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Temperature control and a sanitary environment are the most important elements of food processing. Freezing, cooling, heating, and proper airflow are necessary to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of the products that will be consumed. Breakdowns or malfunctions in the HVAC systems can be both harmful and expensive. Compromise is simply not an option when food safety is involved.

Because of the critical necessity of dependable and high functioning HVAC for food plants, it is important to develop a partnership with an experienced, reputable HVAC company for the planning, installation, inspection, and maintenance of your systems. And the HVAC partner must have 24-hour service and repair capability since most food facilities have virtually no tolerance for breakdowns.

In the Chicagoland area, General Mechanical Services is an experienced company with fully trained and certified technicians who are knowledgeable in every area of HVAC for food plants. In business for almost a century, we support each phase of mechanical installation and maintenance for companies throughout northern Illinois.

Importance of Airflow and Temperature

No industry has more stringent guidelines for temperature and air flow than food processing. For food safety, shelf-life, and high quality, some products and raw materials must be kept frozen and never thawed until they reach the end user. Other products must be kept fresh, but never frozen, all the way through the supply chain. Processing rooms must be maintained at well-defined temperatures with proper circulation for the health of the workers without compromising shelf-life and exposure to contaminants. For areas in which cooking is part of the process, excess heat and exhaust must be carried away to maintain a managable working environment as well.

Air circulation is a critical element for minimizing airborne contamination. According to Food Safety magazine, June 2011, unfiltered air and negative air pressure have been a leading cause of food contamination. Air flow design is a critical design factor in establishing the appropriate HVAC for food plants.

To reduce risk and create a more efficient HVAC system for food plants, the following elements are essential:

  • Intelligent design
  • Regular inspection
  • Ongoing maintenance

Scheduled replacement of worn elements should never be postponed.

Plant Inspection

Working with your HVAC food processing experts, management should regularly monitor the production and storage areas to ensure temperatures are being maintained at every critical control point. Air flow and filters should be tested to ensure circulation is sufficient to eliminate lingering odors and potential airborne problems. Air quality should be checked regularly.

Maintenance Programs

A complete and ongoing maintenance system is important to ensure that all HVAC equipment for food plants is operating at the highest level. The additional bonus is that properly maintained equipment is more efficient and less costly to operate, thereby saving on utility costs.

24-Hour Emergency Service

HVAC equipment breakdowns are disastrous in the food industry when production is tightly scheduled to match incoming raw materials. This is particularly true for high-volume production facilities working with short shelf-life ingredients. A 24-hour lapse can result in the loss of raw material and a serious disruption in output.

Breakdowns tend to happen at the least opportune times. Working with an HVAC service like General Mechanical Services that has technicians on call 24/7, the occasional break-down should be short-lived.

For HVAC maintenance or replacement for your food plant, contact General Mechanical Services.