Internal Condensation Issues

Significant moisture build-up inside your commercial retail glass door fridge is a sign of a problem that needs attention. If your display fridge has internal cool air escaping, especially in hot and humid conditions, then your fridge will be working harder than usual. The componentry (mainly compressor) will be getting much hotter, while using more electricity trying to pull the internal temperature down. Depending on the severity of the problem, it could be an unachievable goal for the fridge to reach - for example the door isn’t actually closed or sealing correctly.


The most obvious result of this issue is generally internal condensation build up, which collects as water droplets on a cold surface when humid air makes contact with it. It should be immediately investigated to identify the possible causes of this problem. People sometimes wrongly assume glass door refrigerators are “moist” environments due to the condensation that forms on cold products when they are taken out of the fridge, but a fridge works by actually removing moisture from the air to achieve the cooling process (but we are not going to discuss that now).

Here are some things anyone can identify and inspect (TIP - add this to your regular or HACCP inspection checklist):


Fridge brands where applicable are blurred out, all fridge brands can fail from use, age and/or neglect, not just the ones pictured here. Although some do fail earlier from poor quality workmanship or materials.

  • Is the door actually closing?
    • Check for any items stopping the door from closing? Items can get lodged on top of the kick panel. You might be surprised what ends up there!

  • Is the door alignment out?
    • Over time doors do fall out of alignment as they are heavy items. Especially with constant customer usage, older display fridges and/or poor-quality componentry. Visually check for any visual gap differential on either side of the top/bottom of the door. Check the door for damage which can also cause misalignment. Bolts holding the door can also come loose or parts can wear, from damage, heavy use or just old age.

  • Is the door seal in good condition?
    • Door seals don’t last forever and can tear/crack/break from old age, heavy usage, poor rubber composition and from sticky spillages (that have not been cleaned up). Visually ensure contact is made all the way around, as well as gently spreading the rubber apart at intervals (as pictured) to check for cracks. NOTE - Don’t slide your bare fingers down between the rubber in case something sharp has lodged or is concealed in the crevasses. When spreading the seal ensure it is correctly secured to the door.

A qualified and registered refrigeration service technician can diagnose and repair internal condensation issues if it is not something obvious. They can also replace seals or re-align doors but the complexity depends on the make and model of the retail glass door fridges. We recommend adding these simple checks to your regular retail store inspection (HACCP) and cleaning checklist to ensure optimum working performance, after all commercial display refrigerators are probably one of the most critical, important and expensive assets in food service businesses.


Our mission here at Huxford Refrigeration is to educate our customers so they can make the right decisions. It is our opinion that the commercial display merchandising refrigerator and freezer is one of the most critically important assets when it comes to cold food storage and merchandising. Not only for the safety and well-being of your customers but for the continued success of your business.


Huxford Refrigeration recommends regular maintenance from qualified refrigeration mechanics. Commercial display refrigerators and freezers (similar to cars) have moving parts and fail more dramatically and expensively if they have never been serviced. Consult your operation or instruction manual for more information on preventative maintenance, cleaning and cost saving procedures you can perform. For safety always turn off and unplug a refrigerator or freezer if you are cleaning or working on it. Never perform electrical or refrigeration work unless you are qualified to do so.