Condensation and Humidity - A Walk-In Cooler’s Biggest Threat

Walk-In coolers and freezers have commercial applications spanning from restaurants to convenience stores… hospitals to medical labs. The refrigeration and cooling units have one job - the preserve an internal temperature that will keep whatever is being stored from spoiling or going bad. Cooling will almost always bring humidity and condensation build up, however a properly running unit will be able to prevent and remove any build up that may occur. But what causes humidity and condensation, what damage can it cause, and what can be done to prevent it?


Humidity occurs when there is a high concentration fo water vapor in the air. It is always present - it is just lower and less apparent in some areas, and higher and very apparent in others. In the case of walk-in coolers, opening and closing of the unit’s door will almost always cause a rush of warm air to enter the cooler unit, causing an increase of humidity inside of your unit. The higher the humidity inside the unit, the harder the compressor and other components need to work to get it out. In most cases a working walk-in cooler or freezer will be able to easily push the humidity out, however too much humidity can be damaging. If the components of the unit are unable to properly disperse of the humidity, they often will work overtime in attempt to push out the humidity, leading to potential wear and tear to the components and causing a higher-than-normal electricity spend. 


Manually gauging the humidity inside of your walk-in unit may be difficult, however there are indicators to look out for. 


  • Frost and ice build up on metal or glass surfaces inside the walk-in unit
  • Ice build up on any fixtures, walls, ceiling / floor, or cold surfaces
  • Ice build up on the evaporator coils
  • Water or condensation build up that leads to puddles 
  • A ‘misty’ feel in the air inside the unit
  • Stored goods that show visible signs of water build up or damage


If you do see any of these humidity and condensation signs, you should do a quick check to see if you can notice any damage to the door, door seal, or insulation panels of your walk-in unit. Cracked door seals or small punctures to the exterior of the unit will lead to small amounts of air getting in and out of the unit. These small leaks may not seem too damaging at first, but over time it will lead to your compressor and other components getting unnecessary wear / tear and damage, as well as potentially spoiling whatever items are being stored in the unit. In the case that you do see signs of humidity and condensation build ups inside of your walk-in cooler or freezer, it is highly recommended that you reach out to a local certified technician and have them come out and take a look. Hopefully by keeping an eye out for these problem points above you can detect any issues early enough where the financial repercussions will not be too severe. The longer the issues go unsolved, the likelihood that any repairs needed will be significantly more expensive. HoodMart provides our customers with a wide range of walk-in coolers and freezers - as well as all walk-in accessories such as door hinges, kick plates, and light fixtures. HoodMart Walkin Coolers are Guaranteed To Pass ALL City & State Codes. ALL HoodMart® Walk-In Coolers and Freezers are UL Listed Panels and Doors, NSF Listed, EISA & U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Compliant, and Listed and Certified for all States, including City of Houston, State of Oregon, New York City. Custom Hurricane Approved Units Available. If you still have questions regarding the purchase of your walk-in cooler or freezer, please feel free to contact one of our experts today by calling us at 1.800.715.1014 or by contacting us through our live chat system.