When it comes to storing perishable goods, walk-in chillers and freezers are effective solutions for storage and food safety, whether that be for a commercial or industrial business. At first glance, walk-in chillers and freezers can easily be confused with one another as they look the same, however, they do serve different purposes and demands. Whether you work in retail, pharmaceutical, or the food industry, these walk-in units may be of use to you.
In this blog post, we are going to explore the key differences and benefits between walk-in coolers and freezers, to help you decide which one is the most suitable for your business. We will cover all aspects such as requirements, energy savings, maintenance costs, and more, so let’s get into it!
Key differences between walk-in coolers and freezers
A walk-in cooler is a large, refrigerated storage unit designed to keep perishable goods at a consistent, cool temperature. Walk-in coolers typically range in two temperature zones, zone 1 and zone 2. Zone 1 generally produces temperatures between 2°C and 12°C, to store products with a short shelf-life. Zone 2 produces temperatures between -2°C and 5°C, for products that need to be used within a few weeks or need to be stored just below freezing. Walk-in coolers typically store items such as fresh produce, dairy products, and other perishable goods. They can be customised to meet the specific needs of your business, with different options for size, shelving, and door placement.
A walk-in freezer is similar to a walk-in cooler but is designed to maintain a much colder temperature. Walk-in freezers typically range in temperature from -12°C to -22°C and are used to store frozen goods such as meat, seafood, and frozen veg and desserts. Like walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers can be customised to meet the specific demands of your business, with options for size, shelving, and door placement.
As walk-in freezers need to maintain lower temperatures, they require more insulation than coolers and therefore are manufactured out of heavy-duty materials. Walk-in freezers tend to have thicker walls, floors, and ceilings.
Linking to insulation requirements, walk-in freezers are generally more expensive than coolers, due to their additional components and more powerful cooling systems. To keep temperatures within the minus range, more energy will need to be used.
Benefits of using these refrigeration systems
Whilst walk-in coolers and freezers are utilised for different purposes, they both present similar advantages. The two most obvious benefits are food safety and extending shelf-life, but what else can these refrigeration units offer?
Accessibility – as walk-in coolers and freezers are designed to fill an entire space; they can be installed exactly to your requirements. They can be laid out in a way that offers maximum accessibility, allowing you to walk around and move products with ease.
Storage – walk-in refrigeration systems are a great solution to replace standalone units that take up more space. As they are customisable, you can create a walk-in unit with multiple shelving and smart racking systems depending on the level of perishable goods you stock.
Energy saving – standalone fridges and freezers can rack up on your energy bills, with costs that you can avoid! Walk-in units can use energy-efficient condensers and compressors to create an eco-friendly system. If your establishment is suitable for a walk-in unit, they are something to consider if your aim is to save money.
So, which one do you need?
The decision to choose between a walk-in cooler or freezer will depend on the type of perishable goods you need to store. If you primarily store fresh produce, dairy products, and other perishable goods that require a cool temperature, a walk-in cooler is the best choice for your business. However, if you store frozen goods such as meat, seafood, and frozen desserts, a walk-in freezer is the better choice.
Here at Acme, we are specialists when it comes to refrigeration and cooling, and we have an experienced team of professionals that can install high-quality refrigeration systems no matter the scale! From compact cold rooms to large-scale warehouses, we can design a bespoke unit to meet your business’ demands to ensure you get the most out of your chillers and freezers. If you’re keen to get started on your refrigeration journey or would like more information about the services we offer, please get in touch with us today and we will be happy to help you out.