Cool rooms vs. freezers: How do I choose?

Do you run a food-related business? Then you should invest in a cold storage solution. And two examples of such solutions are commercial cool rooms and industrial freezers. While both are designed to safely store perishable items in low temperatures, there are key differences between them.

Depending on the specific application, one may be better suited to you than the other. Read on to find out more on what we here at Allfield, the Perth coolroom specialists, believe to be those differences.

 

Which is which?

 

A cool room is a large room kept at a temperature lower than room temperature for long term, stable storage of perishable foods. They have rubber-sealed glass doors and ample storage space. They can also be fitted out with automated triggers, such as door alarms and red warning lights, to help reduce the length of time your door stays open, and therefore your electricity bill.

A freezer is a long term item storage unit that is closed and sealed, but can also be easily accessed. It has mechanical and electrical components that keep a thick rim of ice frozen inside the insulated chamber. It’s often equipped with a durable door, defrost pipes, drip alarms, and other components that can prevent the ice from ruining the storage of products.

So what makes them so cold? Both freezers and coolrooms use a thing called refrigerant. Refrigerant is a liquid chemical material that runs through heat pumps, allowing refrigeration systems to cool while removing heat. Refrigerant is necessary for their smooth operation because minimised cooling capacity can:

  • Result in wasted energy
  • Lead to wear and tear
  • Compromise and spoil the contents inside

And we don’t want any of this..

 

Temperature

 

One of the key differences between cool rooms and walk-in freezers are their contrasting temperature characteristics. They both use different degrees of cooling power to accomplish similar objectives.

Coolrooms are designed to keep items cold, not frozen. Whereas freezers are designed to, you guessed it, keep items frozen.

 

Characteristics of a cool room

 

The main objective of a cool room is to keep food products and perishable items cold. Therefore, commercial coolrooms need to maintain a stable temperature constantly. Not only does this keep items fresh and prevent them from spoiling, but it also helps avoid freezer burn, which is one of the leading causes of food waste.

Ask anyone in the HVAC services industry in Perth, and they’ll say the standard rule of thumb is to keep your refrigerator below 4 degrees Celsius, but warmer than zero. Therefore, a cool room should ideally function around 2-3 degrees Celsius.

Cool rooms are known for storing common items like bottled drinks, soft drink cans, fruits, vegetables, seafood, meats, and dairy. But did you know they can also store other perishables like flowers and cosmetics, so they can be valuable for florists or makeup factories?

 

Characteristics of a freezer

 

Freezers are made to be colder than cool rooms and keep the temperature below zero degrees Celsius, to the point where the water comes ices. For optimal storage, they should run at levels around  -18 degrees Celsius.

To maintain these frosty temperatures, freezers must be paired with a digital thermostat. All components that make up the freezer can sustain the temperature requirements of this storage solution. They usually store things such as already cooked meals, keeping them frozen for months at a time.

 

Health & safety

 

There are important items that always need to be in cold storage for health and safety reasons. Both coolrooms and freezers are designed with this in mind. However, there are a few key differences between how they keep said items at a stable and consistent temperature.

 

Characteristics of a cool room

 

Law requires you keep food prep items at certain temperatures in order for them to be edible and safe for the population to consume. Cool rooms keep up with these sanitary standards required of a business.

They allow you to easily enforce temperature control with accurate thermostats. This limits your chance of food entering the ‘danger zone’, where bacterial growth causes food poisoning to occur. They can also include a built-in automatic control to balance out if and/or when the temperatures inside change.

Cool rooms also enhance food procedures and standards. Given how they’re designed, they can easily and effectively implement high-quality food storage and handling. Here’s how:

  1. Can stock extra gods that aren’t in the cabinet display, keeping them fresh.
  2. Because you can easily see everything, you can implement the FIFO rule, to ensure the first products that go in are the first to go out.

While they cater to all types of business – whether small, medium or large –  they majorly benefit small food businesses like individual or family owned restaurants and cafes (see some of the businesses we have provided cool room services to across Perth).

 

Characteristics of a freezer

 

Colder temperatures provided by a freezer prevent bacteria and other elements from ruining the quality of food products, even after storing them for a long time. They can also prevent the contamination of products, as long as they’re stored properly. Diary products, raw meats and seafood, cooked pasta and noodles — you name it, you can safely freeze it.

 

Structural capabilities

 

While freezers are used for the specific purpose of keeping perishable items safe and edible, they don’t have the same operational model as cool rooms. For instance, a commercial coolroom can also be maximised as a work area, with the loading and unloading of goods top of mind.

If a product is not ready to be used yet, a cool room has enough space to hold it. Whether it’s beverages for a bottle shop, food for a shop or restaurant, medical samples for a laboratory, or flowers for a florist — they can provide storage areas such as cabinets, shelves, and more.

Because of this, they encourage the correct storage of products. A commercial cool room ensures the following:

  • Organisational flow for your business, which is great during rush periods if you own a cafe, restaurant, fast food chain, or other type of eatery.
  • Organisation and accessibility as standard (remember that FIFO rule we spoke about earlier?) because ingredients need to be found easily and quickly.
  • Spaced out products, which promotes better air flow circulation.
  • Greatly diminishes the risk of cross-contamination.

 

Coolrooms in Perth

 

How well your commercial refrigerator works can really influence the overall operational capacity of your business. If you want to increase efficiency and decrease downtime and costs, then you need to choose a trusted technician.

While we may be known here at Allfield for our commercial air conditioning and commercial air conditioning maintenance services in Perth, we’re also known for our top of the line cool rooms.

We provide cost-effective solutions for our client’s requirements, including commercial freezers, walk-in cold rooms, and store display refrigerators. Designing, building and installing all of our HVAC and refrigeration systems, we only use the best materials to ensure your cold storage solution lasts a long time.

We can also diagnose issues and identify repair needs to your existing Perth refrigeration equipment. Our 24/7 service offering and streamlined methodology is a timely and cost-effective solution, minimising the chances a breakdown occurs again.

 

After a cool room that improves functionality, increases efficiency, produces cost savings, and reduces your environmental impact? Our team of experts are ready to tailor a system to your project. Contact us today.