Supermarkets: Preventing Exterior Fog on Glass Doors and Wet Floors

By July 1, 2018Cold Storage
Air Pears, with black plastic, installed in Whole Foods Market in Chicago

Your refrigerated cases may contain some of the most profitable items in your store, but they can also be a constant cause of frustration. You probably have your refrigeration specialist on speed dial because when your product does not stay cold, spoilage happens very quickly with frozen foods.

Because the temperature inside the units are very cold and the temperature outside is very warm, the refrigeration unit’s doors are often fogged up and/or condensation occurs on the glass and floors around your units. Consumers are much more likely to buy product they can see clearly, so keeping your windows “fog-free” and your floors clean and dry is paramount.

Food Spoilage and Poor Display Costs You Customers and Money!

Food spoilage can cost you thousands of dollars per day if your refrigeration units are not operating properly. Likewise, if consumers can not actually see the product they want to buy, they are less likely to purchase the products inside the unit.

American consumers have become accustomed to the products they want to buy being displayed properly and packaged attractively. When fogging or condensation is apparent, it often hinders product visibility and they may take their business elsewhere.

What Causes Refrigeration Units to Fog Up in the First Place?

This article by U.S. Cooler, a manufacturer of refrigeration units, explains how fogging and condensation starts. Fogging and condensation occurs when the air coming into contact with the glass hits what is called the “dew point.”

The dew point is lower than or equal to the air temperature so when the air from the room comes into contact with the cooler surface of the glass, condensation and fog may result.

Physicists refer to the “dew point” as the temperature at which air becomes saturated and can’t hold any more water vapor. Some of the water vapor may condense into a liquid form resulting in condensation and fog.

Because the air loses its capacity to hold moisture, it may stick to glass doors. This is what happens when the colder surface of your glass doors of your refrigeration units meet the warmer air inside your building.

How to Reduce Fogging in Refrigeration Systems

There are a few relatively expensive ways to combat fogging in refrigeration units including specialized doors with anti-fog glass, custom designed HVAC systems, and more. There is, however a more economical way to combat fogging and condensation issues.

Specialized fans, like the Airius Air Pear, offer focused airflow to increase air movement across the glass surface. When coupled with a re-heat system, they capture the dryer air delivered at ceiling level and project it to the floor.

Floor Condensation is also a Safety Issue

In addition to the doors of the units, the floors directly in front of them are subject to condensation. There are actually a number of places in a typical grocery store where condensation and wet floors can become a safety hazard.

Condensation can create a thin layer of water on the floor in areas around bathrooms, cold storage and anywhere fresh food is stored or prepared. The slip-and-fall hazard this creates can lead to employee and customer injury, law suits and more.

Forklifts and other material handling equipment may also slip and skid on the wet floors created by condensation.

Specialized Fans for Grocery Stores from Airius

The refrigeration units in grocery stores are money makers only when properly serviced and maintained so consumers can see the product they want to buy. Air destratification systems from Airius can help prevent fogging and condensation and reduce the slipping hazards around stores.

What makes Airius unique among other destratification fans in that our air velocity profile has been successfully engineered to avoid disrupting the air inside open cases. Paddle fans and other destratification products will also attempt to mix the air inside open cases – a very costly error!

Airius fans can make your store more comfortable for your employees and patrons by equalizing the temperature and potentially reducing HVAC bills by recirculating the air in your store.

Systems specially designed for grocery stores can be installed in dropped ceilings or an exposed structure and in either case, are aesthetically appealing to customers and employees. These systems encourage lingering in the aisles, which leads to higher sales. People who are comfortable and like what they see on the shelves and in the coolers will undoubtedly come back for more.

Retail Series

Solve comfort issues, increase productivity, save on HVAC energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint with an Airius fan system. Working in concert, each Airius fan delivers gentle efficient air circulation to balance overall air temperature from ceiling to floor and wall to wall. Available in various sizes to suit your building’s needs. EC motor option now available across all sizes.

"There have been huge benefits with the overall reduction of relative humidity where the Air Pear destratifiers have been installed."

Tom Hutchinson
Energy Management & HVAC Consultant
Learn More about the Retail Series

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