The largest expense for small wineries is often the cost of commercial refrigeration in Eugene, OR. About 50 to 70 percent of utility effort is put into cooling, stabilizing and storing wine. If you want your boutique dream to remain cost-effective and profitable, taking measures to repair and maintain your commercial refrigeration will save costs and keep your wine palatable. Here are five measures to add efficiency to your system.
1. Review your utility bill regularly
You cannot schedule repairs or maintenance unless you know something is wrong. The first signs of shortcomings in your commercial refrigeration system will be in your utility bills. Keep records of usage and patterns; like any business, you will have higher usage at different times of the year. When an irregularity appears, perform an inspection to find any shortcomings or contact a commercial refrigeration specialist to diagnose possible problems.
2. Repair leaks
Tank jackets can leak solenoids or show water vapor, both of which indicate that there is inefficient cooling on the inside. Just as with other HVAC or refrigeration systems, coolant leaks can also lead to higher bills and less efficiency that can cut into your bottom line. You will often detect these leaks after a spike in your utility bill, so give your tank jackets a check.
3. Know when to keep refrigeration running
Wineries often lose money running their commercial refrigeration all the time. This also increases wear-and-tear on the system so repairs become more necessary and frequent. If the wine is not in a cooling period, shut down the refrigeration plant. Make sure you follow the specific shut-down procedures or you risk blowing a power supply. You will also have to follow start-up procedures carefully when it is time to turn the system back on again.
4. Adjust for winter and summer schedules
Needs change not just by the wine’s stage but also by season. The most efficiency is possible during the winter when ambient temperature is lower. However, systems will be taxed more during warmer temperatures. Schedule steps needing cooler temperatures for night to allow less drain on systems. In the summer, focus primarily on storage as the warmer temperatures will make keeping cooler temperatures difficult. Timing wine production and commercial refrigeration needs by season can also make a big difference.
5. Don’t overlook maintenance tasks
Maintenance now can mean avoiding large repair bills later. Clean condensers are more effective, require less energy and are less likely to break. Blocked brine strainers can continue to eat up energy and also destroy entire batches of wine if not fixed. If you hire a professional to perform maintenance tasks, find one who has experience with commercial refrigeration as it relates to wineries. This is a specialist industry with particular considerations. Find the right expert, and you will likely receive guidance on keeping your equipment in top shape.
American Refrigeration Inc offers expertise in commercial refrigeration in Eugene, OR and also understands wineries. We can help you maintain, repair or install any commercial refrigeration equipment needed by your winery. Give us a call to see what we can do for you.