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How to Prevent Your Display Fridge From Breaking Down

With the multitude of things going on in and around a business, it can be easy to overlook equipment maintenance. According to Wall Street Journal, 40% of unplanned downtime is caused by equipment failure. And downtime can cost businesses more than they think—to the tune of NZD$85 billion a year.

Regular, albeit minor servicing can go a long way toward preventing major problems and inconveniences. This blog discusses how commercial enterprises can prevent display fridge breakdowns, touches on practical dos and don’ts, and offers tips on what to keep an eye out for to ensure that your equipment and your business can operate without a hitch.

Regular maintenance is always better than repairs

Conducting regular preventive maintenance, particularly when it comes to commercial display fridges, brings with it a number of key benefits.

  • Saves time

Preventive maintenance procedures are much easier to do compared to repairing and troubleshooting your display fridge. When you address minor issues before they become bigger ones, you not only save time when it comes to repairs, but you also save time from the inconveniences brought about by a non performing unit.

  • Saves money

Similarly, nipping issues in the bud when it comes to your display fridge saves you from major repair costs. While you might surmise that shelling out cash on a monthly or quarterly basis adds to your business expenses, it’s still significantly less than what it costs for parts replacement and things like stock wastage.  

  • Ensures food safety

A commercial refrigeration equipment’s holding temperature is critical to ensuring food safety. Temperature requirements depend on the type of food, but most chiller display fridges are kept between two and five degrees Celsius.

When the temperature is too low, it can lead to food spoilage; too high and it could be a sign of blocked vents or other system issues. This critical balance is why regular preventive maintenance servicing is necessary for commercial display fridges.

  • Helps improve equipment performance

Preventive maintenance helps prolong equipment lifespan by ensuring that every moving part is functioning as it should. Similar to a well-maintained car, a display fridge that’s regularly checked should perform well over an extended period of time, ultimately saving the business valuable cash and resources.

Do’s and don’ts

Below are a few rules of thumb you should be mindful of when it comes to your display fridge.

  • Do ensure you have the correct power supply for your fridge

Generally, display fridges should be on a dedicated circuit. This is often recommended for optimal performance and to prevent overloading wiring circuits. If you aren’t sure about model-specific electrical requirements, you can usually find them on the installation instructions.

  • Do handle with care

This seems obvious enough but in the course of long days, third-party contractors loading up display fridge cabinets, and just general busy-ness, careful handling can easily be overlooked. Don’t let the doors slam as this can mess with the unit’s holding temperature in the long run and cause other interconnected issues. So, make sure to brief all employees on the importance of handling display fridges with care.

  • Don’t overload and ensure shelving is adequate and products fit correctly

Smaller enterprises are often found guilty of this in their pursuit of cutting costs. But overloading display fridges can lead to seemingly innocuous oversights like your door not being completely sealed from outside air and not allowing air to move freely around all items.

So, make sure you’re using your fridge for its intended purpose. If you find that you’re constantly trying to fit more items than your display fridge is designed to hold, it would be best to get a supplementary unit rather than risk damaging your main one.

  • Don’t ignore any problems

Whether it’s a flickering interior light, loose hinges, or a display fridge not cooling as it should, if you sense that something might be wrong, have it checked by a professional straight away. This ties up to the essence of the first few points made above – preventive maintenance will always be better than needing repairs.

Things to keep an eye on

Here are a few things that are easy to overlook but are important to regularly keep an eye on.

  • Hinges, handles, knobs, grills, etc. – Check and make sure all these are in good working condition and lubricate if required
  • Motor noise – Any unusual noises should be inspected immediately.
  • Lights – Fully functioning interior lights are crucial for display fridge. As such, make sure lights that need to be replaced are done so using the same size and wattage as the original ones, or when possible, upgraded to LED lighting. LEDs are a more cost-efficient lighting alternative since they can last up to 50,000 hours.


There’s no denying the integral role that commercial fridges play in the food and beverage industry. That’s why it’s critical that business owners go above and beyond the necessary preventive measures to prevent them from breaking down.

If you’re food and beverage business owner in New Zealand, be it a catering service, café, convenience store, or supermarket, Inter-Fridge has been providing a solutions-focused approach to commercial refrigeration since 1991. Learn more about their display fridge offerings and other products today.