A Guide to Buying Commercial Refrigerators: 4 Tips
When it comes time to buy a new reach-in refrigerator or freezer for your business, you’ll notice there are more than a few options out there. It isn’t always easy to choose new restaurant equipment, but we’re here to help with that. Here are 4 tips for picking out just the right icebox for your kitchen.
1. Keep an Eye on the Brand
Like most products you buy, your commercial refrigerator’s brand matters. There are a lot of manufacturers out there, so it’s important to zero in on a manufacturer you know you can trust. Some brands are going to focus on producing the highest quality units; other brands will aim to provide uncompromised value at the best possible price. Bottom line: every manufacturer has its niche. True, Turbo Air, and Delfield are three well-known and trusted names in the refrigeration biz that are worth putting your stock in.
2. Check Out the Warranty
Nothing lasts forever, and even the best refrigerators on earth eventually need service. When that happens, you want your unit fixed in a jiff. The commercial refrigeration segment has some of the most extensive warranties available in the restaurant equipment industry, with some brands offering up to 3 years parts and labor coverage. Oftentimes, these warranties are complemented by a large service network of certified technicians that helps get your unit back up and running quickly should any mishaps occur. Knowing what each brand offers for warranty and service will help you choose the reach-in that’s right for you.
3. Choose a Size
Refrigerators and freezers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. One of the most common ways to measure size is the number of doors; reach-ins are generally available in 1, 2, and 3 door configurations. To find the right unit for your kitchen, start with what you know: measure the space in your kitchen so you have the exterior dimensions nailed down. Don’t forget about the doorways; your fridge or freezer will need to fit through those, too.
Next, look at the interior dimensions. How much storage space do you need? Some units will have the same exterior dimensions but differ in available interior cubic feet. Consider your regular stock purchases and how many customers you serve on a daily basis and choose a unit that will accommodate your business needs.
4. Decide on Condenser Location
The condensing unit is the part of your refrigerator that does most of the hard work of keeping your food stock cold. Reach-ins come in two flavors: top-mount and bottom-mount. Both configurations have their proper places in different settings.
Bottom-mount units are often chosen for their greater ease of cleaning and maintenance, better accessibility to food stock, and lower strain on the unit in hotter conditions. On the other hand, top-mount configurations are often preferred because they don’t trap as much dust and debris, and they don’t blow hot air into the cabinet when the doors are opened. There are pros and cons to both setups, so you should weigh the options and decide which is better for your business.
While there are lots of options for refrigerators and freezers, we’re confident that if you pay careful attention to these four critical areas, you’ll make a great buying decision.