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A Buyers Guide to Walk-in Coolers and Walk-in Freezers

How To Choose The Right Walk-in Cooler For Your Commercial Kitchen

buyers-guideHow to choose the right walk-in cooler for your restaurant can be determined by looking into some of the benefits, requirements, and accessories. While units may look similar, there are some important considerations in deciding what will ultimately make the best fit for your kitchen. Pinnacle specializes in installing walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers in a variety of makes and models in both standard and custom sizes for your commercial kitchen.

1. How To Determine What Size Walk-in Cooler Fits Your Needs

One size does not fit all so you must decide if you require a nominal size or a custom size box. These variables will be determined once you consider some fundamental details.
  • Do you require refrigerated or frozen storage?
  • A refrigeration system for a walk-in freezer will be larger and more powerful than a system for a walk-in cooler.
  • Holding temperatures vary from cooler to cooler. What is the desired holding temperature required?
  • Is the product going into the walk-in hot or cold?
  • How fast does the product need to reach the required holding temperature?
  • How much product will you need to store in the walk-in?

2. The Best Location For Your Walk-in Cooler Or Freezer

  • Do you require your cooler to be installed indoors or outdoors?
  • Make sure you have adequate space to accommodate the box. For indoor installation, you are limited by the space you have or the space you can build.
  • If the box will be installed outside, you will need to choose a cooler that is designed for outdoor use and ensure that the area is prepped for installation.
  • For indoor walk-ins, it’s important to remember you will need extra clearance space for ventilation around the box, between interior walls and between the top of the cooler and the ceiling.
  • Regardless of location, a walk-in freezer always requires an insulated floor.

3. Accessories For Walk-ins

  • A strip curtain will help your unit’s energy efficiency. If there is a lot of traffic in and out of the walk-in, strip curtains will block both the rush of cold air coming out into the kitchen and warm air going in; every time this occurs, the system has to work significantly harder to recover.
  • LED lighting uses less energy than traditional bulbs. Inquire if LEDs are a standard feature or an add-on for your unit.
  • A temperature alarm will warn you that your refrigeration is not functioning properly.
  • An internal or external ramp will make wheeling heavy carts into a walk-in freezer more efficient and effortless.
  • Slide access doors are beneficial to retrieve product easily; view windows are available in a variety of sizes to view product or safely operate the door in a busy space.

4. Walk-in Cooler Deliveries, Lead Time, And Follow Up

  • Pinnacle schedules a specific delivery time and day.
  • Lead time for walk-in coolers is approximately 3 weeks from the time it is made until it is shipped from eastern Canada.
  • If your walk-in requires non-standard refrigeration or any component that must be ordered, it may affect your lead time. For example, ordering side access doors may add to your lead time.
  • Pinnacle will follow-up the next day to ensure your unit is running accordingly; however, it cannot be set up perfectly until there is a load of product inside.

5. Walk-in Cooler Warranty

  • Ask about the walk-in cooler warranty coverage in the event something is damaged or malfunctioning and be informed of the process for making a warranty claim.
  • You want to avoid any interruptions to your business that could result in spoiled food inventory and loss of revenue.