U-Select Buying Guides: Fridges

By Phil Scoble

Fridges are vital parts of any kitchen, but how do you choose the perfect fridge for your business? Here we outline the questions you should be asking before you choose refrigeration. 
 

1: What space do you have? 

 
A basic question, but one which many people fail to answer before they order. You should be thinking about what space you have IN your kitchen, but on the WAY to the kitchen too.  How wide are the doorways on the way to the kitchen? Are there any awkward stairways or obstructions on it’s route to its final home? Check these measurements against  the dimensions of a unit before you buy. You may be liable for delivery charges if the unit doesn’t fit! 
 

2: Do you want a prep counter? 

 
If space is at a premium and you have a high-footfall cafe or pub, a prep counter fridge could be the perfect solution. These have a drop-in top with slots for serving pots to keep the food you are serving cool and fresh. The key here is you don’t need to dip into the fridge for ingredients as often. This makes your production more efficient, because your fridge will uses less power. The compressor doesn’t have to keep fighting to keep the temperature down when you open the door. 
 

3: Do you need a vent on the top or bottom of the fridge? 

 
This is an important consideration for certain types of business. Bakeries often have flour and other ingredients in the atmosphere. This means it’s better for them to have top vents on their fridges and freezers. This prevents the vents getting clogged up, which can put pressure on the fridge’s compressor reducing efficiency.
 
As heat rises, if you don’t have a dusty atmosphere, a low-down vent will help your fridge be more efficient. The compressor won’t heat up so much, so be clear about what you need. 
 

4: What climate class do you need?

 
Look out for the climate class rating of the fridge.  Class 4 will only guarantee to hold its temperature up to 32 degrees celsius. This is not really good enough for a fully operational commercial kitchen. So if you need to use your fridges IN a hot kitchen, get a Class 5 fridge, which guarantee operation up to 43 degrees. 
 

Our advice

 
Measure, measure and measure again before you click ‘purchase’! We often find there are problems with fitting a fridge through difficult doorways, stairways and entrance halls.
 
Take your time to decide how efficient you need your fridges to be. Climate Class 5 is the industry benchmark. If you are putting your fridges in a hot kitchen, then this is normally best.
 
If you are in doubt, give us a call. We can talk you through the options if you have a tricky site or need more storage than you can fit into your kitchen.
Merrychef Eikon e2s
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