Know When To Replace Your Commercial Refrigerator Or Compressor

When it comes to repairs, think of your commercial refrigerator like you would your car. Imagine the compressor in a cooler is like an engine in a vehicle. If the compressor goes bad and is replaced you get a new compressor, not a whole new cooler. The same way the garage doesn’t tell you to get a new car just because you need a bit of engine work. In other words, all the other components including coils, fans, controls, piping, and gaskets (door seals) are still old. This is similar to an engine in a car going bad and being replaced. You end up with a new engine in an old car.

There are a few of key factors to consider when trying to decide whether to replace the whole commercial cooler or just a part of it when an expensive major repair is presented to you.

  1. How old is the cooler? If older than 10 years it is advisable to price out a new one. It is likely not very energy efficient and has other parts in bad condition.
  2. What kind of refrigerant is used in the cooler? If the answer is R12, R502, or R22, consider pricing out a new cooler. R12 and R502 have been banned by the EPA for years and R22 is currently being phased out by the EPA.
  3. What is the overall condition of the cooler? Check door seals, hinges, floor in cooler, coils, and fans. If everything looks like it’s falling apart, it may be time to price out a new cooler. You may be wasting electricity (and money) by running a cooler in this condition, so will likely see refrigeration energy savings by purchasing a replacement.

If your commercial cooler is still fairly new, uses a refrigerant that is not phased out, and is in overall good condition, you may come out ahead by just repairing the part that has failed.


  1. Great tips Mitch, thanks for sharing.

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