Part 1: When shopping around for a walk-in cooler or freezer the options are dizzying. Where do I get a walk-in? Are there different types of walk-ins? What kind of refrigeration equipment do I need? And possibly the most important of all, how much does it cost for a walk-in cooler?
To start you can give us a call and tell us what you want. We’ll have questions for you and to help prepare you for those questions we’ve created a list of what to think about when planning a walk-in:
The temperature of 95% of walk-ins is one of two temperature ranges. A walk-in cooler is between 33-40°F for food that you do not want frozen. A walk-in freezer is typically between -10-0°F for all of the stuff that you need to be kept frozen. There are some other specialized temperatures for coolers and freezers for different kinds of storage needs but they are less common. Most everyone needs a standard cooler or freezer.
A newer walk temperature that has been making waves in the world is the beer cave where the temperature is kept slightly below freezing because the alcohol in the beer does not freeze at the same temperature as water. These units usually sit at 29-32° and require different refrigeration equipment.
If you have a unique need we will create something custom for you.
This question is easy to answer. You probably know what you want already. There are a few things to think about when it comes to size. 1. If you are planning on putting a walk-in in a room it is required to be a 2-inch from the wall around the sides of the walk-in itself for ventilation. The walk-in can not be put directly against the walls or it will cause issues. 2. The walk-in can be as high as you want. If there is a ceiling in the room you want the walk-in roof to be several inches below it for ventilation as well. If you have unlimited space above, the typical height for a walk-in is 7’6”-8’0” high to the outside dimension but it can be taller if you’d like. 3. The smallest walk-in you should probably get should be no less than 5x5x6 and even that is going to be difficult to get in and out of once it is filled with food. Below a certain size it just makes more sense to have a couple of reach-ins.
If you need a cooler and a freezer, a combo box might be the right option for you. A combo box saves a little bit of money because the cooler and the freezer share a wall and the more you buy the less expensive it is. The cooler and freezer both have their own refrigeration equipment so the temperature is maintained separately. Many restaurants opt for this option because it is more affordable and solves two problems at once.
Walk-in coolers so long as they are above 33° degrees do not need a floor.
Freezers will need an insulated floor to prevent heat loss, moisture issues and concrete cracking. For most smaller freezers designed for foot traffic, a floor is supplied as part of the walk-in box, but once you get to the size where you are going to be driving forklifts in and out things need to be done differently. In those situations a layer of insulation needs to be put down before the concrete is poured to prevent these issues.
Most restaurants, bars, and convenience stores never have to worry about this kind of pre-planning when they are looking for a freezer and the floor that comes with a walk-in freezer box works perfectly for them. Manufacturers even offer ramps inside or outside the walk-in to make it easy for delivery drivers to get hand trucks in and out.
There are a lot of options for doors but 95% of walk-in owners have a single 34” x 78” door that opens outward. Some other options for doors are sliding doors and glass merchandising doors like you will see at almost every convenience store. If you have something specific in mind don’t forget to mention it so it can be a part of the planning process.
Check back in next week for Part 2 of ‘Need a new walk-in cooler? Here's what to expect,’ where we finish our list of what to think about when planning to purchase a walk-in cooler, freezer or combo box.
If you can’t wait until next week to learn more about your walk-in planning you can give us a call and someone can walk you through the process and get the ball rolling for your walk-in. You can get in touch with us and we can answer all of your questions. Call 512-651-4565 in Austin and (806) 787-4985 in Lubbock, Texas Or Visit our website at www.tripointrefrigeration.com
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