Posted by Patrick Maness
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In the food service industry, there may be no equipment more valuable — or expensive — than your walk-in refrigeration system. Think of the amount of product you leave in your walk-in cooler or freezer and it's easy to see why this system is so valuable. And because of that, you want to make sure you choose the right system for your business. Purchase a system that is too small for your space and the machine will be constantly trying to keep up. But purchase a unit that is too large and it may be too powerful, causing you to waste money.
So, what’s the right formula for finding the proper refrigeration system for your business?
The first step is to understand the size of the room you’ll have to refrigerate. If you don’t have the length, width and height of your cooler and freezer already, record these measurements now. Once you have the size of the room, you need to estimate what temperature you plan to maintain in the room — this is based on product and health regulations. You’ll also need to factor in other considerations, such as relative humidity and temperatures in your area during the summer. The warmer your location, the more pressure there will be on your refrigeration system.
Once you have these numbers, you’ll also want to understand the building’s insulation capabilities. This includes the thickness of the insulation and the external temperatures that may impact the room — particularly if the unit is on an exterior wall.
Finally, you’ll also need to consider the forces acting upon the temperature control. For example, how many doors are there to the room and what air will enter the room when you open a door? Will it only be air from inside the kitchen or does the space also possess an exterior door for food delivery? Even a small, porthole door to the outside can dramatically impact the room’s interior temperature.
Focus on product
Cooling an empty room is one thing, but your measurements must consider the room’s inventory as well. Will your space be used chiefly for cooling fruits and vegetables, or meats and dressings instead? Will it be a mixture of each? How long will it take you to load all of these items into the space?
Finally, consider how often the door will be opened by employees looking for new product. If your business is stocked with several smaller refrigeration units, your visits to the main walk-in refrigeration unit will be more infrequent. However, if the unit will serve as your main or only refrigeration unit, you can expect more traffic in the room; the machine will thus work harder to control the temperature.
Find expert help
Choosing the proper refrigeration unit for your business is an important decision and there are certainly no small amount of considerations to ponder. It can all seem a little confusing and that’s why we’re here to help. Record your numbers and answers to the questions above, then contact us today. We can help you find the perfect refrigeration unit for your needs so you can keep your business cool and profitable.
Read other articles in this series:
The Top Commercial Refrigeration Equipment You Need for Your Restaurant
5 Ways to Eliminate Those Escalating Energy Expenses
Keep Your Systems Running with These 4 Commercial Refrigeration Tips