Refrigeration; we take it for granted. Industry upon industry remains reliant upon the safe travel and storage of certain goods to offer a quality product, or even function properly. Look at that Kobe beef steak on your plate; would that have made it to the US and onto your plate if left unrefrigerated by hospitality grade equipment on every step of the journey? Don’t think so.
Commercial refrigeration services have grown by leaps and bounds in just a short amount of time. Both residential and commercial refrigeration repair, installations are multi-million dollar industries that are utilized throughout the world in hospitality, food and beverage, climate control, and many other industries. But, did you know that just decades ago, commercial and (especially) residential refrigeration was unheard of?
As far back as the early 20th century, there was no method to create ice cost-effectively for residential or commercial purpose. The most common way of stocking up on ice was through actually HARVESTING it. A crew would go out during cold weather and cut/transport huge sums of natural ice. Typically, a larger crew of around 75 men could come home with 1,500 tons of ice on a daily basis. The ice was hauled to huge ice houses; heavily insulated storerooms to hold and preserve the ice, year round.
The Iceman Cometh
And how was that ice delivered to residences and businesses throughout a town? There used to be a select profession, which would get up early during the summer and deliver measured, cut blocks of winter-harvested ice around town. This was achieved via insulated wagon, cart, or truck. Just as a milkman used to deliver fresh milk, the iceman delivered cold blocks of ice for storage in an icebox. This enabled residents and business to store and keep perishable goods, sending the services industries ahead by leaps and bounds and greatly enhancing capability to keep foods and goods fresh.
The Modern Refrigerator
Modern refrigeration units, built from the concept of the 1869 “Compression Ice Box,” were not commercially available for residential use until around 1911. Refrigeration itself began a commercial use push in the later 19th century (especially by breweries), but not without the growing pains regarding cost. However, methods of freezing certain gases into a liquid state in 1876 became the basis for large scale commercial refrigeration designs.
In the early 19th century, due in part to pollution and contamination permeating the ice cutting industry, just about every beef and meat warehouse was outfitted for commercial refrigeration. Commercial refrigeration repair blossomed using the same methods until around 1920, when newer, less harmful refrigerants were discovered and employed.
Today, commercial refrigeration repair and installations have reaped the benefits of years of refinement. Using green energy initiatives, minimal resource consumption, and sustainable refrigerants, commercial and residential refrigeration have grown from simple luxuries and amenities, to full-on utilities that must be protected through commercial refrigeration repair for continued use.