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Tips To Pick The Right Commercial Refrigeration Unit

Tips To Pick The Right Commercial Refrigeration Unit

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In this industry, a proper commercial refrigerator and freezer are “make or break”. There really is no room for compromise when choosing a unit to provide safety to your food, ensuring that no contamination occurs, and minimal loss is incurred. We have plenty of freezers and refrigerators available that will keep your perishable food items safe and cool in your restaurant, bar, store, commercial kitchen, cafeteria, or virtually any other location. From reach-in freezers to pass-thru refrigeration, Online Restaurant Supplies has what you need. BUT, you must first figure out what unit will work best for your workspace.

Buying the right unit for your business takes more than searching “commercial refrigerator for sale”. When it comes to finding a refrigerator or freezer that works best for your commercial kitchen, not all options are created equal. While there are plenty of commercial coolers, you want one that has all the capabilities and features — not to mention size — to fit your space and its needs. So, do you need a single or a double? Maybe a Pass-Thru? Let’s break it down:


Single Door Commercial Refrigerators

-          Quick access for faster service

-          Store much needed items for quick access (refill from walk ins as needed throughout the day)

-          Usually located in final production line or in the cooking area


Double Door Commercial Refrigerators

-          Fewer trips to walk ins throughout the day, saving time and increasing efficiency

-          Store bulk items like seasoned meat or produce / house large packages otherwise too large for single door refrigerators

-          Usually located inside the prep area

Pass-Thru Refrigerators

-          Great for high volume establishments

-          Accessible from both sides of the unit to increase efficiency

-          Usually located between prep area and service


Deciding which size unit will work best in your space is paramount! Measure your space and understand your output before picking a size/style for your location. If your space cannot safely house a larger unit, then it makes sense to go for a smaller unit. Conversely, a larger space might only need a smaller unit. Keeping space in mind, measure your output for the day as well. You might have the space for a large unit, but if you only need to make a trip to the walk in once a day, there wouldn’t be much need for excess storage in a reach-in.


Compressor Location

Choosing the right commercial reach-in refrigerator isn’t all about space and storage. Compressor location is also a huge deciding factor when making a commercial refrigerator and freezer purchase. Since reach-in’s compressors draw in air to regulate temperatures inside, they must work harder when pulling in warmer air. The fact is, warm air rises, and cold air descends, so different environments mean different necessary compressor location.


Manufacturers know the need for different compressor locations which is why units with either bottom or top compressors exist. Why? Well, each has their benefits:


Top Mounted Compressors Wins

-          Makes the surrounding environment cooler by pulling in the warmer air found higher

-          Gives you more storage space within the unit itself

-          Less likely to clog like its bottom mounted counterparts

-          Naturally pulls heat from the unit away since they are on top of the unit which results in gains in efficiency

-          Lower shelving which is more easily accessible (especially for shorter individuals)


Bottom Mounted Compressors Wins

-          Easier cleaning and servicing without the use of a ladder making it safer to maintain as well

-          Extra stacking space on the top of the unit

-          Bottom Mounted Compressors usually work less to cool temperatures since they are lower to the flow and air that is lower to the floor is typically cooler

-          Less likely to be overworked by strain of cooling warmer air


Now, we know that perfection is hard to attain. The same goes for compressor placement. With its benefits, also come challenges for each type of compressor:


Top Mounted Compressor Challenges

-          Less convenient to clean and service

-          Cannot stack items on top of the unit (additional storage)


Bottom Mounted Compressor Challenges

-          Reduced internal storage space within unit

-          Often gets clogged with dust or other debris


Deciding what reach-in is best for you ultimately depends on the environment you must work with. Luckily, you have your pick of convenience and efficiency with a reputable commercial refrigerator supplier here.


Much like Compressor Location, Placement Matters

Your refrigerators and freezers need to easily maintain a safe zone for your food. Like previously mentioned, compressor placement is key; however, the placement of your unit itself almost matters even more. Placing your refrigerator or freezer in an excessively hot environment will all but ensure a breakdown of your compressor due to long-term exposure to high heat. This makes your choice of unit for a given environment and where you put it in that environment a critical decision.


As a priority when deciding where to place your unit, look for an area that doesn’t experience a lot of temperature fluctuation. This will help your unit regulate temperature without over working itself to adjust. Sometimes, high heat environments cannot be avoided. If this be your situation, you need to pick a heavy-duty unit to keep your food out of the danger zone. You’ll need to do research on what units can handle the heat of your environment. A word to the wise: entry-level models are not suitable to withstand long periods of high heat.



In addition to picking features of your unit, you also need to research how to install your unit. Step one: getting it into your workspace. Smaller units can usually get into most environments, no problem, but you’ll still want to measure the doorways into your space. After all, if you’ve gotten as far as picking the best commercial refrigerator or freezer for your business, you want to make sure it can get in the building for you to put to work!

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, a lot more goes into picking a unit than just how big or small you need it to be. In addition to everything else we’ve discussed, picking an area with good ventilation needs to be on your mind when making a buying decision. Ensuring that your unit can fit in a well-ventilated area is key to reduce inefficient operation and servicing. Take a breath, we’re here to help. Most manufacturers provide specification sheets and manuals that provide clearance guidelines on your units to help with any confusion.

An additional step you can take to cut down on servicing and breakdowns, is to place your unit in an area with low humidity or dust. In a high humid or dusty area, your unit can rust quicker or cause the condenser coil to break down or cause a hazard. When you do have a clean, well-ventilated room with low humidity, install your unit on a level surface away from high heat or moisture-generating equipment.

Like your clearance guidelines, manufacturers will provide guidance on electrical concerns. During installation, make sure that your unit is supplied by the proper voltage as indicated in the manufacturer-provided guides to ensure safety and proper function of the unit. Your equipment manual can be your best friend, no shame in that.

We Hope We Helped!

Understanding what unit works best for you can be tough, but we’re here to help. Our selection of commercial refrigerators makes it easy to find exactly what you need — from commercial display refrigerators to Reach-in Refrigeration,  we have what your workspace needs. In an industry where safety and quality are paramount, we know you can’t afford to use just any restaurant equipment and with so many commercial refrigeration companies out there to choose from, it can be overwhelming. That’s why we offer only the best commercial freezer and refrigerator designs. Shop our selection to find products from top brands, backed by quality, durability, and manufacturer reputation. Browse our products today and buy online anytime!

Have questions about which Commercial Refrigeration unit is best for your business? Contact one of our product specialist here

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