sufficient. Be sure to dry the drawers and edges thoroughly before placing them back inside. 

Position the space

No matter the size or amount of appliances in your kitchen, at least 5mm of space is required around your freezer. Air should be able to flow freely to and from the freezer to allow it to work at the maximum level of efficiency. Not allocating this space will force your appliance to work harder to keep your food cold, making it a crucial step to take. 

Turn your freezer on

When turning your freezer on for the first time, you must allow time for it to reduce to the correct temperature. Newer freezers alert users when they have reached the correct temperature with bleeping or a light. If your commercial freezer does not notify you, it is best to wait 3-4 hours to avoid ruining the food you place inside, especially if it’s an upright commercial freezer visible to your clientele. 

After this period, you are free to replenish the freezer with your food stock! 

How to defrost a freezer

Commercial freezers should be defrosted at least once a year, or when the ice layers within the freezer become more than a ¼ inch thick. It takes approximately 1-2 hours to defrost a freezer, a lengthy process which can save you money on your energy bills in the long run. 

Firstly remove the food 

The first step to defrost your freezer involves removing all the food inside. This can be an excellent opportunity to throw away old produce and assess how much you have in stock. If your restaurant or cafe holds more than one freezer, feel free to move your products into the other and defrost your appliances separately. Items can also be placed in cool bags or insulated cooler boxes using icepacks to keep the food frozen. 

Collect towels for absorption 

Next, remove the shelves and draws from the freezer and place these in your kitchen sink. You will require multiple towels or sponges to absorb the excess water from the ice, so dig out your old towels or sheets. See if your freezer has a hose at the back for draining which you can place in a bucket to minimise the excess water leaving your freezer. 

Begin the melting stage

  • Unplug the door and begin the melting process. Whilst you are waiting for the ice to melt, there are a few household tricks which may come into handy for defrosting your commercial freezer:
  • Using a hairdryer: keep this roughly 6 inches from the ice and warm the air behind the ice, keeping the hairdryer parallel to the freezer wall. 
  • Using a fan: allow the fan to circulate warm air to your freezer, keeping your room at a high temperature for the biggest impact.
  • Using hot water bowls: place pans of boiling water on your shelves, allowing the steam to loosen the ice and melt from the walls. 
  • Using alcohol: Dip a cloth in boiling water, then rubbing alcohol, and place this on the ice to loosen it. 
  • Using a scraping tool: Chisel away at the ice using a traditional ice scraper or wooden spoon. 

Cleaning up

After the ice has melted from your freezer, you can clean your appliance with hot soapy water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Rise the inside repeatedly until you are satisfied it is clean, being sure to repeat this process with the freezer shelves and drawers. Once the inside has been cleaned and dried, you should place the shelves back inside the freezer. 

The freezer can then be plugged back in and left to cool back down for approximately one hour. After this period, you are free to transfer the food back into your newly defrosted freezer. 

Have you enjoyed this article? Why not check out our other content or explore our full range of commercial display freezers today. Available at unbeatable prices.