According to the Food Marketing Institute, there are more than 38,000 grocery stores in the U.S. with an average total store size of 41,300 square feet. Each of these stores, according to EnergyStar, has one refrigerated display case per 1,000 square feet. This adds up to over 1.5 million cooler cases across the country. 

And these systems do not come cheap. At over $1,500 per unit, grocery stores pay more than $2.5 billion for these refrigerated display cases, which are designed to last, at best, ten years. However, this is only possible if you keep them clean, according to Mike Perazzo with Kaivac, manufacturers of professional supermarket cleaning systems. 

"Surprisingly, there are no official cleaning protocols for refrigerated display cases. Some professionals suggest cleaning them once per week, others every 90 days."

Not only will keeping them clean help extend the lifespan of the units, but this can reduce their energy consumption by as much as 90 percent.

Cleaner units work more efficiently, using less energy. To address the lack of cleaning protocols, Perazzo suggests the following:

  • Daily, inspect and remove any debris found in the units
  • Once per week, wipe clean or vacuum coils to remove dust
  • Every two weeks, inspect door gaskets, hinges, and drawers to ensure they are clean and working properly
  • Once per month, check and clean evaporator coils; additionally, clean the housing and immediate area around the coils 
  • Every two months, "deep clean" all refrigerated display cases.

"Commercial refrigeration dealers can be called in to perform deep cleans,” adds Perazzo. “Deep cleans are essential, however they can be costly.” 

But, Perazzo points out that alternative do exist. For example, at least one system "is like an indoor pressure washer and can be used by in-house staff. It is specifically designed to clean cooler cases and their components. This can be a significant costs savings"

This leads us to another number: twenty years. 

According to retailers, high-quality refrigeration equipment, kept clean and well-maintained, can last a much as twenty years, a significant cost savings.

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