There are major differences between domestic and commercial fridges, and you shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that a domestic appliance can do the job of an industrial fridge.
The main difference is that an industrial fridge or cold room such as you would find used for cold food storage for pubs, restaurants, cafés or hotels is designed to be opened and closed continuously, and will maintain its temperature in those conditions, while a domestic appliance is designed to remain closed most of the time and to be opened only very occasionally and for short periods. Brands such as Polar, Fagor, Blizzard and Foster Refrigerator specialise in this sort of design and will give the necessary technical support.
But how do these requirements actually affect the design of industrial refrigeration units?
Commercial refrigeration units are designed with high-power compressors which can reduce temperature quickly. They will also in most cases be fan assisted, helping them to distribute the optimal temperature throughout their interior. This does mean that they are likely to make more noise than a domestic appliance, one reason why a commercial fridge will not be suitable for a domestic role.
The door designs of commercial fridges such as a Foster Walk In Fridge will also allow them to be opened and closed many times throughout the day without suffering the wear and tear which would affect a domestic appliance.
All commercial refrigerators and domestic units work on the same physical principle, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that when two objects of different temperatures are brought together, heat will travel from the hotter to the colder. This principle is used to transfer heat from food stored in a commercial or domestic refrigerator into a refrigerant liquid.
This liquid obeys another physical law, which is that when it expands and becomes gas, it cools, losing the heat through the industrial refrigerator unit’s cooling system. The closed cycle of heating and cooling of the refrigerant acts to keep the food inside cold and preserved, while the refrigerant liquid, originally Freon and now more commonly tetrafluoroethane, should last indefinitely if the system is properly maintained.
There are several different types of commercial or industrial refrigerator, and you should select one according to the requirements of your business. A restaurant or café will probably need a chiller, an oversized walk-in refrigerator unit such as a Foster Walk-In Fridge, and deep freezers for large amounts of food and drinks, while a bar may require more in the way of specialised wine and beverage wine coolers.
When buying an industrial refrigerator, go for the largest size manageable, while allowing space for ventilation for the compressor. Ventilation can be at the bottom, side or top or the unit, so you aren’t necessarily restricted in your product choices by ventilator position.
A bar refrigeration unit for instance will often be placed behind the bar, with front ventilation and glass doors, making it possible for customers to see the available wines and beers, and for bar staff to keep an eye on stock levels of drinks. An alternative is the top-loading bottle cooler, which offers storage and easy access for larger numbers of bottles. Bar refrigeration units are also available to chill glasses and plates. Small under-counter chillers, refrigerators and freezers can still offer the power required of a commercial unit, providing handy storage of drinks while acting as a complement to a larger kitchen unit.
In a retail setting, a large number of bottles or cans may be stored in a refrigerated merchandising unit, serving the dual purpose of storage and display for a café.
In the commercial kitchen, whether for the preparation of simple meals such as sandwiches or more complicated dishes like pizza, a prep table combined with a refrigeration unit is a popular type of mobile industrial refrigeration unit. Often offering a wide temperature range, these units are very flexible in their applications.
While commercial reach-in fridges may come with many options including glass fronts, double doors, dual-temperature zones and movement on castors, the ultimate refrigerator unit for many businesses will be the walk-in type, or cold room, often of modular design for easy disassembly, and supplied with internal shelving, lighting and non-slip flooring.
How To Choose The Best Commercial Refrigerator?
Whether your business is a restaurant, a supermarket, a caterer or anywhere else involving food storage and production, you will almost certainly need commercial refrigeration to protect your stock and the health and safety of your customers. So how do you go about selecting the right commercial refrigeration units?
Your first requirement will be to measure your available storage space. While industrial refrigeration units are available in all sizes and shapes, you will want to make use of the greatest possible space (including vertically) to maximise your storage potential. Let’s assume that your business is going to grow – it would be a mistake to invest in inadequate commercial refrigeration to start off with.
As we’ve discussed, there are many different kinds of commercial refrigeration unit, and which you choose depends largely on what type of business you are running. A shop will probably require display units, while a restaurant is more likely to require high capacity refrigerators and freezers or even a cold room such as a Foster Walk-In Fridge.
Think about the ease of use of the units and how well your staff will be able to manage them. Are the doors easy to open and close? Are the temperature controls close to hand and easy to understand? Are the shelves adjustable, and designed to make the most of available space? Will it be easy for your staff to empty the unit for cleaning? All these aspects of commercial refrigerator design should be taken into account before you make a purchasing decision.
If you are thinking of buying used equipment, make sure it comes for a reputable reseller and has been properly maintained and serviced by a commercial refrigeration engineer or qualified mechanic, and comes with appropriate technical support and a manual. The last thing you want is to have to call for an emergency fridge repair. It’s often worth investing more money in up-to-date units, as they tend to be more energy efficient and so may be a better investment in the long run. Electricity consumption will vary between brands and models, and some energy efficient system may qualify you for tax relief.
It’s tempting to save value by buying off-brand, but brand name units tend to be better value in terms of ease of servicing, parts availability and resale value. Commercial fridge repairs are easier with well-known names, and it’s more straightforward to get technical support. Brands such as Blizzard, Fagor, Polar and Foster Refrigerators lead the market, and should probably be the first you consider.
Remember that your commercial refrigeration equipment has to function reliably 24 hours a day, and having to call a trained mechanic for an emergency fridge repair could be expensive in terms of repair costs and disruption to your business. Invest in regular maintenance and make sure you have access to a reliable local service company with trained commercial refrigeration engineers – that will help you to avoid the possibility of expensive commercial refrigeration repairs. If you need help with servicing but don’t know who to turn to, then look no further than ACR Repairs.
The key to keeping your commercial refrigeration equipment running efficiently is preventative maintenance. There should be information about what’s needed in the unit’s manual. Commercial fridge repairs can be expensive if you don’t have a regular maintenance contract, so don’t wait until you have an expensive and inconvenient emergency before getting a commercial refrigeration engineer or qualified mechanic in to look at your equipment. A regular scheme of inspection and servicing will prevent the necessity for emergency commercial refrigeration repairs and helps give you peace of mind, as well as probably working out better value in the long term. Don’t leave it until you need an emergency fridge repair to start thinking ‘where can I find commercial fridge repair near me?’
Things to have checked regularly include:
Check that doors on fridges, freezers and chillers close properly, seals are air-tight and gaskets and handles are working properly, to reduce leakage of cold air and reduction in efficiency. The manual should give you advice on user-appropriate tasks such as replacing seals.
The added benefit of regular cleaning and maintenance is that your commercial refrigeration equipment will have an extended life and will run more efficiently – you may save as much as 5 to 10 percent on running costs, as well as the unwelcome expense of commercial refrigeration repairs.
Are you asking yourself ‘where can I get a commercial fridge repair near me?’? Well, ACR Repairs believes in providing the highest quality commercial fridge repairs. Our experienced, certified engineers work with all sorts of fridges, chillers and cold rooms, and brands including Polar, Blizzard, Fagor, Foster refrigerators and more. We have provided our services to businesses in London and surrounding areas for over 15 years. From a gas refill in a restaurant to an emergency repair in a hotel, we can help you in a range of situations. Find out more about our commercial fridge repair in London by getting in touch today.