How Much Does It Cost to Run a Commercial Refrigerator?

full supermarket commercial refrigerator

Commercial refrigerators are everywhere. You find them in grocery stores, restaurants, corner stores, movie theaters, labs, and industrial buildings. Commercial refrigerators are important pieces of equipment for businesses that need to store perishable items, such as food and beverages, because keeping these items at the required temperature helps prevent spoilage and the proliferation of foodborne illnesses. 

But how much does it cost to run a commercial refrigerator? Read on to learn about the variables that affect the operating costs of commercial refrigeration equipment and how to minimize them.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of running commercial refrigeration systems is calculated by multiplying the kilowatt hours (kWh) by the number of hours it is used during a given period, whether it’s a day, month or year, giving you the amount of energy usage during that time frame. Then multiply this number by the commercial electricity rate for your area to get the total cost. 

On average, commercial refrigerators can cost anywhere between $100 – $700 per year to operate. The exact cost will vary depending on several factors.  

Variables Affecting Operating Costs

Energy consumption for a commercial refrigerator can vary significantly depending on a number of factors. The manufacturer, where it is located, its size, age, the season, how often it is used, and what temperature it is set at all affect the fridge’s power usage, and therefore how much it costs to run. 

The biggest determining factor of cost and energy consumption is the size of the commercial fridge. A bigger fridge needs more energy than a small one. Moreover, older refrigerators tend to be less efficient, and therefore more expensive, compared to newer fridge models that have earned an Energy-Star rating.  

Temperature also affects the energy costs of a refrigeration unit. If it is warm outside, like during the summer months, or if the fridge is placed in hot and poorly-ventilated areas, it has to work harder, thus using more energy to keep its contents cool. Similarly, leaving the fridge doors open for extended periods puts extra strain on their compressor as well, resulting in higher energy usage. 

All of these factors have an effect on the energy consumption of a refrigeration system. Being mindful of these variables and working diligently to manage them can reduce your monthly cost.

Tips to Help Reduce Commercial Refrigeration Costs

There are several ways that you can reduce the energy costs of your commercial refrigerators. Some of these methods include:

  1. Keeping your evaporator and condenser coils clean: Dirty evaporators and condenser coils need more energy to function properly, thus increasing energy costs.
  2. Installing energy-efficient light fixtures: LED lighting is more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent lighting, so consider replacing any outdated lighting in the fridge with LED bulbs.
  3. Upgrading your defrost controls: The most effective defrost controls are ones with sensors that defrost according to the pressure drop and humidity accumulation in the unit, rather than a timer. 
  4. Setting your commercial refrigerator to the right temperatures: The optimal temperature for a commercial refrigerator is around 35-38°F (or 1-3 °C). Keeping the fridge at a lower temperature can increase energy consumption.
  5. Keeping the refrigerator doors closed as often as possible: The more cold air that escapes when the refrigerator door is open, the more energy the unit has to use to maintain its proper temperature.
  6. Scheduling regular preventative maintenance: Clean refrigerators are more efficient, consume less energy and are more cost effective as a result. A regular cleaning and maintenance schedule goes a long way in helping to manage your energy costs.  An annual preventative maintenance check up with a professional is also recommended.

Replace Your Old Commercial Refrigerators to Reduce Energy Costs

HABCO Manufacturing offers a broad selection of reliable and cost-effective commercial freezers and refrigerators. All of our products prioritize energy efficiency and longevity for a low cost of ownership, as well as reduced energy usage over time. With HABCO, you can rest assured knowing that your refrigerator is built to perform at peak efficiencies no matter what industry you’re in. 

Contact us today to learn more about our expansive commercial freezer and refrigerator options and start saving on long-term energy costs.

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