Before You Buy: A Few Things New Restaurant Owners Need To Know About Commercial Freezers
Starting your own restaurant business is exciting and rewarding. You've probably spent months planning and acquiring all of the necessary permits to get started. Now it's time to purchase a commercial freezer.
You may wonder what the big deal is about a freezer and think all freezers are created equally. That's not the case. Choosing the best freezer for your needs will save you time and money later.
Know your size limitations
Commercial refrigerators, especially walk-in units, must have a certain amount of space around them for air to circulate. Trying to stuff a commercial refrigerator into a space that does not allow for this important circulation can prevent the unit from cooling properly and may become a food safety issue.
Placing the unit too close to a wall can result in condensation building up. This may eventually lead to structural damage to the surrounding walls and result in costly repair bills.
Know your insulation
Not all refrigerated and freezer units are insulated the same. Some manufacturers use a material called extruded polystyrene. This type is often referred to as an all-foam box and is less costly. However, this type of unit may lack adequate support. A cam lock unit is typically used to anchor shelving in refrigerated and walk-in units. Extruded polystyrene may not be strong enough to support the cam lock units.
Units with polystyrene are more susceptible to damage over time and may not be the best long-term investment for your business.
Polyurethane is a sturdier material and is likely to hold up better than polystyrene. The wood frame in this type of system offers better cam lock support and is less likely to cause panel failure.
Know the different refrigeration systems
Refrigeration systems can be top mounted, side mounted, or remote. Regardless of what type you choose, you will need to have it professionally installed by a qualified and licensed refrigeration specialist.
Remote systems are often preferred because the compressor is placed outside. This reduces noise and heat from the unit inside the building. Top and side mounted units are attached directly to the top or side of the unit and will add noise and heat to the surrounding area. The noise and heat produced can be substantial in some cases depending on the size of the unit.
Know your seller and manufacturer
Purchase from a reputable seller. Meet with them and discuss the nature of your business and your size requirements. Talk to several sellers before you make a final decision.
Ask questions and make sure your seller is aware of updated food safety requirements. Also look for a manufacturer that provides a solid warranty and service contract.
Choosing a commercial freezer is a big investment. Due to the size and weight of a unit, it can be costly to have it returned and replaced if you make the wrong decision. Knowing the basic facts about commercial refrigeration units will help you choose a unit that will serve your business well for years to come. Contact a company like Hy-Point Restaurant Equipment & Supplies Inc. for more information.