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From cooling to freezing, commercial refrigeration serves a critical purpose in several industries. These applications include keeping food and beverages chilled and preventing bacteria from growing.

There are numerous types of commercial refrigeration available, all of which come in various shapes and sizes and serve different purposes. This article will examine what commercial refrigeration is, why it’s essential, and the various available types of commercial refrigeration.

What Is Commercial Refrigeration, and Why Is it Important?

A variety of industries and organizations utilize commercial refrigeration. Businesses that require them include food and beverage businesses, supermarkets, convenience stores, and bars and restaurants.

Additionally, hospitals and medical research centers frequently utilize commercial refrigeration systems to maintain the proper temperature of delicate medicines. At the same time, floral shops may also have refrigeration equipment to prevent fresh-cut flowers from withering.

So, how does a commercial refrigeration system work?

Commercial refrigeration systems use a refrigerant solution to transfer heat from the food stored inside the refrigeration unit to the refrigerant. Then, the refrigerant is sent through a series of pressure changes while cycling through the refrigeration system to enhance efficiency and speed. It removes heat from the refrigerated region to keep it cold.

The compressor performs an essential role by allowing the refrigerant to run the circuit as it absorbs heat from within the refrigeration system. The pressure in the refrigeration system then drops as it passes through a metering device or expansion valve. As the refrigerant reaches the evaporator, the heat absorbs from the cold space. Afterward, the process repeats itself.

Types of Commercial Refrigeration Systems

From storing large amounts of food and liquor at the proper storage temperature to preserving various meats, there are multiple reasons why someone might be looking for commercial refrigeration systems.

Whatever the reason, browsing the wide selection of units in today’s market and finding one that meets your requirements can be more complex than expected. Not only are there various forms of commercial refrigeration, but they’re also available in many shapes and sizes.

There are a few categories used to separate the different types of refrigeration systems.

  • Chillers. Chillers keep food and beverages chilled below room temperature but above freezing to prevent spoiling and bacteria growth.
  • Freezers. Freezers store perishable items to keep them from deteriorating.
  • Combo Chillers and Freezers. Combo chillers and freezers combine the two previously mentioned items to chill and freeze perishable food and beverage products.

Now, let’s look at specific types of commercial refrigeration systems available on the market.

  • Reach-in vertical cases and refrigerators
  • Walk-in coolers and freezers
  • Prep tables
  • Under-counter refrigerators
  • Glass-door merchandisers
  • Open-air coolers
  • Back bar coolers
  • Bottle coolers
  • Chef Bases
  • Worktop refrigerators
  • Draft beer systems
  • Bakery display cases
  • Medical refrigerators
  • Floral coolers

Reach-In Vertical Cases and Refrigerators

Reach-in refrigerators are the most common choice for keeping dairy, seafood, raw meats, prepared foods, and other perishables at acceptable temperatures. These are ideal storage cabinets for back-of-house activities, as both glass and solid door reach-in units come with either half or full-length doors.

Walk-In Coolers and Freezers

Walk-in coolers are an excellent investment if you’re planning to operate a restaurant that will require a lot of food storage. Businesses can utilize this form of commercial refrigeration for various purposes, including keg storage and the storage of vast quantities of perishable goods, such as juices, alcohol, and bulk or boxed items.

Prep Tables

Prep tables are commonly found in a commercial kitchen’s preparation section or cook line. They have plenty of storage on top of the unit for widely used products, ingredients, sauces, and additional cabinet storage.

Under-Counter Refrigerators

Under-counter refrigerators work similarly to upright reach-in units, but the difference being they are significantly smaller and fit into much more compact areas. Under-counter refrigerators can provide additional cold storage for beverages and ingredients in areas with limited vertical space, be it a hotel room or behind the bar in a restaurant.

Glass-Door Merchandisers

Glass-door merchandisers are found at convenience stores, grocery stores, and other businesses that offer canned and bottled beverages and packaged food items. These systems assist employees in promoting grab-and-go drinks and other additional items to potential customers.

Open-Air Coolers

Open-air coolers are ideal for storing grab-and-go items like prepared salads and sandwiches, bottled and canned beverages, and fresh fruit, as there is no door to separate customers from their impulse purchases.

Back Bar Coolers

Back bar coolers keep bottles, cans of beer, and wine cold so bartenders can quickly serve thirsty guests and provide a more streamlined aesthetic.

Bottle Coolers

Bottle coolers keep bottles and cans at the perfect serving temperature, and they’re ideal for businesses that don’t require visual merchandising.

Chef Bases

Much like a prep table, chef bases have a workbench surface and a chilled base to provide a food prep station that enhances workflow and allows cooks to store commonly used products and ingredients safely.

Worktop Refrigerators

Worktop refrigerators allow for an independent workspace and often include a robust tabletop over a refrigerated base.

Draft Beer Systems

Draft beer systems allow for employees to serve chilled beer directly from kegs hidden within the cabinet base.

Bakery Display Cases

Bakery display cases are a vital merchandising tool for any business, whether it’s a modest, family-owned coffee shop or a bustling cake shop. These allow restaurants to feature products right up front so that customers can see all of the baked goods and pastries.

Medical Refrigerators

Medical refrigerators are built for laboratory, medical, and scientific use to store sensitive medicines that need to be kept at specific temperatures.

Floral Coolers

Floral coolers keep fresh-cut flowers in the best possible condition.

Commercial Refrigeration Services Done Right

If you’re considering utilizing commercial refrigeration at your business, you’ve come to the right place. At Design Mechanical, commercial refrigeration is one of our specialties. 

Our team of hard-working experts delivers the best commercial refrigeration repair services, preventative maintenance programs, installation services, inspections, and emergency services in the Kansas City region.

We strive to provide businesses with a wide variety of top-notch services, including design, construction, mechanical, restaurant, refrigeration, and HVAC. If you’re considering installing commercial refrigeration at your place of business, give us a call at Design Mechanical today to receive a quote and schedule a free consultation.