When searching for a commercial refrigerator, there are several options and specifications you need to keep in mind to assure that you purchase the refrigerator that will suit your needs.
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The first thing you need to consider when shopping for commercial refrigeration is size. How large of a refrigerator do you need? Also, how large of a refrigerator will fit in your kitchen? If you have a space picked out for your new refrigerator, get the tape measure out to verify dimensions. Be sure to allow for a couple of inches of clearance on the back and sides, for proper air flow.
Solid vs. Glass Doors
Glass door refrigerators are ideal for use as front-of-house merchandisers, although they do not have the extra flair or signage of regular refrigerated merchandisers. For back-of-house use, glass doors help employees quickly locate what they need. However, glass door refrigerators also show clutter and disorganization. If you want to hide disorganized storage methods, consider a solid door refrigerator. Solid door refrigerators are also more energy-efficient than glass door, and you will never have to worry about the glass fogging up.
Casters vs. Legs
How much do you really want to clean behind your refrigerator? Well, with casters you can easily wheel the unit aside to get those pesky dust-bunnies. Whether casters come standard or not depends on the manufacturer and model you choose, but casters are a great way to access the back of your refrigerator. This is especially important when the health inspector wants to take a quick peak.
Doors vs. Drawers
Both under-counter refrigerators and worktop refrigerators can have either doors or drawers. If you intend to store food in full-size food pans, drawers are the best way to go. But if you like scrounging around to find the jar of mayonnaise, units that have doors use shelves to store those hard to find ingredients.
One feature available on glass, solid and mixed door refrigerators is the split door, or one with a Dutch door design. This allows you to only open half of the section at a time, which helps reduce the amount of cold air lost while the doors are open. Mixed door refrigerators feature a glass door on top and solid doors on bottom. Not only does this design help save utility costs, but it means you only have to arrange half of your refrigerator at a time.
Chrome or epoxy coated? Straight or slanted? Adjustable clips or molded slides? All of these questions come to mind when considering commercial refrigerator shelving. In general, epoxy coated shelves are better at repelling moisture and resisting rust, but chrome plated shelves are more aesthetic. Slanted shelves help presentation if you are going to use a glass door refrigerator as a front-of-house merchandiser. If you are going to use the refrigerator for storage alone, you do not really need slanted shelves. But if you are going to be storing items of different sizes at different times throughout the year, you will want to get a refrigerator whose shelves are adjustable in small increments, like one inch increments.