3 Best Practices for Maintaining an Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer

Ultra-low temperature freezers typically operate within the -60°C to -86°C range. These are used in medical facilities to store biological samples like plasma, blood, enzymes, or organ tissues.

As with any critical piece of lab equipment, lack of maintenance can lead to sub-optimal ULT freezer performance—this is detrimental to the samples stored in the freezer.

Implementing simple preventive measures can minimize energy consumption, freezer operating costs and extends its operating life. It also mitigates the risk of losing samples and sustains sample viability.

Here’s a daily maintenance checklist that you can go through to keep your ULT freezer running optimally:

1. Remove Ice and Dust Build-Up

Irregular defrosting leads to frost and ice accumulation that reduces the freezer’s capacity. These ultra-low freezers also rack up high energy bills; studies have exhibited significant differences between the operating costs of severely frosted freezers and defrosted freezers.

Moreover, since freezers draw air through a filter, these filters often have dust build-up that compromises the freezer’s performance.

Therefore, you must stay on top of the frost and dust build-up by monthly wiping down the door seals and gaskets with a soft cloth and scraping away ice every few weeks. For dust accumulation, make sure to clean the condenser filters every 2 to 3 months. Also, clean the condenser coil annually.

2. Choose the Right Placement

It’s important to place your ULT freezer in a ventilated space, away from windows and heating units. It needs proper ventilation so that the warm air can reach the return registers. This requires a minimum space of 8” on top and 5” on the sides and back.

3. Store Materials Appropriately

Since ULT freezers can’t blast or flash freeze samples, they’re not meant to store warm products. Continued use of ULT freezers to rapidly cool warm products can cause freezer malfunctions early on.

ULT freezers perform best when the airflow is uninterrupted. Therefore, keep the door openings to a minimum.

Moreover, don’t store materials at the top of the freezer because this traps the warm air and causes the compressor to run constantly to maintain the temperature. This, in turn, increases energy costs and reduces the life of the compressor.

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The multidisciplinary team of experts at North Sciences offer well-thought-out servicing and preventative maintenance. Get in touch with our team for more information.

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