A lab freezer, regardless of whether you use it in a lab or medical facility, calls for frequent maintenance so that it works efficiently. It is perhaps needless to say that lab freezers store costly and valuable items that need careful storage. Your lab freezer might store irreplaceable samples that can be the results of years of research. Regular maintenance for your lab freezer will make it not only last for years but also provide efficient performance.
What is Preventative Maintenance?
Before exploring the importance of preventive maintenance for lab freezers, it is worthwhile to understand what exactly it is all about.
You can regard preventive maintenance as the routine servicing of your lab freezer by certified personnel to ensure that it remains in satisfactory running condition. It usually involves inspection, detection, and correction of possible failures before they develop into significant constraints.
Preventive maintenance helps to detect failures, optimize energy consumption, attain effective performance, and prolong the equipment’s life.
What Will Happen if You Fail to Carry Out the Maintenance?
If you fail to maintain regular maintenance for your lab freezer, it will not perform at maximum efficiency levels. Your lab freezer’s efficient functioning is essential for preserving safety, cost-efficiency, and quality assurance. For example, only an efficient ultra-low temperature freezer can store the COVID19 vaccines preserving the potency. And only maintenance and calibration can keep the freezer in an efficient condition.
When it comes to repairs and maintenance of lab freezers, it is good to delegate the task to factory-trained technicians instead of trying it out for yourself, unless you are also a trained technician.
But, there are some easy steps for you to follow for preventive maintenance for your lab freezer:
Avoid Keeping it Empty
Do not keep the freezer empty. Keep it at least 30 percent full as empty freezers result in temperature fluctuations. Keep in mind that freezers work the best only when stocked.
But, there will be times when you will not stock your freezer to 30 percent of its capacity, then it will help if you store water bottles or freezer gel packs. And ensure that you do not overfill the freezer as air must flow freely.
The gasket of a lab freezer plays an essential role in enabling the unit to work efficiently. Typically, a gasket forms a tight seal around the edge of the freezer door that restricts the inflow of warm air and outflow of cold air. And keeping the gasket clean is an essential part of the maintenance.
Most lab freezers come with specific spaces for monitoring the unit’s functioning. And the interesting thing about these spaces is that the spaces serve as the best areas to test the temperature.
Ensure that you put the probes properly while testing temperature. But most ultra-low temperature freezers alert you when the temperature fluctuates. Moreover, such freezers also send alert signals in a power failure and when the door remains open. You should never ignore the alarms. When you notice any temperature fluctuations, call the technician to fix the issue immediately.
Clean the gaskets regularly to maintain the freezer’s performance. And check the unit for leaks. Also, clean dirt and dust that settles on the unit. They can hamper the freezer’s performance if they enter into it.
You can get an indication of frost buildup while closing your freezer door. If you find it difficult to close the door, it might be due to frost buildup, which can result from excessive door openings.
You should prevent your freezer from building frost. So, clear frost and ice from the chamber, inner doors, and vacuum release port.
If you ignore removing frost from your freezer, the outer door and gasket can get damaged, negatively impacting the freezer performance in the long run.
Cleaning Condenser Filter
Cleaning the condenser filter is very important in carrying out preventive maintenance for your freezer.
If the condenser remains dirty, it can result in many issues. In a dirty state, the condenser loses its ability to transfer heat from the refrigerant to the surrounding environment properly. As a result, the refrigerant’s temperature and pressure will rise, causing the compressor to pump at higher rates. And the result will be that the refrigerant will not remain at the specified temperature.
It will also help if you acquaint yourself with how often you should clean the condenser filter. Ideally, it has to be done every two to three months. In this context, there are also other aspects to consider.
If there is a heavy footfall near the freezer, you should carry out the cleaning more frequently as there can be more dust around.
Usually, freezer manufacturers detail how to clean the filter under the instruction manual’s maintenance section.
Utilize the Service Agreement
As the daily lab operations are a hectic affair, it might so happen that your staff finds it challenging to carry out maintenance checks and cleaning of your freezer. Therefore, utilize a customized service agreement with the manufacturer to carry out periodic preventive maintenance for your freezer.
Lab freezer stores temperature-sensitive materials that call for the requisite temperature maintenance. But many lab freezer users tend to ignore the importance of periodic maintenance, which results in poor performance. It isn’t good for your items inside the freezer. So, do not fail to carry out the maintenance.