What Are Commercial Coolers and How Do They Work?
Most restaurants and food retailers have some form of refrigeration system for storing and keeping their products cold and fresh. Commercial refrigerators allow you to store food at the optimum temperature to keep food safe and meet food safety regulations. Here we discuss some of the benefits of a walk-in commercial cooler and how they work.
What is a Commercial Cooler?
A commercial cooler is a self-contained or remote-condensing unit that uses a vapour-compression refrigeration system and is designed for food and beverage storage, in order to keep products at a consistent temperature to maintain their quality. Commercial coolers contain evaporators and condensers to ensure that the internal storage area stays cold. These types of industrial coolers are primarily used in the foodservice industry.
Types of Commercial Coolers
A commercial, self-contained refrigerator can be divided into categories according to various key characteristics including cabinet type, door type and orientation.
Some notable features that can vary in commercial coolers with glass doors also include the number of doors, width, and door opening style. Most commercial coolers have doors that are 30 inches wide. 2-door coolers can be up to 55 inches wide and can be either sliding or swinging doors. The type of doors varies depending on the desired display or access features that your company needs.
Different types of reach-in refrigeration units include buffet tables, ice cream, milk and beverage cabinets, and wine chillers. Reach-in commercial coolers are typically used in the food industry for storing larger amounts of food and beverage needed to successfully and effectively run a food service business.
How Commercial Coolers Work
Commercial coolers and refrigerators operate above 0 degrees Celsius and below 13 degrees Celsius and work in a cyclical process. Commercial coolers and refrigeration units include an evaporator, a compressor, and a condensing coil. Refrigerant is constantly flowing through the compressor to the condenser and then into the expansion device through the evaporator and finally, back to the compressor.
The refrigerant absorbs the heat from objects inside the cooler and ejects it from the commercial cooler through evaporation and condensation. The heat is usually then released outside, in the facility, or into cold water.
Some reach-in coolers have the compressors located on the top, while other reach-in coolers have the compressors located on the bottom. Reach-in coolers that have the compressors stationed at the bottom are ideal for hotter locations.
As heat rises, floors are generally colder. With this in mind, reach-in coolers with compressors at the bottom may make it easier to keep the cooler colder. However, reach-in coolers with compressors situated at the top are less likely to collect dust and are less likely to become clogged. Be aware of this as you may not have to get the unit serviced as frequently.
The Benefits of Having A Commercial Cooler
Industrial coolers, like our 2-door coolers, are advantageous for food retailers and other businesses that need to keep a large quantity of food at a consistent temperature. Some benefits of these types of refrigeration systems include:
Sufficient storage: Commercial walk-in and reach-in coolers have a great deal of space to store perishable food products. This allows businesses, such as restaurants, to keep a sufficient amount of food on-site without having to worry about it spoiling. Given that the average size of a 2-door industrial cooler is 55 inches in width, walk-in coolers can hold a great deal of storage for your food products.
Cost efficiency: Because walk-in and reach-in coolers can store so much food at one time, your company can save a great deal since you won’t have to replace spoiled food. Additionally, an efficient cooler will result in lower electricity usage and a lower electricity bill.
Reliable: While being cost-effective in terms of electricity, industrial coolers are also able to operate powerfully at the same time. Numerous walk-in freezers contain large compressors which keep food and beverages at cooler temperatures, while others use smaller compressors to keep food and beverages at warmer temperatures. Both can deliver your desired results based on your needs.
Customizable: Coolers used for commercial purposes in the foodservice industry can further deliver your desired results since they can be tailored to fit your unique needs. You can alter the layout of your cooler based on the purpose it is serving and easily maneuver it so that it fits nicely in your facility. The internal temperature settings can also be set to cater to the specific food products being stored.
Considerations When Purchasing A Commercial Cooler
Making the right decision when it comes to purchasing a commercial cooler for your business is very important. It is an investment that you are making in your company’s future, and it is imperative that you choose a cooler that can meet all of your needs.
One of the first things you need to consider is the efficiency of the cooler. In a restaurant or foodservice business, efficiency and time are imperative to the successful operation of your company. Therefore, the same should go for your refrigeration system.
Proper insulation within a refrigeration system, is the most vital feature that should be considered before purchasing a commercial cooler. Ensuring that the cooler comes equipped with the necessary insulation is a must because it is what keeps the cooler cool. Proper insulation ensures that the temperature inside your cooler remains consistent so that none of your products go to waste.
One way you will be able to understand which cooler is right for you, is by measuring the R-value of the unit. This determines how much heat can penetrate the insulation in your walk-in or reach-in cooler. It also evaluates the age, type and overall quality of the insulation.
The R-value for these types of refrigeration units is typically around 25. With this in mind, you will be able to assess the quality level of a cooler before you purchase it. You should also note that the higher the R-value, the better. This is because units with a higher R-value don’t need to use as much energy to remain cool. Therefore, your unit will last longer as well as lower the costs of utilities. You will find that your R-value will decrease over time, which may be another thing for you to consider before you purchase your commercial cooler.
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