Plenty of businesses in Charlotte and the surrounding areas will turn to Putnam Mechanical for commercial refrigeration installations. Given how critical a commercial refrigerator is to the operation of a business that has one, you need to think hard about how to select the right system. Add these six items to your checklist as you consider your purchase.

1. Location

Many businesses don’t have the advantage of building their location with refrigerator placement in mind. The location within the building matters for a host of reasons. Foremost, placing the refrigerator in a spot that gets lots of hot or humid air can make it work harder. Also, you need to have an appropriate electrical system at the location or upgrade the system at your preferred spot. Drainage can be an issue, too.

Note that the location may impose some limits on your choice of refrigerator. You will probably want to avoid a tight fit because that can create ventilation and safety issues. Likewise, servicing the refrigerator can be a challenge. Whenever possible, try to use a location that will maximize utility, efficiency, and serviceability.

2. Type

The type of refrigerator also matters. Usually, the nature of your operation will dictate the best type of commercial refrigerator. For example, many restaurants favor walk-in refrigerators to allow them to purchase and store bulk goods. A kitchen with a tight space might need an under-counter design to maximize accessibility. Businesses that need to merchandise items can also buy refrigerators that double as displays.

You may want to purchase several refrigerators to accommodate multiple requirements. A hotel kitchen might offer walkout items at the counter, for example. That business is likely to need something like a reach- or walk-in refrigerator for storage and prep work, but then, it might also need a merchandising refrigerator for sales. Try to assess all of your needs during the purchasing process to minimize installation and transportation costs.

3. Structural Support

A typical commercial refrigerator can get heavy. You don’t want to have the refrigerator’s weight damage the floor or go right through it. Many businesses will ask outside contractors to reinforce the flooring where the refrigerator will go. Even if a previous refrigerator had been in the same spot, it is wise to assess the structural support. Your commercial refrigerator is a notable investment, and you want to be sure that the structural support will be robust enough to handle the combined weight of the unit and its contents.

4. Refrigerator Organization

A commercial refrigerator is more than a machine to keep items cool. It provides the organization for all of its contents. Likewise, things like the options for shelving, doors, and drawers will all affect your business processes. Bear in mind that even a minor annoyance or inefficiency in the refrigerator’s organization will have a negative compounding effect over time. Time is money, and the wrong refrigerator setup can cost you dearly over the coming years.

If you’re unsure which refrigerator system to use, talk with our technicians. Also, discuss the available options with other business owners with similar needs. Diagram the traffic flow around the refrigerator to anticipate how organizational issues might emerge. The best time to solve organizational problems with a commercial refrigerator is before you purchase it. The right refrigerator will improve your processes, and the wrong one will have employees cussing.

5. Temperature Range

Many commercial refrigerators operate in specific temperature ranges. A business that sells beer, for example, is going to use a different temperature range than one that’s proofing dough for a week. Make sure that your choice of refrigerator is a good match for the appropriate temperature range for your use case. Also, be wary of one-size-fits-all solutions. It is often better to purchase a single-purpose system for one job and a more general-purpose one for other needs than to try to make one refrigerator do everything.

6. System Efficiency

Most businesses are going to run their refrigerators hard enough that system efficiency will trump other factors in the buying process. The availability of temperature controls and automated defrosting can make a big difference in a refrigerator’s operating life. Also, the ENERGY STAR ratings provide excellent clues about the general efficiency of the refrigerator. Refrigerators with better insulation and thicker construction will cost more up front, but they’re usually cheaper in the long run.

Putnam Mechanical has proudly helped many businesses in Charlotte and the surrounding areas with their commercial refrigeration needs. We also take on plenty of similar jobs, including HVAC and electrical work. If you’re preparing to buy and install a commercial refrigerator, contact Putnam Mechanical today for a consultation for your commercial building.

company icon