10 Best Tips to Choose a Walk-In Cooler For Your Business

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Walk-in coolers and freezers are absolutely indispensable for a number of industries.

Nearly every restaurant, grocery store, and agricultural outfit rely on being able to keep a high volume of their ingredients or products at appropriate temperatures. This is done effectively by the proper cooler or freezer unit.

There seem to be as many types of freezers and coolers as there are types of operations that rely on them.

If you are looking to purchase a new unit or would like to replace the one that you already have, there are a number of aspects of walk-in coolers and freezers that you need to be aware of.

By knowing what is involved you can maximize the value of your investment.

10 Best Tips to Choose a Walk-In Cooler For Your Business

1. Custom Units

Among the first things to consider are your needs.

Are there other types of business that are similar to yours? Do they have similar products, hours of operations, and/or size constraints?

These types of questions can help you decide if you can emulate their walk-in cooler or freezer decisions.

If your needs are not going to be met by a standard non-custom unit, it may be prudent to look into having one made to specifically work within your application specifications.

Getting more info on custom walk-in freezers and coolers can help you decide if you should have one built just for you.

2. Location

The conditions that your walk-in cooler or freezer will be working under are a major consideration when determining what you are going to buy.

The two main sets of conditions are related to whether or not your unit will be housed indoors.

Walk-in freezers that are located outdoors have a couple of extra considerations

Outdoor walk-ins can be very valuable in that by being outside your establishment you save considerable space.

Another benefit is found in the way that walk-ins actually perform their cooling duties. Essentially blowing all of the heat out of their interiors they lower the internal air temperatures.

If your unit is outside, this is not a big deal. If your unit is inside it can cause your building space to be abnormally warm.  

Other attendant circumstances can be less favorable.

You may need to pour a concrete pad for an outdoor unit to sit on, adding to the total price of installation.

You will need to take extra care to ensure that your walk-in remains closed and sealed.

Leaving the door open outside will reduce the effectiveness far more than the same blunder made inside, and can increase the risk of destroyed product due to improper temperatures.

3. Price

An obvious consideration is a price. Walk-in coolers and freezers are not going to be inexpensive.

They are large machines that need to be dependable. This dependability comes at a premium.

Expect to pay a considerable sum for your walk-in coolers. Shopping around can help you get a sense of what you are going to be spending on and what you are looking for.

A somewhat more hidden cost to a walk-in cooler is maintenance. A helpful tip for buying a walk-in freezer is to become familiar with a given unit maintenance schedule.

Whoever you are buying your freezer or cooler from should know the details for the units they sell.

Ask them what they know about the frequency and costs of such maintenance.

4. Use

Butchers use walk-in freezers. Farmers use walk-in freezers. Sandwich shops use walk-in freezers. What are you going to be doing with yours?

Health standards vary from industry and the materials that a walk-in cooler or freezer is made out of can make a huge difference in your ability to meet those standards.

Look for materials that are going to be easy to clean. Because the temperatures are low, cleaning can already be a hassle.

Having materials that are hard to scrub, or shelving configurations that limit access to corners or other hard to access areas make something that is already difficult all the more so.

5. Aesthetics

It is a safe bet that to this point in your considerations of buying a walk-in cooler that you have had one thing in mind: A dull silver box with a single door in the front.

This is the standard when it comes to freezers and coolers. Because of this, coolers and freezers are often relegated to being located in the rear of establishments, often making it inconvenient to access them.

Related to the consideration of whether or not to go with a custom built freezer is the consideration of utilizing customization to preserve your image needs.

Business lives and dies by their ability to market their product. How they look is critical to a given marketing scheme.

Think about ways you could purchase a cooler that could be shaped, colored, and otherwise modified to meet your needs.

6. Capacity

This is an obvious and simple thing to think about. How much space do you need?

What shapes are the items that you will be storing in your future cooler or freezer?

Ask your dealer about the capacity of the cooler that you are looking to buy.

With this information try to think beyond just cubic feet or yards. Think about shelving and space that will be taken up by walkways.

As long as the budget supports it, bigger is better when it comes to walk-ins.

7. Pros And Cons To Walk-in Coolers

Just as the name implies, coolers are used for items that need temperatures lower than everywhere else in your location, but perhaps not quite as cold as a freezer can offer.

A walk-in cooler is going to provide temperatures in the 35 to 40 degree Fahrenheit range.

Coolers can be lighter and easier to install than freezers of comparable size but they don’t deliver quite the temperature reducing power that a freezer can.

8. Pros And Cons To Walk-in Freezers

On the other side of the coin, freezers provide much lower temperatures. They can get down to around -50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Depending on how long the term of storage is going to be, this type of deep walk-in freezer may be required.

If it is not, the extra costs and energy consumption that a freezer requires may mean that buying one is a mistake.

9. Warranties

Every freezer is designed to run flawlessly. Few problems should ever be encountered over the life of the walk-in freezer, especially if maintenance needs and schedules are followed.

There are always going to be exceptions to this rule, however, and when an exception is had in your case, you are going to wish you had a warranty.

Different manufacturers offer different warranties as a matter of company policy.

Keep in mind that adding a warranty will do to the overall cost and weigh that cost with what you could potentially save in the effect of a unit failure.

10. Durability

The last thing to mention by way of considerations for buying a walk-in cooler is how long it is projected to last.

Being pessimistic with this consideration is common and not altogether unfounded.

Call around to other companies that have similar refrigeration needs as you do and see what kind of legs their units are giving them.

Shopping the different varieties of brands can provide you with insight as to how durable your investment in a walk in will be.