How to Clean a Refrigerator Evaporator

3 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog

The efficiency of your commercial refrigeration system depends on several factors. Perhaps the most vital element when it comes to a cold, energy-efficient unit is the state of the evaporator. The evaporator helps reduce moisture and is a key part of transferring heat out of the unit. Luckily, you can easily check and clean your evaporator with a few basic tools. This article explains how to do this for commercial refrigeration systems.

Locating the Evaporator

First, you need to locate the evaporator. It is usually behind a removable panel along the backside of the refrigerator. You have to access it from the inside of the refrigerator, meaning you will need to remove all of the items from the refrigerator before you work on it. Make sure you plan ahead so you don't have to waste all of your perishable foods. Most panels can be popped right off with a flathead screwdriver. On some older units, you might actually need to remove a couple of screws.

Cleaning the Evaporator

Once you remove the panel, you should be able to easily see the evaporator. It is an A-shaped element and is lined with copper coils. Most importantly, you need to make sure there is no dust or dirt in between the coils. You might need to wait for the evaporator to defrost before you can clean it out. A hose vacuum equipped with a brush attachment can usually get the job done. However, you might need to actually wipe it down with a damp rag. Also, you can use a toothbrush to scrub in between the individual coils. With dust and dirt off of the copper, heat transfer will be faster and more effective. 

Finally, you need to replace the access panel. Clean both sides of the vented panel before putting it back in place. You should also wipe down the walls of the evaporator compartment. Any dust inside this compartment can quickly get blown onto the evaporator. This will quickly reverse all the work you just did.

This simple DIY cleaning not only improves the energy efficiency of your unit, it will also help make the unit last longer. By putting less stress on the motor, a clean evaporator will definitely increase the lifespan of your refrigerator. Since this is a simple job that doesn't require any special tools or training, you should get it done as soon as possible.

Talk to a company such as Pro-Tech Equipment Service for more ideas.