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Things to know before buying a commercial freezer

What to Know Before Buying Commercial Freezers

Posted by | 10-08-2020

Commercial freezers are essential in the food industry because they offer both ample long-term storage and enticing product display.

A reach-in commercial freezer designed with glass panes is a practical appliance in high-traffic commercial kitchens where inventory needs to be highly visible for timely consumption and restocking.

In-store, it’s a worthy investment in attractive product placement that cuts down on the time customers need to browse the shelves for trusted best-sellers and cravings.

What to Consider When Buying a Commercial Freezer

The first step to shopping for a commercial freezer is knowing what you’ll use it for. Is it for food storage in the pantry or commercial kitchen, or a store display? What types of food items are you storing?

Commercial freezers come in a variety of options, including upright and chest-style models, as well as different sizes, styles, and access to support food storage and product display requirements. Selecting the best one for your foodservice application comes down to the features that help your food storage and visual merchandising needs.

1. Check freezer size

For commercial freezers, size equals storage space; on the flip side, it also indicates footprint taken up in an otherwise jam-packed kitchen or store with limited real estate.

When buying a commercial freezer, check the size to see if it can be accommodated in your floor plan. Next, check the shelving or pan capacity. While generous shelving means ample storage capacity for stocking inventory, it can also mean higher energy costs, especially if you are not storing up to the full freezer capacity. Consider these factors when shopping for a commercial freezer of the right size and energy consumption.

2. Condenser placement

Every commercial freezer requires a working condenser unit to store food items in optimal temperatures. But where is the condenser located — and why does it matter? Condensers are either top- or bottom-mounted.

Top-mounted compressors are generally safer and longer-lasting because they’re not exposed to grease that clogs the unit, requiring frequent maintenance. The condenser's location allows it to pull in the warmest air in the room from the ceiling area, which is optimal in a cooler room. However, this also means top-mounted freezers come with a higher price tag.

In contrast, a bottom-mounted compressor is best in warm rooms — such as a busy commercial kitchen — as it won’t have to work as hard to maintain the optimal temperature. A bottom-mounted compressor performs better in these conditions and allows more convenient access to inventory. While these freezers may trap more dust and debris, they still allow for easy cleaning and maintenance. Selecting the best type of mount in your commercial freezer requires weighing these pros and cons based on your kitchen or store's conditions.

3. Number of doors

Commercial freezers come in one, two, and three-door models, each presenting varying lengths and storage space. These doors typically swing or slide open, and feature automatic closing mechanisms to conserve energy.

Sliding doors are ideal for tight spaces where there isn’t much room to swing doors open, inadvertently blocking access in narrow and high-traffic areas. In contrast to solid glass panes in traditional models, the glass panes on these doors allow for better product visibility, reducing the need to open and close the doors for access or inventory tracking.

4. Top-of-the-line features

Not all commercial freezers were created equal. Depending on their build, they can help you optimize foot traffic in busy commercial kitchens and grocery store aisles.

For instance, pass-through freezers are often used to store and market frozen goods and ensure that food items are passed efficiently from prep stations to the cook line.

In contrast, roll-in freezers offer generous storage for large quantities of frozen food for more extended periods. Their movable racks make this an efficient storage method when catering to numerous guests in a large establishment.

Some reach-in commercial freezers also feature removable gaskets that make cleaning residue, stains, and dirt easier and help ensure the doors retain their adhesive seal. Newer models may also include a digital thermostat to help staff monitor the temperature and maintain optimal food storage conditions.

5. Energy consumption

Commercial appliances are designed for high-volume use, which comes with higher energy consumption and utility bills. Still, the right freezer won’t cause your utility bills to skyrocket.

When shopping for a commercial freezer, make sure that the model is Energy Star certified. This energy rating guarantees efficient and affordable energy consumption.

6. Shop from a trusted dealer

Where you get your commercial freezer makes all the difference in its long-term function and value. When shopping for a freezer, your primary consideration should be the brand, as well as its make and model.

A reputable manufacturer produces high-quality commercial freezers, which ensures reliable storage for years. Don’t be dissuaded by the price tag at first glance — commercial appliances are a necessary investment in profitable foodservice operations.

Similarly, make sure to check the warranty. Just like any appliance, commercial freezers require regular maintenance and eventual repair and parts replacement. An extensive warranty service guarantees successful and stress-free repairs — but when they only come from the manufacturer or an authorized reseller. Make sure to entrust your food storage needs only with a trusted seller who can provide a good deal for the best commercial freezers in the market.

To learn more about commercial freezers and how to buy the best one for your kitchen or store, call Ancaster Food Equipment at 866-711-5486, or contact us here.

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