Cold Room Complications: what they are and how to avoid them

Cold rooms are very useful in keeping large amounts of produce / stock at a regular, cool temperature. However, if a malfunction starts to appear, it can not only be incredibly annoying to deal with, it can also be very costly for the business as not only is their the risk of losing produce, the solution to address the issue may be on the pricier side. Take a look at the most common cold room complications which tend to appear and learn the warning signs to ensure you can avoid them before they become a serious issue.

Energy Inefficiencies

A common issue which may occur is that a cold room utilises more energy than it actually needs, which as a result leaves you with a pretty (unnecessary) electricity bill at the end of the month. There are several reasons as to why this issue may be occurring:

  • Insulation is wet or parts of it are missing
  • Significant temperature difference between products first being placed into the cold room and the cold room temperature
  • Cold room capacity is full (or has been overfilled)
  • The refrigeration unit has a fault

Freezing / Cooler Temperature Than What Has Been Set

Have you noticed that your produce is freezing or is being maintained at a cooler temperature than it is supposed to? A cold room should be below 4 °C or cooler in order to safely store food (according to FSANZ, Food Safety Standards Australia New Zealand). A few reasons as to why this issue may be occurring include:

  • Is the produce touching the walls of the cold room?
  • Is the thermostat set at a temperature which is considered as too low?
  • Evaporator coils may need a routine clean and maintenance as if they are dirty or not working efficiently, it can be causing more cold air to release 
  • Perhaps one of the coils is not working altogether or is working as it should, causing the air to be at a much cooler temperature 
  • Poor air flow throughout the cold room (is there anything blocking the flow and movement throughout the room?)


If you notice any condensation or ‘sweating’ on the items stored within your cold room, it is a sign that something is not functioning as it should. In most cases this sign is an indication that air has entered the room via an air leak. Alternatively, it may also mean that the defrost duration is set too long or the termination function is not working as it should which is inhibiting its ability to effectively cool down the cold room. Another possible reason is that the humidification system is out of calibration and needs adjusting.

Moulding Issues

Have you noticed any mould spores appearing within your cold room (wall surface, etc)? Although at first it may seem harmless, mould growing within cold storage rooms creates quite the problem. Not only can mould create an irritating odour within the enclosed space, but the danger of the bacteria spreading onto the food as well as adjacent rooms arises.

Mould issues usually occur from condensation issues, which itself can be caused by a multitude of areas (e.g. broken seals on doors or fans). It is vital to remove the mould as soon as it becomes present as failure to do so can not only result in food contamination as mentioned above, but it also has the potential to impact and create structural damage as well as health problems for those who use the cold room.

If you spot any mould within your own cold room, contact the experts in commercial refrigeration services Auckland, Ben’s Refrigeration. The team will be able to determine the root of the problem and safely remove the bacteria in a prompt manner.

Other Common Cold Room Complications To Look Out For:

  • Leaking or broken gaskets 
  • Defrost system is broken 
  • Loud, excessive noises coming from the unit
  • Issues with the door / locking system
  • Issues with the door / locking system

If you are experiencing any of these cold room complications or perhaps are just after a routine maintenance check, contact the experts within commercial refrigeration Auckland. Ben’s Refrigeration also offer an emergency response service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Always and everywhere. Ben’s Refrigeration can tackle commercial refrigeration for all kinds of Auckland organisations, across a wide variety of industries and scales. For all Auckland Industrial refrigeration enquiries, reach out today.