Temperature control is mostly about ensuring food safety, and we have strict requirements for fridges and freezers in Europe. The main rules are that
- perishable foodstuffs must be stored at 4 °C or lower
- the cold chain must be uninterrupted
- the temperature of freezers should be -18 °C or lower
But even in the good fight against microorganisms, it's foolish to use more energy than necessary. So it's worth looking closely at the product: What is the specified storage method? If you have several products that can withstand temperatures higher than 4 °C, you can store them together in a separate cabinet. It's a waste of energy to keep them at a lower temperature than necessary.
How cold is too cold for your refrigeration units?
Of course, when it comes to your freezer, it's not like -36 °C is twice as good as -18 °C. Anything below 22 °C is, in practice, the equivalent of throwing energy right out of the window. So it's best to keep the temperature in the freezer within this 4-degree range. The temperature will fluctuate, but if you have IWMAC monitoring, you'll get reports with temperature logs every 24 hours. That way, you can quickly check if products are in danger – or if there is energy to be saved.
Cool facts about temperatures
At Kiona, we often visit new customers at supermarkets to supply training. Once accurate temperature monitoring is in place, many have a real lightbulb moment. Here are the most common experiences, summarised in three practical temperature tips.
1. Close the door to the freezer or refrigerated room when restocking
Heat exchange happens faster than you think. Ensure that the refrigerated/freezer room door does not leak, and never leave it open while restocking items. Otherwise, warm air and moisture can sneak in, and ice forms.
2. Don't let the ventilation work against you
Fridges and freezers are seriously affected by the temperature and air humidity elsewhere in the store. When summer finally arrives, this is especially important to look at and address. If it's 20 °C in the store with 40% humidity – as it is in winter – you'll have around a 55% load on the refrigerated counter and freezer. However, if it is 20 °C with 60% humidity, the load will quickly become 75%. And that's something you need to keep in mind.
I have even seen ventilation systems blowing 27 °C warm and humid summer air into the store. Then we're talking a load of over 100 percent. It's a complete waste when two systems are fighting against each other.Viktor Bardun, Sales Coordinator, Kiona
Want control of your uptime? Let your ventilation, cooling, and heating work together!
3. Don't leave the door of the store open
And last but by no means least: We understand that it can be tempting to leave the store's door open in the summer. Many people do, but it's not good for your refrigeration and freezer system. Better to have the store a little cold and close the door. This gives your food a safer environment and reduces your fridge's freeze burden – and your electricity bill.
Make sure your produce always stays fresh