Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Coldroom Repairs Peak During Heatwave

Estimated reading time 6 minutes

As temperatures soared to an all-time high during July, air conditioning, refrigeration and coldroom repairs peaked. National air conditioning company, Synecore dealt with a record 30 plus calls per day, mostly from restaurants that had suffered a breakdown of their walk-in coldroom or air conditioning system.

Service Manager, Neil Shepherd said, “Commercial kitchens are hot at the best of times, but during the heatwave the outside temperatures were too much for some air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

“We received 30 plus emergency calls per day for refrigeration and coldroom repairs. Most of the calls came from restaurants that had suffered a walk-in coldroom malfunction.

“The extreme temperatures meant many of the cooling plants were being overworked and the route of the problem was either lack of maintenance and care, or the original installation by another contractor.

"In cases where the installation is at fault, the main cause is the location of the external equipment has not been taken into consideration by the previous contractor. When there isn't enough air flow around the system it can over heat and breakdown, leaving popular restaurants without refrigeration for several hours.”

During the heatwave, Synecore - based in Sittinbourne, Kent – was taking calls from major restaurant chains and businesses across the country - from Brighton to Manchester.

“Although the number of calls were more than typical for the period, we were able to maintain our usual reaction time of 4 hours in most instances, and we certainly managed to arrange for an engineer to be onsite the same day to make the necessary air conditioning and coldroom repairs,” explained Shepherd.

As a result of the heatwave, Synecore has been educating business owners and restaurant managers on the importance of maintaining an air conditioning, refrigeration or coldroom system.

Bespoke commercial coldroom

What Causes Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems To Break Down During a Heatwave?

“There are several reasons why an air conditioning system or coldroom can break down in high temperatures,” explains Shepherd. “The most common is lack of maintenance.

“The majority of the restaurants that call us  or emergency air conditioning and coldroom repairs during the heatwave have not had their system serviced and cleaned regularly or according to the manufacturers guidelines. Instantly, this causes an issue, even without record outside temperature.

“Filters, coils and drains should be regularly checked and cleaned. When faced with a heatwave, the system is forced to work harder and can overheat. If the correct level of maintenance has not been carried out, it could lead to a total breakdown.”

“Some restaurants, even the major chains are looking to cut costs where they can, unfortunately cutting air conditioning and refrigeration maintenance could ultimately cost more in the long run, as we have seen in July. It’s also a legal Fgas requirement to ensure your system is regularly checked for faults.

“If refrigeration and air conditioning systems are properly maintained they can cope with extreme changes in climate. That also includes when temperatures plummet and air conditioning systems are changed from cooling to heating mode,” says Shepherd.

air conditioning repairs blocked filters

What Else Could Cause Commercial Refrigeration or Coldroom To Break Down?

Other contributing factors to commercial refrigeration and coldroom breakdowns include over stocking on refrigerated or frozen goods. If there isn’t space for the air to circulate within a fridge or coldroom, or the vents are blocked by over stacked shelving, the system will be forced to work harder, again causing a breakdown.

Human error can also be at fault. When restaurant staff – especially temporary recruits - have not been trained on coldroom usage they can be the cause of the breakdown. Coldroom doors must always be closed correctly and the stock must be kept clear of the vents. There should also be space for the air to move freely to cool the products.

Suffering a Break Down? Call the Experts for Coldroom Repairs

If you do suffer a coldroom breakdown, you will need to call a refrigeration engineer. The problem must be dealt with quickly, otherwise the stock can spoil, especially during a heatwave.

Synecore’s 24/7 emergency call out service aims to have a refrigeration engineer onsite within 4 hours.

If the problem cannot be resolved quickly, it could be a matter of using a temporary solution, such as a mobile coldroom trailer that can be parked outside or inside if there is space. Synecore’s mobile coldroom trailer is a duel fridge or freezer and comes fully shelved. It is the ideal solution while your coldroom repairs are underway.

Mobile coldroom trailer hire

How About Air Conditioning Repairs?

Air conditioning repairs were also in high demand during the July heatwave. The main cause of air conditioning problems is again poor maintenance. If the filters and drains have not been cleaned, or the indoor/outdoor coils cleaned and checked regularly, the system will have to work harder and breakdown.

Not only is it important to maintain and air conditioning system to keep it working correctly, but also to retain a healthy environment. Air conditioning removes stale air and replaces it with cool fresh air. In taking out the old air, it also removes germs and bacteria, therefore the filters should be regularly cleaned. 

How To Maintain Healthy Air Conditioning, Refrigeration or Coldroom

The key to ensuring you run a healthy air conditioning system, commercial refrigeration or a coldroom is to follow the manufacturers guidelines when it comes to maintenance or seek advice from a professional provider.

"When the seasons change, it's always best to have your refrigeration or air conditioning serviced. We offer a Summer Health Check for air conditioning systems that are changing from heating to cooling and Christmas Refrigeration Health Check ," explains Shepherd.

A small air conditioning system may need to be looked at once or twice a year, while larger VRF systems for hotels and big office developments will need to be fitted with a leak detection system under FGas regulations. These systems may require maintenance once a month, bimonthly, or even every six months. Each system is different, but if you are unsure, check out our air conditioning and refrigeration maintenance page, or call the experts at Synecore.

air conditioning installation

Synecore is an accredited FGas installer and maintenance provider and a partner of Mitsubishi Electric, Toshiba and Daikin, which allows us to offer a seven-year warranty on air conditioning installation, when maintained by Synecore’s engineers.

If you are business or restaurant that does require air conditioning, refrigeration or coldroom repairs, please contact Synecore's Service department at

© 2024 Synecore Ltd. Registered in England, no. 05420500