If you were watching BBC’s Watchdog last night I expect you were as horrified as I was that branches of major pub chains are still serving ice in drinks that is a health risk to the public.

I am pleased to announce that during 2019 we will be supporting the James Hopkins Trust as our chosen charity.

Founded in September 1989, the Trust works exclusively with severely disabled, life threatened and life limited children aged 0 to 5 in Gloucestershire, enriching their lives and supporting their family and friends.

When I joined TK Refrigeration back in 2003 never did I think that I would still be here 15 years later! My daughter was just a year old and I was looking for a part-time job as I was climbing the walls at home (I never wanted to be a stay at home Mum).

The job was advertised as part time, 10-12 hours a week and it was just a mile or so from home which was ideal. These days I am working much longer hours and sometimes it feels like I haven’t even been home (especially during this summer’s heatwave!).

I am pleased to be able to offer EcoPro G2 freezer cabinets.

EcoPro G2 cabinets combine cutting edge refrigeration technology with low running costs and reliability to make them not only the model of choice for food professionals but also a first class economic and environmentally friendly option.

Built to out-perform and outlast similar products, here are its distinguishing features:

• All new thicker and more robust cabinet design with advanced thermal efficiency and market leading capacity to make your money go further
• New 'smartphone style' touch sensitive hidden-until-lit control panel with unique high visibility temperature display combines sophistication with functionality

I was shocked to read recently of the theft of some 1,000 cylinders of refrigerant gas from a firm in Seevetal near Hamburg.

Arthur Friedrichs is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of refrigerant gas and has been in the business for more than 60 years. The gas stolen, R134a, is used primarily in the automotive industry and the value of the haul is estimated to be in excess of £500,000.

In recent times, refrigerants have been an increasingly valuable target for thieves. In Germany, their value has risen for a 12.6 kg cylinder from around 100 euros to 600 in little more than six months. This significant price rise and a shortage of supply have resulted in an increase in thefts, particularly in Germany.

We supply a selection of undercounter refrigeration units manufactured by Foster.

They specialise in producing refrigeration products that can be used in tight and reduced height spaces. To enable their units to be conveniently small and compact, they utilise a frontal breathing refrigeration system.

To compliment this they use a forced air system which ensures the air is circulated evenly throughout the unit.

Luxury Ice Cream for All Tastes!

I know it is the end of the summer but that is no excuse not to have an ice cream!

Hillbrooks Farm can be found on a family run farm in the lush countryside at Kemply in the Malvern Hills where Gloucestershire meets Worcestershire. Dairy cows have been grazing in these fields for over 80 years and it is their milk that goes to make Hillbrooks Farm ice cream so special.

I am pleased to say that TKR have long been supplying refrigeration equipment to the company.

I thought it was about time we gave our fleet of five vehicles a new look so I started looking for a suitable company to do some vehicle wraps for us.

Sign Link Graphics came highly recommended. They are based on Tewkesbury Road in Gloucester and produce a variety of signage and printing as well as vehicle graphics and wraps.

The heatwave continues to roast us all, except those of us lucky to have air conditioning of course. But what if disaster strikes and it breaks down? Not only are you sweating profusely but you may have a hefty repair bill that you had not budgeted for.

There is an answer – Planned Preventative Maintenance.

These things do happen of course and equipment does break down. It is often difficult to tell if your equipment is operating at less than 100% efficiency. You may not be aware that there is a blocked condenser, for example. The compressor will have to operate twice as hard to compensate but this will lead to further wear and tear and increase the amount of energy consumed, thus costing you more money.

We here at TKR are always striving to be environmentally friendly whenever possible.

A common problem in our industry is the difficulty of disposing of refrigerators, especially commercial ones. It is estimated that some 3 million fridges are disposed of in the UK every year and around the same number are purchased. Unfortunately, there are harmful substances contained in these fridges which need to be dealt with safely.

So here’s the science bit. Most fridges and refrigeration units contain Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These are ozone depleting substances and must be removed in a controlled manner before a unit can be scrapped. Failure to comply with these rules can lead to a fine of up to £2,500.

I read recently that parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee had recommended that the government provide more resources for the monitoring of the illegal sale, use and handling of F-Gas.

F-Gasses are recognised as greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming. It is estimated that a successful approach to tackle the emissions of F-Gas from fridges, air conditioners and asthma inhalers could reduce the planet’s anticipated temperature rise this century by 0.5°C.

I am pleased to see that we may finally have put the bad weather of the winter behind us as temperatures start to rise and we see a bit of sunshine. Before you know it we will be in the middle of summer.

What we tend to find is that all of a sudden the temperatures really soar and – guess what? Everybody wants to get their air conditioning system serviced or checked out.

I hope you remember me telling you about our new Trapped Personnel Alarm Kits in last month’s blog. We are so excited about them that we are giving one away free!

Each kit comprises two parts. The first is an illuminated button mounted on a large luminous sign which is placed on a wall inside the freezer. The second is a control box to be mounted outside the freezer. This has a strobe light, loud siren and battery back-up system.

I expect you read recently about the butcher in Devon who was trapped in a walk-in freezer when the door blew shut behind him and he found the door release button had frozen. Luckily for him he had a frozen black pudding to hand which he was able to use as a battering ram on the release mechanism.

The temperature in the freezer was -20°C (-4°F) and he would not have lasted long in such circumstances. 

As usual, leading up to Christmas, we had a spate of call outs to look at faults on both refrigeration equipment and air conditioning systems.  What  we did notice was there were far fewer calls than previous years and think we know why.

More of our customers are taking out a Maintenance Contract which means we can often deal with a fault before it becomes a major issue for them.

You may not be aware, for example, your unit may have a blocked condenser. To compensate for this the compressor will operate twice as hard resulting in further wear and tear. This will, in turn, increase the amount of energy consumed thereby costing you more money.

I am sure that in the height of summer, when temperatures start to rise, people appreciate the cooling benefits of an air conditioning system. However, most systems these days also have the ability to heat a room as well as cool it.

Using your air conditioning system to heat and cool is much more energy efficient and will save you money on your energy bills and additional outlay on radiators or heaters.

With over 35 years’ experience in the industry I will be able to advise you on what is needed to heat or cool your office, restaurant, pub, hotel and even your home.