Indoor vs. Outdoor Walk-in Coolers

Indoor vs. Outdoor Walk-in Coolers

When you’re trying to decide which commercial refrigerators to buy, choosing between indoor and outdoor walk-in coolers can be difficult. While both types of coolers are a good choice for restaurants, bars, distilleries and other businesses that rely on large-scale refrigeration, indoor and outdoor coolers have distinct quirks. Depending on your building and property size, there may be a clear winner—but if you’re still trying to determine what to buy, read on.

Should you choose an indoor or outdoor cooler?

Here are some of the factors you’ll need to take into account when making a commercial refrigerator purchase:

  • Major differences: Since indoor and outdoor coolers are made differently, they require different features. When you buy an outdoor model, you’ll need extra weatherproofing. For example, rain roofs, weather sealing strips, panel protection and other weather protection is necessary to insulate the cooler and keep it safe from the elements.
  • Type of product: What will you store in your walk-in cooler? Depending on the product, the refrigeration needs may change. For example, most coolers “assume” that you’ll be storing the product at 33 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will enter the cooler around 55 degrees. For freezers, it’s assumed that the holding temperature is -10 degrees Fahrenheit, but the products will enter around 20 degrees. Because the models and refrigeration type can vary, make sure that your cooler can handle the size and type of product you need to store. If they’re entering or holding at different temperatures, you may not get the right type of cooler.
  • Flooring: Do you need special flooring? That depends on whether you have an indoor or outdoor cooler—usually. Unless you already have a concrete floor with thermal breaks, both your indoor and outdoor coolers will need flooring. Furthermore, if you plan to carry heavy loads in and out of your cooler, it’s best to install a thermal break, as it will help prevent condensation from forming.
  • Airflow: You’ll need at least two inches around the cooling panels. When you design your space, make sure there’s plenty of room for airflow. Otherwise, condensation will build up, which is not conducive to good operation of commercial refrigerators.
  • Location: Your location will also have a major effect on your cooler—depending on if you’re in a warmer or cooler part of Oregon, you’ll need to size your cooler accordingly. Check the ambient temperature in your cooler specifications to ensure it will work for your needs.
  • Delivery: When you have your cooler delivered, it can be difficult to move everything to where it needs to go—make sure you know whether you need to have a forklift available or if your refrigeration company will help deliver and install the cooler.
  • Refrigeration type: Finally, determine which type of refrigeration is right for you. Pre-assembled and remote refrigeration versions have their advantages and drawbacks. Ask your vendor about what’s best for your particular setup.

When you need commercial refrigerators and walk-in coolers, American Refrigeration Inc. is here to help. Call us today to learn more about our offerings and find out which type of cooler is best for you.