Commercial refrigerators are an absolute necessity for any business that requires cold storage. Unfortunately however, commercial refrigeration equipment and units are an expensive investment, which is why it is important to consider all the factors that could have an impact on a commercial refrigerator’s quality, efficiency, cost and ultimately, its suitability for you. This guide aims to highlight a number of important features of which you should be aware when you are shopping around for commercial refrigeration equipment or units. If you take these features into account and compare your options in detail, you stand to save a great deal of money both in the initial purchase of your unit and its subsequent maintenance and running costs.
Upfront costs versus long term costs
Your foremost consideration when searching for commercial refrigeration equipment is its long term-cost compared to its initial cost. As with all appliances – commercial refrigeration equipment is available at different standards of quality, and what you might save on a poor quality unit initially, you will likely spend maintaining and running it. A good example of this is a fridge’s compressor. All fridges require a compressor unit, which essentially compresses coolant and forces it into a gaseous state, so that it can absorb heat and transfer it through the evaporator coils. When you are looking at commercial refrigeration compressors you are faced with two options: top mounted compressors or bottom mounted compressors. Put simply, top mounted compressors generally last longer than bottom-mounted compressors, but are more expensive to purchase. Top mounted compressors last longer because heat rises naturally and they therefore require less work to remove the hot air from the refrigeration unit. With adequate maintenance, you can get a similar lifespan out of a bottom mounted compressor, although the added strain of extracting the hot air means that some extra work is likely to be necessary.
The suitability of the commercial refrigeration unit
Another important factor of a commercial refrigeration unit is its suitability to your business – particularly with regard to its size. Before you begin to research possible refrigeration units or equipment, take the time to consider your needs and the needs of your business. If your business is centred on the cold storage of perishable items such as food, you may wish to limit your search to larger units with an abundance of internal space. Conversely, if you run a small business that does not typically require the storage of many perishable items at any one time, you may prefer to look at smaller commercial refrigeration units to save money. As well as internal space, you should also look at the storage solutions within the refrigerator unit. Some units come with shelving options and other such storage solutions, which would allow you to maintain a neat and organised cold room or fridge. It is prudent to make some enquiries as to the storage capacity of a commercial refrigeration unit before purchasing it; commercial refrigeration equipment is expensive and it pays to choose the right solution.
Depending on the nature of your business, purchasing a commercial refrigeration unit can have either positive or negative implications on the practicality of your cold storage and the operation of your business. For example, an unnecessary large refrigeration unit will be cumbersome and require many employees to move and reposition, should it become necessary to do so. Furthermore, an excessive refrigeration unit might pose a threat to workplace health and safety; for example retrieving goods from high shelving in a fridge might present a challenge to your employees and increase their risk of injury. Some ways of addressing these potential issues include choosing a refrigeration unit with wheels – if it is practically possible – or choosing chest-style refrigeration units if they are available, as opposed to tall stand-up units.
The purpose for which you require the commercial refrigerator
Almost all businesses have unique refrigeration requirements and this will have a direct bearing on the type of commercial refrigeration equipment you should get. For example, business that deal primarily in perishables such as meat or fish will almost always opt for cold rooms or walk-in refrigerators and freezers. This is because they are likely to need cold storage for a great deal of stock at any one time, and smaller fridges or freezers can become easily overloaded, thus losing cold air and consuming more power. On the contrary, some businesses require refrigeration for much smaller applications, like keeping drinks cold. Such a task can be done easily with much smaller refrigerators, as products such as drinks are mostly non-perishable and are unlikely to bring down the temperature of the fridge to any noticeable extent.
The final important consideration for businesses seeking commercial air conditioning equipment is energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is important for two reasons: it reduces running costs and supports the environment. Business with energy efficient commercial refrigeration solutions will pay far less in energy bills. Energy efficient commercial refrigeration units are typically built to a much higher standard of quality than their cheaper, less energy efficient alternatives and this means that they will last far longer. Over the course of an energy efficient fridge’s long lifetime, you can accrue savings that will easily offset the extra money spent in their initial purchase. The benefits of an energy efficient commercial refrigeration unit extend beyond monetary savings, however; when you opt for an energy efficient option, you can rest assured knowing that your business operates in an environmentally conscious manner. To identify the most energy efficient commercial refrigeration equipment, there are several things you can look for. Most notably, most refrigeration equipment should come with some indication of its energy efficiency – sometimes in the form of a star rating. You can also examine their construction for features such as the positioning of their compressor units. Top mounted compressors offer advantages beyond longevity and durability; the ease with which they extract hot air – due to its thermodynamic nature – means that they consume less energy than their bottom mounted counterparts and are consequently more energy efficient.
For all your commercial refrigeration needs, get in touch with the experts at ML Refrigeration on 0420 993 233.