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Commercial Refrigerator Life Expectancy

How long does a commercial refrigerator last? It is a common question that we always get from business owners as their refrigeration technicians. You may have wondered this as well before. At the end of the day, when you are losing profits because your fridges are not working, it’s a question worth answering.

The contents of a commercial refrigerator are sensitive to temperature. That’s why these appliances are designed to operate in an optimal temperature range – between 32 and 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This doesn’t make their life particularly long. The average lifespan of a commercial refrigerator is about 10 to 15 years. However, this period may be shortened considerably depending on the way you use it. The following sections will help you detect the signs of a failing refrigerator. You will also learn how to extend the functional life of your appliance and its components:

Common Signs Of A Failing Commercial Refrigerator

Commercial Refrigerator - Advanced Commercial

A commercial refrigerator that’s not working properly is a serious problem. Not only can it lead to spoiled food and lost money, but it can also be dangerous for your employees and customers. Here are some signs that indicate you need to get your commercial refrigerator checked out:

  1. The temperature in the unit is warm or hot.
  2. The compressor doesn’t turn on when you open the door or walk by the unit. The condenser coils should feel cool to the touch if they’re working properly.
  3. The unit makes loud noises or rattles when it runs. This could be caused by old insulation or worn-out bearings on the compressor motor.
  4. There is frost buildup inside the unit or water leaks around the seals where the doors meet the body of the refrigerator. This indicates that there’s a refrigerant leak somewhere in your system and needs to be repaired immediately before further damage occurs.
  5. The compressor is running constantly or frequently cycling on and off which can cause high utility bills.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Commercial Refrigerator

If you own a commercial refrigerator, you know how expensive it is to replace. With the right maintenance, you can extend the life of your refrigerator and save yourself some money. Here are some of the most common ways to extend the life of your commercial refrigerator:

1. Use a thermometer to check temperatures

Temperature management is critical in keeping your products safe and preventing spoilage. If you’re storing perishable goods, you need to ensure that they’re kept at the appropriate temperature. Use an instant-read thermometer to check temperatures periodically throughout the day.

2. Clean inside and outside regularly

It’s important to clean the inside of your commercial refrigerator regularly because bacteria can build up in there if it isn’t cleaned often enough. You should also clean off any dust or dirt that has accumulated on both sides of your unit (inside and out) so that no mold or mildew can grow inside or on its exterior surfaces.

3. Change filters regularly

If you’re using an air conditioner or humidifier inside your commercial refrigeration unit, then changing filters regularly is essential for ensuring proper functionality and safety. You should change these filters every three months at a minimum, but ideally more frequently depending on use.

4. Clean the condenser coils regularly

The condenser coils are the part of the unit that transfers heat from inside the refrigerator to the outside air. They can become clogged with dust and dirt over time, which makes it harder for them to do their job effectively. Cleaning them will help ensure that they continue working efficiently and last longer.

5. Inspect the compressor regularly

Your commercial refrigerator will use an electric motor to compress refrigerant into a vapor state so that it can evaporate and cool down your refrigerated items. Inspecting this motor can help you identify any sudden changes in its performance before they lead to serious problems with your system.

6. Keep an eye on leaks

If you notice any leaks coming from either your door seals or gaskets around your compressor, then this could be an indication that there is something wrong with either one of these parts or a problem with how they fit together within your refrigerator unit itself.

7. Empty refrigerator bins regularly

Most commercial refrigerators have bins that allow you to store items inside the unit itself instead of on shelves or in drawers. These bins are essential for storing items like milk cartons or other tall items that wouldn’t fit on shelves otherwise. However, if you don’t empty these bins often enough, they can become clogged with food particles that attract bacteria growth over time — leading to unpleasant odors and even food spoilage! Empty these bins at least once per week to keep them clean and fresh smelling.


Just like any other mechanical device, commercial refrigeration systems will eventually wear out after enough time and use. Sometimes the repair is as simple as replacing a minor part. Sometimes major repairs are needed to extend its life, long enough for the business owner to get the most out of it. So always consider contacting a refrigeration expert for assistance in extending the life of your refrigeration equipment. Remember that there are many factors that affect the future of your commercial refrigeration and we have identified some of them here. Hopefully, with the knowledge and tips we shared, on how you can extend the life of your commercial refrigerator, you can enjoy a longer-lasting and reliable cooling system.

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