Keep Your Business Humming

Smart solutions for buying, operating, maintaining and repairing the appliances inside your business.

Refrigerators, ice machines, stoves, dishwashers and other important devices need to work properly whenever you’re open for business. To save time, energy and money, we have advice on purchasing appliances and how to keep all your equipment running at peak efficiency.

Use ENERGY STAR®-Certified Products
The ENERGY STAR®-certified mark indicates the most energy-efficient appliances, office equipment, electronics, lighting fixtures and more. While high-efficiency products can cost more up front, significantly lower utility bills can make up the price difference over time.

Refrigerated Beverage Vending Machines
New and rebuilt refrigerated beverage vending machines that are ENERGY STAR®-certified are 50 percent more energy-efficient than standard machine models. Each unit can save more than 1,700 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, or $150 annually on utility bills.

Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers
Replacing all existing commercial refrigerators and freezers sold in the U.S. with ENERGY STAR®-certified models would save $790 million in energy each year. Equally important, this would also prevent 17 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of removing more than 1.7 million cars from the road.

Convection Ovens
Commercial convection ovens are the most widely used appliances in the foodservice industry. Each ENERGY STAR®-certified electric oven can save businesses 1,870 kWh annually or an average of $190 per year on utility bills. Each ENERGY STAR®-certified gas oven can save 30 MBtu annually or an average of $360 per year on utility bills.

Electric and Gas Fryers
A standard sized electric or gas fryer model that is ENERGY STAR®-certified can save 1,100 kWh per year or 50 MBtu per year in energy, respectively. This equates to a savings of $100 and $470 annually on utility bills. ENERGY STAR®-certified large vat electric and gas commercial fryers can save 1,790 kWh per year and 58 MBtu per year in energy, respectively. This equates to a savings of $170 and $500 annually on utility bills.

Commercial Dishwashers
On average, ENERGY STAR®-certified commercial dishwashers are 25 percent more energy and water efficient than standard models.

Hot Food Holding Cabinets
Hot food holding cabinets that are ENERGY STAR®-certified are 70 percent more energy efficient than standard models. On average, ENERGY STAR®-certified models can save $300 per year on electricity or more than $2,800 over the product lifetime when compared to a standard model. Good practices can save $650 annually by turning off an uninsulated holding cabinet when the kitchen is closed (8 hours).

Commercial Griddles
ENERGY STAR®-certified commercial griddles are about 10 percent more energy efficient than standard models, equating to savings of $120 per year for gas models and $100 per year for electric models.

Ice Machines
ENERGY STAR®-certified ice machines can save $130 on electricity and $18 on water annually.

Steam Cookers
ENERGY STAR®-certified commercial steam cookers save 4,930 kWh (electric models) or 33 MBtu (gas models) annually. This equates to a savings of nearly $510 per year on utility bills.


Cook Wisely
Ovens tend to be more efficient than rotisseries, griddles more than broilers. Examine your cooking methods and menu to find ways to utilize your energy-efficient appliances more frequently.

Cut Equipment Idle Time
Implement a startup/shutdown plan to make sure you are using only the equipment that you need, when you need it.

Maintain and Repair Equipment
Don’t let every day wear and tear drive up your energy bills. Leaky walk-in refrigerator gaskets, freezer doors that do not shut, cooking appliances that have lost their knobs—all these “energy leaks” waste money every month.

Check Thermostats and Recalibrate Appliances
The performance of your kitchen equipment changes over time. Thermostats and control systems can fail, fall out of calibration or need readjustment. Routinely check the thermostat in your appliances—refrigerator, dish washer and hot water heaters—to ensure each is set to the correct operating temperature.

Buy Large Ice Machines
Bigger ice machines are typically more efficient than smaller ones, yet the price difference is usually not very large. Choose well and you could get twice the capacity at half the energy cost per pound of ice. Avoid water-cooled ice machines because of their high water-usage costs, which makes them significantly more expensive.

Water-Cooled Ice Machines
Avoid water-cooled ice machines because of their high-water usage costs.


Check Door Seals on Refrigeration Units
Tight seals and properly closing doors prevent warm air from entering the unit, reducing energy required for cooling as well as preventing frost build up. If you can easily slide a dollar bill into the seal, have the seal adjusted.

Clean Refrigeration Cooling Coils
Dirt impairs proper heat transfer and lowers a refrigerator’s efficiency and capacity. As you clean, watch for and remove any accumulation of ice.

Maintain Air-Gap on Refrigeration Units
Maintain an air-gap of at least three inches between the wall and the back of refrigerators, water coolers and freezers.

Shut Refrigerator and Freezer Doors
Keep the cooling unit doors closed as much as you possibly can. Repeated temperature fluctuations not only increase energy costs, it can damage food quality too.

Improve Walk-In Refrigerators
Add strip curtains and automatic door closers to your walk-in refrigerator. Inexpensive and easy-to-install, strip curtains can cut outside air infiltration by about 75 percent.