Commercial vs. Residential Freezers — What’s the Difference?
Not all freezers are made the same — while many meat lovers and at-home chefs stock up on their favourite ingredients at home in freezers installed in their pantry or garage. These are often not the same as the restaurant foodservice operation variety.
Unlike residential refrigerators and freezers, commercial freezers are typically larger, more versatile, and robust. These are capable of handling large quantities of frozen goods at a time, making it increasingly popular in homes as well, in place of residential refrigerators. In contrast, residential freezers can only hold enough food for the average family.
That’s why for larger families, home-based business owners, and restaurateurs, the choice is obvious: upgrade to a commercial freezer to stock up on more food and supplies and keep them consistently cool to preserve fresh taste and quality.
Choosing between a commercial and residential freezer? Learn about their differences, and how to choose the best one for your needs, budget, and storage requirements below:
About Residential Freezers
1. Limited storage
Designed for at-home use of individuals and average-sized families, residential freezers are smaller and more compact, often designed as the upper-level attachment or lower-level drawer of home refrigerators. Because the shell is divided into cooling and freezing units, the actual freezer is small, offering only limited storage space. Even with door shelves and storage compartments, residential freezers are at risk of food safety issues, since these shelves are not cooled at the same temperature as the interior.
2. Fragile exteriors
Residential freezers are also typically made of fragile, or less-than-sturdy materials compared to their commercial counterparts. These are more prone to wear-and-tear damage from frequent opening and closing of doors, and the quick turnaround of stocking and removing items in commercial kitchens.
3. Uneven cooling
Residential freezers are powered by weaker compressors and insulation, which result in heat loss and temperature fluctuations — both causing food safety hazards. And even with thermostats installed, these are not often accurate, as they present a single temperature reading, even when indoor temperatures in the shelves and door vary.
Commercial Freezer Features
1. Tough exteriors
In contrast, commercial freezers pack much more powerful cooling and storage abilities. Their exteriors are typically stainless steel or scratch-resistant and polished glass, designed to survive increased wear-and-tear damage and resist corrosion while matching a store or kitchen’s sleek, modern look.
2. Stable cooling
Unlike the single, less-than-accurate thermostats of residential freezers, multiple temperature sensors and alarms are installed inside commercial freezers. Backed by much more powerful compressors, these temperature controls trigger an auto-defrost function to maintain an optimal indoor temperature 24/7, and alert staff when doors are left open to prevent food spoilage.
3. Commercial-sized storage
Commercial freezers are built with larger storage capacities to handle the requirements of commercial kitchens; these interior shelves are also crafted from commercial-grade materials that are easy to clean and resist bacteria. This allows kitchen staff to keep up with the fast pace of inventory movement while reinforcing food safety.
With increased storage and improved cooling ability, it’s no wonder that commercial freezers are far more efficient, safe, and durable for restaurants, stores, cafes, foodservice operations — and even homes.
Residential vs. Commercial Freezers — The Real Winner
Various appliances are rated for energy use, and commercial and residential appliances are rated differently, based on their size, capacity, and power requirements. While commercial freezers consume more energy, they make up for it in increased storage and consistent cooling ability that commercial kitchens need to support food safety and storage requirements.
Repair and Maintenance
What happens when the freezer breaks down? More than the average family-size fridge or residential freezer, commercial freezers require regular maintenance servicing to keep them in good condition and optimal function. Regular maintenance check-ups and parts replacements are performed by commercial technicians to ensure reliable cooling, a consistently fresh taste, and the highest standard of food safety.
Size and Layout
Commercial freezers are much larger than their compact, designed-for-family-use residential counterparts — and that’s perfect for commercial kitchens. These appliances are designed to hold much larger quantities of food that restaurants and foodservice operations require to serve customers. This means you’ll never run out of signature flavours and ingredients simply because of a lack of storage.
Commercial freezers, like the ones from Ancaster Food Equipment, are specially designed to allow commercial kitchens to store and produce large quantities of food every day. As inventory is delivered and signature flavours are brewed, marinated, or slow-cooked in preparation for long days of serving customers and making their day with much-loved food, it’s commercial freezers that chefs and kitchen staff count on to deliver fresh, quality tasting food.
That’s because commercial freezers pack powerful, commercial-grade compressors compared to the standard ones found in residential models. These compressors maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooling unit, despite frequent opening and closing of doors.
Today’s commercial kitchens should be sleek, clean, and polished — conducive to collecting items in the pantry and access to key appliances. Commercial freezers support this by featuring a clean, polished, and corrosion-resistant exterior. Their stainless steel bodies are built to last and ensure reliable long-term cooling and storage, across a range of sizes, colours, and other exterior finishing details that support your cooking needs and budget.
To learn more about the difference between a residential and a commercial refrigerator, call Ancaster Food Equipment at 866-711-5486 or contact us here.