• Alsman Named Southwestern Sales Manager

    September 27th, 2013

    Mike Alsman SalesMike Alsman was named Regional Sales Manager for U.S. Cooler’s Southwestern Territory including Arizona, California and Nevada. Alsman has over 25 years of experience in the refrigeration and foodservice industry. His experience with engineering, product development, sales and marketing in the industry makes him a valued addition to this territory and U.S. Cooler’s aim to enhance dealer support. U.S. Cooler is confident that his abundance of experience, knowledge of the industry, and work ethic will lend itself well toward serving their customer base.

  • Aging the Best Deer Meat with the Game Locker

    September 20th, 2013

    hunting deerDeer hunting seasons are underway in some parts of the nation, so it’s time once again to prepare yourself to venture into the fields and forests. Once you’ve managed to harvest and field dress your first deer, there’s the matter of storing it in the proper environment to get the best tasting meat.

    Some people will quarter the deer without aging it, but this is a major mistake if you want quality venison. The deer stiffens during rigor mortis in the 24 hours after being killed. If it is processed during this time, the muscles shorten and contract causing the meat to become tough. You should let your deer hang for 2 to 4 days at minimum before processing to avoid this. For the best tasting deer meat Mississippi State University recommends 14 to 18 days of hanging time. A general rule of thumb is, the older the deer, the longer the hang time. Longer hanging times will allow the deer’s natural enzymes and acids to break down and tenderize the meat and give it a smoother, less “gamey” flavor.

    meat in game locker

    Deer meat hanging in a U.S. Cooler Game Locker

    An optimal temperature to hang deer meat at should be temperature above freezing but below 40 degrees F. Many people let the deer hang in their garage, but this far from the proper conditions because of contaminants, pests and temperature fluctuations that come with an uncontrolled environment such as this. If your meat is stored above 40 degrees it will start to rot, but if it is frozen at temperatures below 28 degrees it can become freezer burned. In these situations, having access to a commercial-sized refrigerator that will keep your deer at a constant temperature and free of outside contamination is optimal. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Retrofitting LED Lights Can Pay Off In Your C-store

    September 16th, 2013
    led optimax light

    Anthony Optimax Retrofit

    As a convenience store owner, if there was a change you could make to increase merchandise sales, lower your electric bill, reduce maintenance costs, and be environmentally responsible would you make the change? The opportunity to do just that is here with the advent of LED Retrofit Kits. These kits replace the existent fluorescent lighting on your glass door merchandising walk-in cooler and freezer with 4’, 5’ or 6’ long LED light strips.

    LED lighting provides a 68 to 85% energy savings over the fluorescent lights typically used in coolers and freezers. LEDs use only 15 watts for a 5’ model and 18 watts for 6’. They also produce less heat than a fluorescent light, which will lessen the load on your refrigeration system. But if energy savings was the only advantage, adoption of LEDs wouldn’t be near where it is today. The real difference is the attractive quality of the light it gives off. LEDs give your products a beckoning glow and more uniform illumination than fluorescent.  You can choose between lights that give off a neutral or slight red or blue hue. Conventional wisdom suggests that the more appealing the product presentation, the more likely a customer is to take notice and purchase it. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Size Your Walk-in Refrigeration Unit

    July 26th, 2013

    When buying refrigeration units for walk-in coolers & freezers, it’s very important that your refrigeration is sized correctly for your box and application. Incorrectly sized refrigeration can result in problems such as the refrigeration unit constantly running and eventually freezing up.

    To help you get the right size refrigeration unit, Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration has put together a Quick BTUH Load Calculation Chart. It can be used for walk-ins rooms from 6’ X 6’ X 8’ to 40’ X 40’ X 8’ and with holding temperatures of -20°F, -10°, 0°, 30° and 35°. Loads are calculated based on boxes utilizing 4” of urethane R-25 insulation.

    heatcraft refrigeration chart

    Click here to view the Refrigeration Sizing Chart

    Before using these charts, get this information about your walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer:

    1. Room information:

    •Length, width, and height of the box in feet

    •Holding temperature of the refrigerated room (°F)

    •Relative humidity in the refrigerated room (if specified)

    •Summertime design ambient temperature (°F). This is usually the temperature expected at the location of an air cooled condensing unit which cools the room

    2. Insulation information:

    •Type of insulation, insulation thickness (inches), and external temperatures on walls, ceiling, and floor.

    3. Infiltration load information:

    •The temperature (°F) of the entering air and the relative humidity of the entering air. Also, an estimate of the door usage – average, heavy, etc.

    •Does the box have glass doors? Dock doors? How many? Read the rest of this entry »

  • Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance

    July 2nd, 2013

    I’m Mitch Byrne. I have been working in the Refrigeration Trade for over 16 years. I know from experience that commercial refrigeration maintenance can extend equipment life by years & save big on electrical consumption. This article will explain the importance of Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance. It will also outline basic DIY Maintenance as well as professional clean & checks done by a contractor. It is possible for equipment owners to perform some basic maintenance tasks between contractor visits.

    Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance is critical, especially when it comes to Walk-In Coolers, Freezers & Ice Machines. This is especially true when it comes to line coolers. All refrigeration needs to expel heat. The majority of units do this through an air cooled condenser coil. This is done by drawing air through the coil. This causes dust & debris to form fairly quickly on the condenser coil. Failure to clean condenser coils on a regular basis will increase electrical consumption & lead to major system component failure such as burnt wiring, a failed condenser fan motor, a restricted metering device or a failed compressor. These are some, but not all of the possible consequences of lack of maintenance. Without a doubt poor maintenance will decrease the lifespan of equipment & increase electrical consumption.

    There are things you can do between contractor clean & checks that can really help. The following is a checklist of tasks you can perform to help extend the life of your commercial refrigeration equipment.

    1. Visually inspect the condenser coil on self contained refrigeration. Often the condenser coil is behind a cover at the top or bottom of commercial coolers & freezers. Condenser coils can also be located at front right or left on a unit & also at the back of a unit.  The condenser cover can usually be removed with a Philips screw driver. Occasionally a ¼” or 5/16” nut driver is needed to remove cover. Pictured are a couple types of coolers & condensers.restaurant commercial refrigerators Read the rest of this entry »
  • Diagnose Walk-in Cooler & Freezer Refrigeration Problems

    June 7th, 2013

    A systematic approach to walk-in cooler and freezer maintenance is the technician’s best guide.

    The ubiquitous walk-in cooler or freezer is an essential part of many cafeterias, restaurants and convenience stores. It is also a large energy user in these facilities but is rarely considered until problems emerge.

    Problems include failure to maintain pressure and compressor failure, both of which can result in expensive losses to the products stored in the cooler. These problems, as well as unnecessarily high energy use, can be avoided by observing equipment and taking corrective action.

    Evaporators
    Moisture from the air freezes onto the evaporator coils (the cooling coils in the freezer) and forms an insulating barrier to heat transfer. Airflow also decreases as the passages narrow due to ice buildup. Each evaporator has a defrost cycle to melt frost/ice that has built up on the evaporator coils. Water from the melted ice is drained from the freezer . . . ideally. Read the rest of this entry »

  • 11 Tips for Purchasing a Walk-in Cooler or Freezer

    May 23rd, 2013

    It’s important to carefully select your walk-in because it’s a major purchase that will have a lasting effect on the operation of your business. Before diving headlong into this purchase, here are a few items to consider before making this decision.

    1. Storage Space – If you’re running a restaurant, you will need approximately 1.5 cubic feet of storage space for every meal you serve per day. Read this article for a more in-depth sizing formula. It’s better to have too much storage space than not enough. However, your walk-in shouldn’t be exorbitantly large because your monthly operating cost generally increases as its size increases.
    2. Location of Box – Whether you’re going to locate your walk-in indoors or outdoors, make sure you have adequate space to accommodate the box. Outdoor walk-ins will require a rainroof, refrigeration hood and a drip cap for over the door (if the door doesn’t open from within the building). Assess the floor to make sure it’s suitable for load-bearing. If you have a concrete floor, a walk-in cooler can be placed on it. If the walk-in is going on a wood frame floor, it will require floor panels. A walk-in freezer always requires an insulated floor.
    3. walkin remote refrigeration

      A walk-in with remote refrigeration.

      Refrigeration System – Confirm that you are getting a refrigeration system that is sized correctly for your walk-in. If your system is underpowered it will run often and wear out quickly. If your system is overpowered it will not cycle enough to effectively remove humidity from the box and may cause icing. There are different types of refrigeration systems with different purposes and benefits. For example, remote refrigeration can be located outdoors when your walk-in is located indoors. This is beneficial because you’re not adding heat or noise to the room where the walk-in operates. It’s also important to know the voltage requirements for your building (single or 3 phase power). In general, commercial buildings will use 3 phase power and residential will use single phase. Learn more about the different types of refrigeration for walk-ins. Read the rest of this entry »

  • DOE EISA Compliance Clarification

    March 21st, 2013

    We have received some clarification from the Department of Energy in response to our last blog “The Risk of Selling Non-Compliant Walk-ins”.  The information in context was correct but there was a misunderstanding as to whether Walk-in Cooler manufacturers on the DOE website were compliant.  It was our assumption that all manufacturers that registered on the website are EISA compliant, but this is not necessarily the case.  Also, there may be some manufacturers that are EISA compliant and have tried to register on the DOE website but are not listed as of yet.  Please check with the manufacturer and verify if they are EISA compliant.  Below is the response that we received from the Department of Energy:

    Under current law, only manufacturers of component parts of walk-in coolers and freezers must certify their products with DOE.  In this certification, manufacturers of these components must state that their equipment is manufactured in accordance with the requirements found in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) and subsequent DOE regulations found at 10 C.F.R Part 431, Subpart R.  DOE specifically requires that the manufacturers of panels, doors and refrigeration systems certify with DOE that their equipment complies with the applicable statute and regulations.  The certification requirements for walk-in cooler and freezer components are fully described in 10 C.F.R. §§ 429.12 and 429.53.

    Once DOE receives a certification submission from a component manufacturer, it will be processed and the information will be posted on the DOE website at: http://www.regulations.doe.gov/certification-data/.  It typically takes two weeks from the time a submission is made before it appears on the website.  Because of this delay, it is possible that manufacturers of walk-in cooler and freezer components could have submitted their certification to DOE and not yet appear on the DOE website.  Products are listed on the DOE website by brand rather than manufacturer.  Because of these facts, the list of manufacturers that US Coolers has provided in their email does not accurately reflect the manufacturers who have certified that their equipment complies with the law. Read the rest of this entry »