Difference between commercial and domestic refrigerators

Main Differences Between Commercial and Domestic Refrigerators

Posted by | 17-11-2021

Sometimes the idea of investing in a commercial refrigerator for your business might seem unnecessary. A smaller restaurant or fast food shop might have a limited inventory, and therefore you might feel a domestic refrigerator is an ideal size for your needs. However, before making that assumption, it is best to understand the main differences between commercial and domestic refrigerators. Chances are you will decide a commercial refrigerator is a must in the interest of your guests and business.

What Domestic and Commercial Refrigerators Have in Common

First, let’s look at why you might think using a domestic refrigerator is okay for your business. Both types of refrigerators are designed to keep perishable items from spoilage. They slow decomposition while helping maintain the flavour of food and drinks. So from a broader point of view, they both certainly can help keep food fresh and safe in theory.

Operation: Domestic vs Commercial Refrigerators

Some businesses like the idea of domestic units because they tend to run quieter. Commercial refrigerators are heavy-duty, so that they will be louder thanks to their fans and condensers. Domestic refrigerators are also more efficient for businesses wanting to save on their energy bills. However, on closer inspection, it’s important to remember that commercial refrigerators are louder and use more energy because they are designed to work harder yet remain efficient in the business environment. They have external and internal fans that ensure cold air is distributed properly throughout the entire cabinet of the fridge.

As well, they have condensers designed to bring temperatures down quickly. So all of these benefits result in louder operation and more energy usage than a domestic refrigerator. It is also why commercial refrigerators can better manage constantly changing temperatures when the fridge is accessed. Your domestic refrigerator just isn’t designed for this level of food rotation which will put pressure on the entire cooling system, not to mention the doors. Domestic refrigerators aren’t designed for this constant workload, so as a result, you’re likely to see breakdowns long before the expected lifespan of the fridge.


When you buy a new domestic refrigerator, the warranty is based on the expected use. As mentioned above, the heavy workload you place on a domestic refrigerator won’t stand up to the constant wear and tear. Therefore you will be making a call for repairs within the warranty period.

Sounds good, right? Free parts and repairs! But guess what? When the technician shows up at a business, they won’t honour the warranty as the refrigerator is not being used properly. Your commercial refrigerator, however, will last longer because it is designed to withstand the demand, and second, it will be covered within the warranty as you are using it properly.


Even if your domestic refrigerator space works for your business, the freezer space never will. Even on the largest domestic models available, your freezer will be far too small to accommodate the average restaurant stores’ frozen food. And depending on your restaurant, you’ll probably find your refrigerator is still too small. Unless you pride yourself on sourcing just enough fresh goods each day to meet your customers’ needs, the size of a domestic refrigerator just isn’t realistic for a business.


Of course, price is always a factor for any business spend. However, you can consider a refurbished commercial fridge that will offer all the benefits of a brand new unit at a fraction of the cost.

To learn more about the different types of refrigerator, call Ancaster Foods at (855) 888-9644 or contact us here.

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