3 reasons you should be utilizing a door switch for your walk in freezer or cooler

It’s easy to miss when your walk-in freezer or cooler doors are left ajar or are not sealed properly. This can jeopardize your inventory and can lead to unwanted service calls due to frost forming on the coils, and can affect your produce as warm air rushes in. 

What is a door switch? 

A door switch helps mitigate cold air from escaping the refrigerated space , as well as mitigate warm air from infiltrating and eventually being blown across the coil. The door switch also slows the product from warming up while the door is open. 

With the door open long enough, the system eventually has to go back into refrigeration once the preset timeout occurs . As a convenience measure, the door alarm setpoint is adjustable in order to negate this issue.  

Warm air running across the coil also holds a lot more moisture than the air already inside the cooler. Therefore, when refrigerating with the door open, the coil will freeze up much more quickly, and potentially in different spots compared to with the door closed.

This small misstep can affect your system by:

Increasing energy consumption

Not using a door switch for your refrigeration system causes an increase in energy consumption.  The system will have to work in overdrive to refrigerate and defrost your walk-in freezer or cooler. 

This will eventually cause your system to run longer in order to pull down the temperature of the box, after the door is open, due to higher amounts of infiltration. The ambient air outside the box, even if conditioned, will hold much more moisture than in the refrigerated space.

In regards to your freezer, much more energy will be required in order to bring the temperature down each time the door is opened, and the extra defrosts that will be required to eliminate the frost build up from excessive moisture entering the space. 

With a door switch, your refrigeration system does not have to work in overdrive in order to keep the temperature at an optimal level, decreasing the overall energy consumption for your box. 

Creating excess or different frost patterns

As air entering through an open door will be more moisture-laden, the moisture may deposit on the air entering side of the coil, rather than the air exiting side of the coil. Over time this will require repositioning of at least one of the coil sensors, causing additional maintenance for your refrigeration system. 

A common sign that this issue is occurring is if you see frost on the ceiling, floor, or walls.

However, this can be avoided by installing a door switch on your refrigeration system by properly managing the air going in and out of the box at all times. 

Creating a lack of visibility

When troubleshooting a refrigeration system, it is difficult to tell whether excess energy consumption, ice up of a coil, a high-temperature situation, etc. is due to poor door management at the site. While you can take educated guesses based on graphs and temperature readings, you won’t know for sure unless a door switch is installed.

Luckily, there are resources you can add to your box to ensure you’re alerted before any frost settles and any product begins to go to waste. Adding a door switch to your box will help mitigate cold air from escaping the box and warm air from infiltrating and eventually blowing across the coil. 

The use of a door switch will lessen excessive frost build up on evaporator  coils, reducing the amount of time your box could be down for maintenance and your energy consumption goes through the roof.

Common misconception about installing a door switch

A common misconception with using a door switch is that the compressor will continue to run the whole time, or for a long time, after the door is open and the fans are off. This is not the case. 

Compressor will only run for one minute after the door is left open. If your system is running longer than one minute, you potentially have an issue outside of the programmed operation of the controller. The 1-minute delay accounts for someone opening and closing the door within a minute, and ensures refrigeration system will avoid short cycling. There is also an adjustable  compressor off  time programmed into the controller, default is 5 minutes.

KE2Therm has the solution

With a door switch, you are able to decrease energy consumption, avoid frosting, and overall keep your product from spoiling. With this feature, pesty service calls and throwing out food is a thing of the past. 

KE2Therm offers door switches as an added savings accessory to most of our controllers that are utilized on walk in freezers and coolers. To learn more about how you can benefit by utilizing a door switch, reach out to us here at KE2Therm! 

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