Failure to properly maintain an ultra-low freezer can be costly. First, malfunctioning commercial refrigeration uses more energy, resulting in skyrocketing electricity bills. Second, replacing laboratory equipment can be an unexpected expense that’s not in your budget. And lastly, a poorly maintained ultra-low freezer can cause the catastrophic loss of potentially irreplaceable samples.
Scitech Lab Services will always advise our customers to follow a good maintenance plan with their lab equipment. By following our guideline, you will ensure your ultra-low freezer stays in tip-top shape.
Daily Maintenance Checklist
We’ve broken this guide down into things you should do on a daily basis as well as periodically throughout the year to keep your ultra-low freezer running optimally. Here are some things you and other department members can do to decrease the wear and tear on your ultra-low freezer:
Choose the Right Placement
It’s important to position your ultra-low freezer in a well-ventilated space away from sources of heat such as heating units and windows. Failure to do so can result in increased energy consumption and freezer failure.
Check all Doors are Closed Properly
Before shutting the main door, make sure all internal doors of the freezer are shut properly. Place a sign on your freezer’s main door to encourage others to do the same. This will prevent any warm air from getting inside as well as reduce any ice build-up.
Minimize Search Times
Obviously the longer the freezer doors are open, the harder your unit must work. Create up-to-date inventories for each unit. These should detail exactly what is inside each freezer and the exact location. Place a copy of this on the freezer door as well to minimize search times.
Never Overfill Freezers
It’s important that internal grills and vents remain unblocked for proper air flow. For this reason, be sure to never overfill your freezer as it could absolutely compromise your unit’s temperature control.
Periodic Maintenance Checklist
Doing the following at least twice a year will not only help you maintain your ultra-low freezer but also to spot any issues before they get out of hand.
Clear Ice Build-up
Use a soft cloth, dustpan and brush, or even a rubber mallet to clear away any ice build-up that has formed on your evaporator coils. Ice build-up can cause your freezer to overheat and malfunction. Never use any sharp tools to chip away at the ice because you may inadvertently damage a seal or gasket. Removing ice regularly will help with energy efficiency as well as extend the life of your freezer.
Check Seals and Gaskets
Every few months, make sure none of the gaskets or seals inside your freezer have been damaged. Clean them and keep them free from ice. Should you find a seal that has been broken, schedule a repair ASAP with someone like SciTech Lab Services who specializes in refrigeration services. Broken seals allow cold air (and energy) to escape and warmth to enter.
Check Condenser Coils and Filter
Dust and debris love to get inside and block your condenser coils, making it impossible to properly cool your unit. It’s best to schedule someone like SciTech Lab Services to come in and clean your condenser coils to remove any blocks.
You can easily clean your freezer’s filter by giving it a good vacuum. You can also carefully remove the filter and give it a good rinse under warm water. Just be sure to allow it to dry completely before replacing it. The more you keep your filter clean, the less chance dirt and debris will slip into your unit and block those condenser coils I just mentioned.
Check Your Freezer’s Radiator
Periodically slide your freezer out and check the radiator unit on the back to make sure it has not become dirty. Use a soft cloth or vacuum to remove any dust or grime.
Defrost Your Freezer
One to two times per year you will need to defrost your ultra-low freezer. Before beginning, notify all lab users well in advance and ask them to relocate their samples during that time.
TIP: Before unplugging your freezer, gently remove any big chunks of ice you may see. This will help reduce any dangerous pools of water forming on the floor. If you have been de-icing regularly as I suggested, this won’t be a big problem, though you will still want to leave warning signs that the floor may be wet.
Once de-iced, wipe down the interior surfaces and doors to dry them completely. Plug your unit back in and allow to cool and stabilize for 24 hours before putting samples back inside.
Get Help from Scitech
If you’re ever unsure of how to best maintain your ultra-low freezer, consult with professional service technicians like SciTech Lab Services who can help. Service technicians have been trained in commercial refrigeration and can offer preventative maintenance programs that will help you identify and repair problems in the early stages before costly problems occur.
SciTech Lab Services is an Alabama State certified refrigeration contractor specializing in the sales and service of laboratory and medical equipment in the Birmingham area. We aim to ensure you have the proper equipment and tools to manage your laboratory effectively.
We service all major bands such as Thermo Scientific, New Brunswick, Thermoforma, Revco, and Sanyo in university labs, bio tech labs and hospitals. Our lab services include:
- Compressor replacement
- Coil cleaning
- PM work such as door gaskets, latches, hinges, etc.
- Evaporator repair and replacement
- Pressure testing
- Oil flushing
- Oil separators
- Comark thermometer sales
- Comark repair
We also conduct stress testing to see how quickly the freezer recovers after the door has been opened and closed. And, if need be, we can relocate your units or completely dispose of them for you when it comes time to get new units.
Your samples are far too valuable to leave to chance. Call us and let’s work together to keep your ultra-low freezer working optimally for years to come.