Preventive Walk in Cooler Maintenance Checklist 2024

What to Prioritise for Your Walk In Cooler Maintenance Checklist

If you are in the food industry, you must be aware of the importance of keeping food items at a consistent, safe temperature for human consumption. A walk in cooler keeps the food at an optimum temperature to maintain the quality of the food. To remain compliant with health and food safety guidelines, you need to rely on your walk-in coolers for dependable and spacious cold food storage.

An underperforming walk-in cooler can cause havoc, especially in the summer months in Los Angeles. It can risk the food inventory leading to contamination and food going bad. It negatively impacts your business. Hence it is vital to stay vigilant with the walk in cooler maintenance as required. By following this preventive walk in cooler maintenance checklist your refrigeration system is less likely to have problems.

Preventive Walk in Cooler Maintenance Checklist

What to Prioritise for Your Walk In Cooler Maintenance Checklist

Follow some simple steps of walk in cooler maintenance to extend the life of your units. 

Visually Inspect Unit

During the visual inspection of the unit, scrutinize for corrosion on fins, cabinet, copper tubing, and solder joints. Evaluate fan blades and sheet metal panels for excessive vibrations, identifying problematic fan cells. Detect oil stains on headers, return bends, and coil fins, and employ an electronic leak detector on suspect areas.

Additionally, ensure the drain pan is clear of debris, obstructions, or ice buildup, allowing proper drainage. Regular checks contribute to the unit’s optimal performance and longevity.

Clean The Equipment (inside and outside)

It is important for you to clean food and beverage spills and drips on a timely basis as part of your daily walk in cooler cleaning. The longer you let a spill settle, the harder it will be for you to clean it without the use of a harmful cleaning agent. Be careful not to use steel wool and other abrasives and chemicals, such as bleach. This can damage your appliance’s finish.

Moreover, uncleaned spills also lead to unpleasant odor that can affect the quality of your ingredients. Furthermore,  mold growth can jeopardise the safety of your food.

Clean Evaporator Coils

To maintain optimal performance, periodically clean the evaporator coil and blades using a brush, pressurized water, or an approved cleaner. Avoid acid-based cleaners. Ensure thorough rinsing, paying attention to the drain pan and line.

Additionally, inspect fans, ensuring smooth rotation, tight screws, and proper blade condition. Lubricate motors if applicable. For overall unit inspection, scrutinize for corrosion, unusual vibrations, oil stains, and clear drain operation. Regular checks enhance system efficiency and longevity.

Thorough Cleaning of Condenser Coils

One of the important tasks in the walk in Cooler maintenance checklist is to clean the condenser coils. A walk-in cooler can not do its work properly when the coils are blocked with dust and debris. These coils must be clear so that the refrigerant can cool the refrigerator to maintain a constant temperature.

Clean Drain Lines

Regularly clear drain lines to prevent clogs and ensure proper drainage, avoiding potential issues with water accumulation and system efficiency.

Prevent Overcrowding

When coming up with a walk-in cooler maintenance checklist, make sure you are not overcrowding the cooler with unnecessary food items. The air will not be able to circulate in a refrigerator packed to the gills freely. This will make the unit work harder to maintain its set temperature.

Inspect Hinges, Latches, and Gaskets

Another regularly performed task on your walk in cooler maintenance checklist should be air leak inspections. Any tear in the gaskets or broken or misaligned door hinges and latches can cause cold air to escape and warm air from outside to seep into the refrigerator. It can compromise the food and cause an excessive load on the refrigerator’s compressor to maintain the optimum temperature. Inspect walk-in cooler hinges and door sealings once a month. 

Check Interior Lights

Although checking the interior lights may seem trivial in a walk in cooler maintenance. But lights generate heat, which is another reason your refrigeration units might be working harder than necessary. 

Clean Fans and Fan Grills

Incorporate fan and fan grill cleaning into your preventive walk-in cooler maintenance checklist. Regular cleaning ensures efficient airflow, preventing dust and debris buildup that can compromise the cooling system’s performance.

Check Temperature & Defrost Settings Regularly

Another tip for your walk in cooler maintenance checklist is to check your temperature and defrost frequency settings daily. If the temperature is set lower than it is necessary, your system will be working too hard. This can shorten its life. Moreover,  ice could form, especially on liquids. On the other hand, if your temperature is not cool enough, your food will spoil.

Check Thermostat Vs. Actual Thermometer

Verify thermostat accuracy by comparing it to an actual thermometer. Periodically cross-checking ensures the thermostat’s precision, promoting an accurate temperature setting within your system. It is crucial for maintaining optimal conditions in walk in cooler environments.


Excessive ice buildup is caused by fluctuating temperatures inside the cooler. As fluctuating temperatures mean inventory is melting and then refreezing, it can compromise the food items inside. Ice buildup on the evaporator coil, air ventilation, or drain pipe is also alarming and can be threatening to your food inventory. 

Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for defrosting for regular commercial fridge maintenance. Similarly,  defrosting your unit too often can create unnecessary work for your walk-in cooler.  

Examining the Electrical Wiring And Other Components

For thorough electrical inspection, visually examine wiring for damage and secure all connections. Verify fan cycle and defrost controls, adjusting defrost cycles as needed based on ice patterns. Compare defrost heater amp draw to unit data plate, ensuring even heater contact. Also, check drain line heat tape for proper operation

Maximise Airflow by Clearing The Surrounding Area

Besides the proper interior airflow, appropriate exterior airflow is equally important and shouldn’t be overlooked. Unfortunately, kitchens are often cramped spaces. Even if you have little room to spare, you mustn’t block the air intake and exhaust vents of your walk-in cooler. If you do, your unit will have to work harder to cool the food stored inside.

This not only consumes extra electricity units but could also decrease the life expectancy of your equipment.

Professional Walk in Cooler Maintenance Checklist: Tasks That Require HVAC Company

What to Prioritise for Your Walk In Cooler Maintenance Checklist

As long as you are using the right tools, cleaners and cleaning methods, there are many tasks that you can manage yourself. However, most busy restaurant managers choose to assign these tasks to a professional HVAC company. HVAC technicians can do the job better as they have the proper equipment and supplies to do the work safely and efficiently. Following are the tasks that can be handled by an HVAC company. 

Clean coils

Coil cleaning is critical for the efficient operation of your HVAC system. It should be on every walk-in cooler preventative maintenance checklist. You should inspect and clean your unit’s condenser and evaporator coils each month. If your coils are accumulated with dirt and grime, it will interfere with the transfer of heat from your system. This will cause your system to run inefficiently and your system to work overtime, which will accelerate repairs.

Related: How to Clean your HVAC Coil

Clean fan blades

Blade cleaning is another monthly job that should be carried out by HVAC professionals for regular walk in cooler maintenance. Dirty blades will force the fan motors to work harder to rotate the blades. Make sure that the screws are tight before cleaning the fan blades. 

Schedule Walk-In Cooler Maintenance or Repairs With Alturas HVAC contractors

Are you looking for your commercial walk-in cooler repair or maintenance service? Then don’t look any further and call Alturas HVAC contractors right away. We are a well-known and trustworthy HVAC company that provides HVAC installation and HVAC repair services in Los Angeles. We are well aware of What to Prioritise for Your Walk-In Cooler Maintenance. Our professional commercial HVAC installers and technicians ensure each installation and repair meets your requirements. This way you can focus on your business rather than your equipment’s upkeep. Alturas will guarantee you solutions and quality assistance for any walk-in cooler queries with our extensive industry expertise. 

Common FAQs About Walk-In Cooler Maintenance

How often should a walk-in cooler be cleaned?

About once a month, clean the inside and outside surfaces of your walk-in cooler using a mild detergent and water solution. The interior of the cabinet can be sanitized with a mild solution of bleach and water during the monthly cleaning of the walk-in cooler.

What is a daily practice in cooler maintenance?

A daily practice in cooler maintenance involves inspecting and recording temperature settings to ensure they meet the desired levels. Additionally, visually checking for any signs of leaks, unusual sounds, or malfunctions is recommended.

How do you service a walk-in chiller?

Servicing a walk-in chiller involves regular tasks like cleaning coils, checking refrigerant levels, inspecting electrical components, verifying thermostat accuracy, and addressing any signs of wear or damage.

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