With all the manufacturers and options available, choosing a new refrigerator can seem like a daunting task. This decision is further complicated when purchasing a refrigerator for a professional kitchen or catering business. For more info to help you make up your mind, check out our guide to learn seven tips for buying the best commercial refrigerator available.
1. The Best Commercial Refrigerators Will Have Recessed Handles
While this may seem like a minor issue, choosing a refrigerator with recessed door handles makes quite a difference. If you were thinking of buying a fridge with a barred door handle, think again.
Consider how many times per day you and your staff will need to open and close the refrigerator. Barred handles are prone to loosening or breaking off with repeated use. You could need to repair your commercial refrigerator much sooner than you think.
Recessed Door handles will not break because they are incorporated right into the refrigerator door itself. They also help ensure you have an ergonomic way to open and close the door while helping to avoid accumulating dust and dirt.
2. Make Sure That the Warranty Has You Covered
Even with the most reliable brand of refrigerator, you will need to have your unit repaired or service eventually. If and when you need to call in the professionals, you should make sure that your warranty will provide swift service and no additional costs.
You need to make sure that any repairs will be covered and taken care of by professionals. To ensure good results, you should make sure to check what each manufacturer's warrant will cover and for how long. Thankfully, the commercial refrigerator industry provides some of the best warranties available, including parts and labor with up to three years of coverage.
Reputable manufacturers also have large networks of skilled workers. These repair professionals will get your commercial refrigerator up and running as soon as possible.
3. Look for a Bottom Mount Condenser Unit
If you are looking to buy the best commercial refrigerator, you want to make sure that you are getting your money's worth. Your refrigerator should be as ergonomic as possible for you and your employee's needs. With that in mind, you should consider purchasing a unit with a bottom mount condensing unit, rail mounted for your convenience.
Having your condenser unit mounted on the bottom will make cleaning and maintenance much easier. No one will have to climb a ladder and put themselves at risk.
Additionally, bottom mounted condensers will give you extra storage space on top of the refrigerator. This is very useful in a cramped kitchen.
4. Heavy Duty Foam-In-Place Insulation Is a Must
While this feature is not visible to the naked eye, you should buy a fridge with high-quality foam insulation. Doing so will make a massive difference in food storage and quality.
For clarification, Foam-In-Place means that the refrigerator's insulation has been sprayed into the sides and doors from top to bottom. Spray foaming a refrigerator creates a complete seal for the whole unit. This technique creates greater energy efficiency and keeps food fresh for longer periods.
Cheaper refrigerators rely on solid blocks of foam which are cut and fit into the unit. The seal created is not airtight and will cause a higher electricity bill for your kitchen.
When you buy a commercial refrigerator, make sure that that the foam is a premium brand of insulation, such as Ecomate. You should also check that the thickness of the foam is at least two inches for the greatest efficiency.
5. Buy a Commercial Refrigerator That Is Completely Stainless Steel
Regardless of the food business, you are buying your commercial refrigerator for, you should be aware of the phrase, "You get what you pay for." One of your first concerns should be that your refrigerator is only as good as the materials that make up its construction. For this reason, you should consider only buying a commercial refrigerator that uses stainless steel for everything.
Plastic interiors are the cheapest and most common option, but plastic can crack and break within a couple of years. Providing a midpoint in price between plastic and steel, aluminum is far less strong or durable than stainless steel.
Aluminum is also far easier to scratch than stainless steel. This makes your commercial refrigerator less sanitary and much harder to clean.
Any money that you may save by compromising on aluminum or plastic will go towards repairs and maintenance. This will cost you more money in the long run.
Stainless steel is by far the best material for your commercial refrigerator. To make sure that your money isn't wasted, look for a thick gage refrigerator that is stainless steel from top to bottom.
6. Buy a Commercial Refrigerator with a Digital Temperature Control Unit
When working with foodstuffs that are prone to spoiling, it can be difficult to ensure that your commercial refrigerator is keeping everything at the correct temperature. With a digital temperature control unit, you can ensure that you have complete control over your whole refrigerator.
With a digital display and the ability to control the temperature in single degree increments, you can rest assured that your food will be properly stored at all times. You won't have to worry or guess what your refrigerator's temperature settings are set at, allowing you to store your food with the greatest efficiency.
7. Welded Corners and Standard Necessary Features
One of the best signs of a high-quality commercial refrigerator is whether your stainless steel fridge has welded corners. Refrigerator corners are where your clothes will get caught, where dust will collect and where wear and are often the weakest part of the unit. When you see a commercial refrigerator without welded corners, you should consider not purchasing it.
You should also make sure that your refrigerator has interior lighting, wheeled castors for easy movement and can be locked for security purposes. If the model you're looking at doesn't include these standard commercial features, avoid it and move on.
Buying The Best Commercial Refrigerator Is Easier Than You Think
Picking the right unit can be difficult with the sheer number of commercial refrigerators available on the market. With our seven helpful tips, buying your next commercial refrigerator will be a walk in the park.
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