Looking to get your cool room, fan coil units, evaporators, cleaned? It’s that time of the year and it’s time to clean your cool room, or perhaps you have an inspector coming in soon and need to make sure it’s up to scratch?
Whatever your reason, we want you to know a little bit more about the cool room cleaning process as this you will find is very helpful.
There is so much that people are never told or can find out by simply searching for it online, so we took the time and sat down with Darren Driscoll and Jason Christenson owners of Chill Action to better understand the cool room cleaning process, important tips, processes, as well as their personal experiences.
Chill Action provides a service and reporting system that addresses modern world concerns for your cooling systems and cool rooms. Our knowledge covers 32 years of the various designs, makes and models of cooling systems, and cool rooms, so when you call Chill Action you know that we can deal with modern equipment as well as older outdated equipment.
Why Cool room hygiene is important:
Hygiene is super important when it comes to dealing with food storage in cool rooms, which is why it is important to have all the correct information.
These are the types of services Darren and Jason spoke about to give a better idea about what YOU need.
The most common types of services that cool rooms and cold storage facilities are used for are typical to store food items. You will find cool rooms in all supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, distribution centres, anywhere where food needs to be kept cool, cold, or frozen for a long time, to keep the food in good condition.
The air in these cool rooms is typically chilled anywhere between 10 degrees down to freezing at minus 24 degrees.
The principle is pretty much the same for most units, being, there is a cooling coil with a fan drive, that pushes the air over the refrigerated coil. Once it goes over the chilled coil, the fan distributes the air into the space, pumping it around, cooling it cold store down until we get the temperate set point.
Cool room units get dirty because of dust, bacteria that forms or comes in from pallets and boxes used, usually in transportation, trucks, forklifts, etc. For the same reason the fan coil units, evaporators, Penthouse unit and Alcove units get dirty and contaminated with bacteria, mould and slime
The cool room units that we optimize
- FAN COOL UNITS FCU
- ALCOVE UNITS
- PENTHOUSE UNITS
- The refresh units
Chill Action cleans all these cool room units using food grade contact and HACCP approved Aeris chemical disinfectant and a sanitiser, dismantling the systems, removing dirt mould from coils, cleaning walls, floors, ceilings as well, that get very dirty.
While no regulation says cool rooms must be cleaned at regular intervals, Darren has said that the recommended time to clean cool rooms is around 6 months to a year to optimize the cool rooms cooling performance, the lifespan of the panels and the lifespan of the FCU and evaporators.
“When cooling systems are dirty, they can start to blow black deposits out into the air which tends to also cause black stains on ceilings” This is a mix of dirt, bacteria and mould that is growing inside the cooling units, in the coils, in the drip tray, and the drains. See the image below.
Benefits of cleaning cool rooms and cooling systems
When learning more about keeping a cool room clean it’s important to understand the benefits of why we do it, in this case, many benefits include.
- The possibility of food spoilage is minimised.
- There are no contaminants or bacteria
- Cleaning also ensures an accurate and consistent temperature.
- The smooth functioning of the system is ensured by the flow of air
- The cooling capacity of the system is also increased
- units will perform better
- units will last longer
You need to be aware of certain rules and regulations in Australia. Working with food involves many health and safety requirements that are in place to protect you, your staff, and your customers. Therefore, Chill Action staff are HACCP trained and the company is HACCP certified.
Cool Rooms or cold stores that are not clean, or not operating efficiently, are a safety and health risk
Jason points out that “when cooling rooms or the FCU evaporators units’ ice up, or the tray if full of dirt, the water produced cannot go down the drain line properly, and so spills out on the floor below freezing and becoming a big safety risk”
“For example, forklifts or people driving over them can slip, freezing also causes damage to the panels, joints, parts, as the water expands when it freezes, adversely affecting the lifespan of the cool room panel as well.” Chill Action carry out cool room or cold store panel sealing using Aqua Guard
How long does it take to clean a cool room fan coil unit or evaporator unit?
It generally takes a couple of guys 3-4 hours to clean a unit, using pressure cleaners.
Chill Action has a unique approach to cleaning cool room units, and this includes
- Remove the fan from housing and clean both sides of the fan blades and the safety grill.
- Clean and flush heat transfer coils with a cleaner.
- Clean internal and external surfaces of the fan unit.
- Remove and clean the condensation drip tray.
- Clean mould and bacteria on surfaces of walls and ceiling immediately around the fan unit in the cool room.
- Power wash floors ceilings and walls
- providing a full report that can be traced back at any time, to maintain the highest standard.
- Chill Action team have HACCP trained technicians, and are also ARIS trained, all to enhance performance, hygiene, and ensure safety to every client.
We asked about any experiences Darren and Jason may have had from the many years that they have been doing their job.
Jason told us about his biggest horror story while quoting a cleaning job:
“I went out to quote these guys who have a niche thing they do with a large grocery chain in the food space. They had an audit with a large grocery chain coming up and had called me to make sure everything was spotless, and so I did a full walkthrough and asked when the last time was that they had a full clean they had said around 3 years. I was so shocked you wouldn’t believe, there was mould growing just everywhere it was horrifying, I just couldn’t believe they were selling this food to a large grocery chain. They gave me some food to take home as I was leaving, and I just had to throw them in the bin”
OMG, what a horror story therefore it is so much more important than you think as who knows where the food you’re eating is coming from.
Tips for cool room unit cleaning.
Darren and Jason mentioned some helpful tips, you should know if you own a cool room and when to know you need a quote.
Common cool room problems that can occur are easy things to pick up on that includes, failed fans and dirty coils, blocked drain lines, leaking trays, excessive mould and bacteria growth.
- The floor and surfaces of a cold room should be always kept clean and well-maintained.
- A vacuum cleaner can be used for dust, dirt, mould, and water accumulations on the floor
- A mild detergent or specialist cool room cleaning products should be used to clean the surfaces.
- It is very important to note that nowadays inspectors are getting better at what to look for when inspecting cool rooms and cold stores They are now starting to pay attention to the condition of the fan coil units, the evaporators, the Penthouse unit, the Thermfresh units, Cold Logic units and the Alcove units.
- The days of getting away with having the cold and cool room equipment not cleaned are slowly coming to an end with major food chain companies like Coles, Aldi, Woolworths, IGA, conducting audits on facilities, taking swaps off fan coil unit trays and coils, off walls and racking, to see if bacteria and mould growth is present.
- Bacteria, mould, slide and dirt are distributed from fan coil units, evaporators and other cooling equipment so best to have them disinfected cleaned and treated by an approved HACCP company like Chill Action
Get your cool room inspected today, give Darren and Jason a call and get it done properly so that the cool rooms unit performance will improve, your food will last longer, not be a health risk, and you will get a longer life from your unit. Pass your site audits and avoid being shut down or losing contracts.