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In a very direct way, we count on the HVAC in our grocery stores for survival. When we consider that we look to our local supermarkets and specialty food stores to feed us every day, we should also consider what would happen if the HVAC system suddenly broke and stayed broken for a prolonged period.

In a world where convenience and accessibility have become paramount, and most of us are unwilling or unable to do our garden or organic food gathering, the grocery store may represent one of the most important modern innovations of our time. It’s the place where we can go to reliably pick up fresh food to nourish ourselves and our families…and how does the food stay fresh? Through effective climate control and proper airflow and ventilation.

Universal Mechanical Group is fully mindful of the critical role that grocery stores, particularly in a commuter state, like New Jersey, and we work with grocery stores and supermarkets throughout the state to ensure their inventory is always prepared and stored at the proper temperature so it’s ready for all your customers. We proudly service food stores throughout the state, whether you’re operating a major retail grocery store in Alpine, NJ; East Rutherford, NJ; Edgewater, NJ; Englewood, NJ or Franklin lakes, NJ, or a smaller boutique specialty food store in Glen Rock, NJ; Mahwah, NJ; Maywood, NJ; Palisades Park, NJ; Paramus, NJ in Ridgewood, NJ; Rutherford, NJ; Saddle Brook, NJ; Saddle River, NJ; Ho Ho Kus, NJ; Demarest, NJ; Woodcliff Lakes, NJ, we’re ready to help you keep your food fresh and your customers comfortable.

Contact us today at (973) 866-5445 to learn more about what we can do for you.

What Is So Unique about Grocery Store HVAC Systems?

The HVAC System in a grocery store has many jobs, all of which it must perform with continuous efficiency and optimal performance. The grocery store ecosystem is comprised of many different climates, from the prepared food section and bakery that demand powerful ventilation, to the actual store where customers expect and deserve to the frozen food section where food has to be kept at freezing temperature 24-7 to the pharmacy where medicine that often requires temperature-appropriate storage is kept.

We take it for granted, as we’re hitting the stores every weekend; however, the reality is that the HVAC systems at our grocery stores is working behind the scenes, 24-7 to keep our food fresh and consumable.

Installing A New HVAC System in Your NJ Grocery Store

When it comes time to install or replace your New Jersey grocery store’s HVAC system, there are multiple factors to consider when making your decision, including the size of your store, your location, your output needs and the types of operations that will be taking place under your roof. There are multiple types of supermarket HVAC units on the market, including:

Single Path HVAC Units

A typical single path unit consists of a minimum outside air intake, Oversized DX coil with or without bypass, hot gas reheat, heat reclaim, sub-cool reheat, and gas or electric heat. It is ideal for smaller grocery stores, delis and convenience stores that don’t require too much versatility in their heating or cooling elements. These powerhouse units properly regulate temperature and ensure even and balanced airflow throughout your entire grocery store.

Dual Path HVAC Units

Dual path units are HVAC units for grocery stores that are looking to save money on their monthly energy bills, without compromising performance or versatility. They are the preferred choice for managing humidity, and work by handling and conditioning outside air differently than returned air. Dual path units are outfitted with oversized Dx coils, bypass if needed, hot gas reheat, heat reclaim coils, sub-cool reheat coils, and gas or electric heat.

Universal Mechanical Group will walk you though all of the best HVAC options for your grocery store. We will assess your stores performance and energy needs, and make the best and most affordable recommendation. Looking for something with more power? What about multizone heating and cooling to accommodate your store’s different environments? What about ductless systems to keep things out of your ceiling. Whatever type of system you’re looking for, our certified, licensed professional staff has your store covered.

Maintaining Your Grocery Store’s HVAC System

Once you have your HVAC system thoroughly installed, it’s important to maximize its performance, health and longevity through proactive routine maintenance. These units run 24-7, so it’s critical that they’re cared for at appropriate intervals.

Universal Mechanical Group recommends professional service at least once person, during which we will clean all components, hoses, condensers, coils and all other parts; ensure refrigerant levels are optimized in your cooling system; and program and check your thermostat to ensure it’s not tripping or causing your heating or cooling system to overperform.

Maintenance techs should also change all air filters to ensure, troubleshoot all system components and alert you of any major repair issues that will need to be made immediately or in the future.

Food for Thought: Importance of HVAC in Grocery Stores

A grocery store’s HVAC system is more important than we may realize. Although New Jersey is among the wealthiest states in the country, there is still a significant percentage of adults and children in the state that are food insecure. Data indicates that approximately 13 percent (approximately 1,141,890 people) of New Jersey residents don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

At the same time, New Jersey’s supermarkets throw away hundreds of pounds of unclaimed food per year because of issues with temperature storage and other factors. The National Resources Defense Council indicates that food expiration issues are responsible for a significant portion of food waste.

Proper heating and cooling at grocery stores can help optimize food storage and increase the life of food for those who desperately need it. Your grocery store can help rescue unclaimed food to feed New Jersey’s hungry but not if your produce is rotten and your meat is spoiled.

The Bottom Line: Hidden and Not-So-Hidden Costs of Food Spoilage for Grocery Stores

Supermarkets and other types of grocery stores in New Jersey and all over the United States already have enough of a problem with the cost of unclaimed or spoiled food without a broken HVAC system making things worse. The National Resources Defense Council also reports that American supermarkets throw away over 43 billion pounds of food per year. Grocery stores already cause 10 percent of food waste.

While up to 50 percent of food that is thrown away is still edible, many grocery stores are often forced to watch as hundreds of thousands of dollars in product goes bad because they didn’t have proper cooling for heating in their stores. It doesn’t take long for food to go bad once your HVAC system starts acting up, which is why it’s important to take care of these issues as soon as they arise.

Cold Comfort: Balancing Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in Your Grocery Store

This may come as a surprise, but refrigeration and HVAC and are two different areas of commercial engineering. When installing your supermarket or grocery store’s HVAC system, you have to be sure that the air conditioning component. Refrigeration systems directly impact air conditioning systems in multiple ways. They affect cooling and dehumidification capabilities throughout every area of the store and can overall heat output, depending upon the size and model. An experienced and qualified New Jersey HVAC installation provider can help you determine and identify how your refrigeration system works with your air conditioning unit and guide you toward seamless integration of the two.

Heating for Your Grocery Store

Proper internal heat regulation is a fundamental component of the overall grocery store shopping experience. Even the smallest grocery stores generally rely on multi-zone heating to provide versatile and area-specific airflow throughout their space. Universal Mechanical Group is ready to walk you through each stage of the heating installation process for your grocery store. Whether you’re a small independent mom-and-pop grocery store or a large supermarket chain, we have the tools, resources and expertise to help you. We install manufacturers and are acutely aware of the diverse heating requirements of all types of grocery retailers. Let us help you make sure your system is not only compliant, but comfortable and compatible.

Clean-Up on Aisle One: Repairing Your Grocery Store’s HVAC System

No matter the quality and price of your HVAC system, over time it’s prone to repair issues, both minor and serious. Like the items at your grocery store, your HVAC unit has a shelf-life, albeit longer than any food item, and engaging in proper and proactive repair of issues as they arise is critical to ensuring it runs as long as it can. Universal Mechanical Group is ready to quickly, effectively and affordably repair your system as soon as it breaks down.

Whether it’s something small like a flame sensor or thermostat issue, or something more serious like a blower motor in your furnace or your AC unit’s condenser coil, we’re ready to help you take care of the problem immediately. Our technicians are licensed, certified and experienced to assist with any HVAC repair issue, and we’re available 24-7 in the event of emergency. Contact Universal Mechanical Group at (973) 866-5445 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and to schedule your grocery store’s HVAC, repair or installation. We look forward to helping you.