As we experience a sweltering, record-breaking Texas July packed full of heat waves, ice may be fresh on the mind. Not only is it cold, refreshing salvation from the boiling heat outside, but you may also be worried about how these rolling heat waves could be affecting your machines and your customers.
Temperatures are firing up outside, adding even more heat to an already smoky and bustling restaurant kitchen. Our A/Cs and ice machines are working overtime to keep up, but this can end up causing some problems if we’re not taking proper care of our machines.
Excessive temperatures in any direction can severely impact your machinery, be it hot or cold. Extreme heat can force your machines to overwork themselves to compensate for the vast temperature difference outside of their own controlled environment, while extreme cold can freeze up machinery and cause your machine to break down altogether! Ironic, right?
Although your machine may make ice, is it still just that–a machine. Sure, ice is housed inside of it, but all machines rely on one very important detail to run smoothly: a controlled environment. During major heat waves isn’t exactly the best time to test that, either!
In order to understand what the ideal environment is for an ice machine, we need to understand the phases that ice machines go through. Ice machines will naturally cycle through cold and hot phases, and it’s important that their outside environment stays as steady as possible to mitigate any substantial changes in the machine’s sensitive environment.
You may notice that during these hot months, especially those that we’re experiencing now, your ice machine may not be pumping out the quantity or size of ice cubes that you and your customers are used to. Even worse, maybe your machine isn’t producing at all, which can be a stark sign of permanent damage from the heat.
Ice machines have a comfort zone, much like us. That comfort zone can fall in the range of 50-70 degrees. Any colder, your machine is going to struggle. Any hotter, your machine is going to struggle and possibly even fail. As temperatures rise, performance will surely decrease. When smoldering temperatures reach 90 and above, your machine can be in very real danger and its risk for permanent damage are exponentially higher.
Now that we understand the importance of maintaining a steady outside temperature, what can you do today to protect your ice machine and be able to serve your customers? Well, you’ve got a few choices:
- Placement! Ice machines should never go in a commercial kitchen due to the wide gamut of temperature changes that they can experience, as well as the close proximity of so much hot equipment. Make sure your ice machine is in an area where its outside temperature doesn’t change so much. Never put your machine somewhere too small, either, to allow space for the heat it produces to dissipate.
- Clean that machine. Of course, your ice machine always needs to be clean, but the more often you inspect your machine or have it serviced during these dangerous months, the easier it will be to catch any issues before they spiral into something more severe. Likewise, helping your machine maintain efficiency by keeping it clean will reduce the risk of unnecessary damage.
- Proper drainage. Never allow your machine to harbor more moisture than is necessary. Make sure that your machine is draining properly and is fitted with the proper plumbing.
When in doubt, call one of our technicians here at Tri-Point Refrigeration to help us help you during these summer months. Our passion is your machine and we are committed to keeping you, your business, and your machines on the road to success. Tri-Point Refrigeration is excited to help you along the way, and our professional technicians will keep your machine running smoothly and healthily, while also extending the reach of your dollar.
For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community.
Or check out our website at www.tripointrefrigeration.com
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