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Walk-In Refrigerators and Freezers

Walk in Refrigerators and Freezers are large refrigeration units designed to store bulk food ingredients at the proper temperatures. These walk in units can accommodate shelving and mobile racks to make food storage and transport easier. Some models are simply the walk in box without any cooling system, so they can be purchased separately (as long as they are compatible). There are also freezer refrigerator walk in combo units so you can have two compartments in a single walk-in box. Available in indoor or outdoor versions.

Walk In Coolers

Walk In Coolers

A walk-in cooler is a great supplement to your existing refrigerated storage, ideal for keeping large, bulk food items stocked at safe temperatures. Walk-in coolers are not typically the primary refrigerators in a foodservice business, but are used for storing items that can be rotated into your regular refrigeration units. All walk-in coolers are fully insulated in their walls and doors, in order to preserve interior temperatures and keep food from spoiling.

One of the first considerations regarding any walk-in refrigerator is the size of the unit and the available space for installation. Walk-in coolers are available from several manufacturers and come in many sizes and configurations. Some walk-in cooler models are designed for indoor spaces and others are meant for outdoor installation. Many models come without a floor, although having a floor increases the efficiency of the unit and allows better control of the compartment's temperature.

Sizes range from small 4 foot by 6 foot units to large rectangular units with several hundred cubic feet of storage space. Height of the unit will also be a major factor, especially if the unit is designed to be installed in an interior space with ceilings that might limit options.

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Walk In Freezers

Walk In Freezers

Walk-in Freezers are designed to be additions to your existing frozen storage units. A walk-in freezer is ideal for holding bulk food items at proper temperatures until they are needed for use. They are not intended as primary freezers for your foodservice business. All walk-in freezers are fully insulated to keep cold air in the unit.

One of the things you must look at when considering the purchase of a walk-in freezer is the size and configuration of the unit. You need to know the available installation space, including the head clearance and height of the unit. Walk-In Freezer units can be as small as 4 foot by 6 foot and as large as 10 foot by 14 foot for a major increase in cubic foot storage capacity. In addition, some models are specifically designed to be installed indoors and others are for outdoor locations, separated from the main facility.

For even more customization, you can choose a walk-in that has its cooling system side mounted or top mounted or you can find a model that has no integrated refrigeration. In that case, you will need to have a remote compressor/condenser system available to cool down your freezer. You can also select a walk-in freezer that does not have an integrated floor, although a floor helps with temperature efficiency. There are so many different configurations of walk-in freezers that you will definitely find the unit that fits your application.

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Walk In Refrigeration Boxes

Walk In Refrigeration Boxes

Some walk-in coolers and freezers come with no compressor/condenser units. These walk-in boxes will come without any cooling system and you must supply your own remote cooling system. This allows you to install the remote system some where other than the walk in box. Often, the remote refrigeration system will be mounted outside the facility, externally (on the roof, for example) or in another distance location. Most manufacturers have designed specific cooling systems to properly function with their remote-cooled walk-in boxes, so be careful to select the appropriate refrigeration system for one of these walk-in boxes without mounted refrigeration.

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Walk In Cooler and Freezer Combo

Walk In Cooler and Freezer Combo

Walk in cooler and freezer combo units provide large bulk food preservation and storage for both refrigerated and frozen ingredients. Within a single walk-in box, two storage compartments separated by a wall can be individually controlled to provide safe temperatures for different types of food. These walk in combo units come in a variety of sizes and configurations to meet the needs of any foodservice application. Select your walk in cooler and freezer combination unit to efficiently save space while providing two storage functions at the same time.

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Walk-In Condensing Units

Walk-In Condensing Units

Walk in condensing units are designed to hook up to a walk in cooler or freezer. The condensing unit is typically mounted on top of the walk in or in a remote area away from the walk in. Condenser units are capable of cooling down the interior compartments of walk-ins and they come in different configurations so be certain to select a unit that is compatible with your walk in model.

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Walk In Refrigeration Parts and Accessories

Walk In Refrigeration Parts and Accessories

Walk In Refrigeration parts and accessories are intended to repair or enhance your walk-in refrigeration units. From doors and ramps to electrical and refrigeration components, you can find the parts and accessories you need.

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Walk-in Refrigeration Considerations

Types of Walk-in Refrigeration That You Can Order

You can purchase two different types of walk-in refrigeration. Quick-ship walk-in boxes are pre-fabricated to specific standardized dimensions, with or without cooling components and other pre-configured options, such as floors, doors, and ramps. There are a large number of variations of quick-ship models available and most establishments find a standard box meets their needs. Custom walk-in boxes are essentially made to order, fabricated to the exact dimensions you specify, with each component selected and specified for your particular installation. Obviously the quick-ship models are made with modular components that are collected in the manufacturer's available stock, shipped to your location, and assembled on-site. Custom units will generally take longer to fabricate to your specs, produce, and compile the components to be shipped, but these walk-ins will also be assembled by professionals on your prepared installation site.

Cooler or Freezer?

One of the first questions you should ask is what kind of refrigerated storage do you require? What exactly are you planning on storing in the walk-in? If you are storing produce or fresh meats or poultry or prepped ingredients, such as sauces, chopped veggies, and similar items, you will be looking for a refrigerated walk-in, oftentimes called a cooler. If you are in need of a significant amount of frozen food to be stored safely, then a walk-in freezer will be your choice. Keep in mind that a walk-in unit takes up a significant amount of space compared to a typical commercial refrigeration unit, but the benefit is that you can store much more in a walk-in, plus you can utilize transport systems to move heavy or bulk amounts of ingredients and food items.

Both walk-in coolers and walk-in freezer units are available from different manufacturers as quick-ship and custom models.

Consider Your Storage Requirements and Available Space

In order to select a pre-fabricated quick-ship model that will meet your needs, you must consider both your intended storage requirements and the installation space's dimensions. Typically a small quick-ship model can be as small as 6 feet with a maximum dimension between 12 and 16 feet. However, a custom walk-in box can be larger and configured in a variety of lengths and widths.

When you are determining the interior cubic foot storage space, you can typically consider the wall panels to be 4 inches thick, so subtract 8 inches from the length and 8 inches from the depth of the unit to determine the interior dimensions. To calculate how much space you need, consider if you will be utilizing storage shelving on one wall or two walls, creating an interior aisle. Determine if you will be using a cart or dolly to transport your food and bulk ingredients. If so, you may want to include enough space between shelves to turn the cart around.

Keep in mind the clearances around the unit, especially if you are selecting a side-mounted refrigeration system.

You must also consider the height of the walk-in box. For indoor installations, you will want to choose a height that leaves some clearance on top. This is particularly important if you will be selecting a model with a top-mount refrigeration system. For outdoor installations, height is less important for clearance and more important while considering your storage concerns.

Choosing Your Refrigeration System

The two types of Walk-in refrigeration systems are classified by where they are installed. Self-contained refrigeration systems have a evaporator and condenser component that attaches directly to the walk-in box's top or mounts on one of the sides. Remote refrigeration systems separate the condenser component and are designed to be installed some distance from the walk-in, such as outside the establishment or on the roof of your building.

Self-contained systems are the simplest, fastest, and easiest solution, since the refrigeration mounts directly to the box. There are no long refrigeration coolant lines to run or snake. This choice is ideal for operators who want to get up and running in their location. Be aware that high ambient temperatures in the installation space will affect the efficiency of the cooling unit. And clearance space around the walk-in needs to be taken into account when choosing the dimensions of the walk-in box in relation to the available space.

Remote-cooled systems allow the condenser unit to be far away from the space, so you can locate it where the air is cooler. A remote condenser also is ideal if you are limited on space at your installation site, such as low ceilings or narrow rooms. Be aware that refrigeration coolant lines will need to be run from the walk-in box to the remote condenser and should be installed by a licensed, professional refrigeration company.

Wall Panel Materials

A few points to consider when selecting the material for the walk-in wall panels. Walk-ins are like small buildings and thus they can be prone to all kinds of exterior and interior stresses. For example, metal carts, hand trucks, and dollies bumping into the outer walls and inner walls can dent or scratch the walls. Outdoor walk-in boxes are exposed to the elements, including wind, rain, and salty-air, if near a body of salt water. Chemicals and even food product spills and splashes can cause corrosion. So depending upon your installation location and situation, you will want to choose an appropriate wall material.

Aluminum is a common wall panel material, since it is often economical, lightweight and is not prone to rust, although moisture, chemical splashes, and salty air can cause corrosion. While an aluminum wall panel can be reinforced, aluminum as a material is also easier to ding and dent. It can be less expensive up front but over time the aluminum may show its flaws.

Another common choice for walk-in panel material is galvanized steel. Typically designed to be more durable, the wall panels are heavier and thicker. Galvanized steel can hold up easily against dents and dings and is also rust resistant. However, if the galvanized steel is scratched, it can allow rust to form at the scratch location. Steel is also vulnerable to reaction when in contact with various chemical, so be wary of splashes and spills, which can wear at the galvanized coatings.

Some types of galvanized steel also have an extra polymer coating, such as clear acrylic, for additional protection and to enhance the appearance.

So consider your initial investment, what products you will be storing, the amount of wear and tear from unloading and restocking, and the external weather or immediate surroundings of the walk-in.

Walk-in Base Considerations - Floor or No Floor?

Both outdoor and indoor walk-in models are available with integrated floor paneling or with no floor at all. If at all possible, a walk-in cooler WITHOUT a floor should be set on a sturdy, thick concrete pad. This prevents cold air from escaping out of the walk-in box and also provides a strong, level surface to hold the weight of heavy steel wall panels and stocked shelves.

If it is not possible to install the walk-in without a floor on a concrete pad, then an insulated floor can be installed. This may be a necessity if you are installing an indoor walk-in unit within an existing building that already has flooring, or possibly even installing the walk-in on an upper floor where it would be impossible to pour a concrete pad. An insulated floor comes in a variety of materials and some are reinforced with additional materials, but regardless of construction, the floor panels provide a durable base and can help maintain the cold air within the unit.

A final consideration for choosing a floor or no floor is if you will be utilizing carts, hand trucks or dollies to retrieve or restock your cold storage. To increase the longevity of your walk-in, a floor would be recommended.

Additional Options to Decide On

As we have mentioned in previous sections, one of the decision you will need to make is where you are installing the walk-in unit. If your facility has plenty of room in the back of the house for installing a walk-in storage unit, then you can consider an appropriately-sized indoor walk in.

If available space is at a premium, you will need to consider installing your unit outside of your establishment's building. Outdoor walk-in units have their share of issues to decide upon. Do you have enough space on your property? Will this space be secure? Is the outdoor location easily accessible to your staff? Is the weather in your area variable and can it be harsh, such as heavy rains and wind or will it be under the intense heat of the sun? Do temperatures outside exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which means your condenser will work extra hard? What is the air quality surrounding your establishment? Is it filled with smog from neighboring industrial facilities or salt water from nearby bodies of water, which can increase corrosion to your walk-in's exterior?

If you choose to install your walk-in outside your facility building, you may want to consider having lockable doors on your unit. Or if you choose an indoor model, you may still choose to have locks on the door for better inventory control and theft prevention.

Lastly, some manufacturers of walk-ins have designed combination units with both a commercial freezer and a refrigerated section. These walk-in models have two separated sections/compartments within one walk-in box, which can save space in your back-of-house area. Instead of buying two walk-ins, you can install one unit. But be aware that each compartment will require its own condensing unit. This is especially relevant if you are utilizing remote condensing systems, since you will need to run two sets of wiring and coolant lines to the condensers.

As you can see, purchasing a walk-in refrigeration unit for your business can involve many questions and decisions to be made prior to purchasing the walk-in. If you are having difficulty with determining the answers to these or other questions about a walk-in, consider contacting one of our customer service team members. You can also submit a request for a quote on a walk-in unit to our quote team by providing as much information about your requirements and the installation site as possible and emailing [email protected].

Walk in Refrigerators and Freezers are large refrigeration units designed to store bulk food ingredients at the proper temperatures. These walk in units can accommodate shelving and mobile racks to make food storage and transport easier. Some models are simply the walk in box without any cooling system, so they can be purchased separately (as long as they are compatible). There are also freezer refrigerator walk in combo units so you can have two compartments in a single walk-in box. Available in indoor or outdoor versions.

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