What To Know Before Buying A Walk In Cooler

The purchase of a walk-in refrigerator or cooler can send you on a downward spiral of questions. From what size unit you may need, to the type of door, and how to handle installation - it can often be overwhelming to the purchaser. We’ve compiled a short list of some of the most commonly asked questions to help alleviate some of the stress of purchasing a walk-in freezer and get you on your way.

What Exactly Is A Walk-In Cooler?

Walk-in Coolers provide extra refrigerated and cooled storage space while providing the security of knowing your items are stored at the proper temperature and secure. There are two different types of units - customized and pre-fabricated. Prefabricated units are less expensive because they are built in specific sizes and consequently are often significantly cheaper than customized walk-in units. The drawback to prefabricated units is that they are limited in size and configuration and may not last as long as the customized units. Customized built-in units tend to be pricier as they are custom built to meet the size and needs of your space.

What Makes Up A Walk-In Cooler?

Walk-in coolers are made up of four main components: the refrigeration system, the floor, the wall panels, and the door. The wall panels are foam insulation covered in a thin sheet metal, and there are several different widths and materials. The floor of a walk-in unit is technically optional - you can choose to have your unit installed with or without a floor.  However, if you do choose to include a floor, they often are made of a smooth aluminum. If the floor will be highly trafficked with heavy carts or shelving, you may want to go with a sturdier material. There are two types of doors - swinging and sliding. Most of the time deciding which style of door to use depends on the space constraints of the area where the unit is being installed. The fourth and most complex and important part of the unit is the refrigeration system. There are four main types of refrigeration systems: remote systems, pre-assembled remote systems, side mount systems, and top mount systems. Top mount systems are self-contained and come pre-assembled, with the evaporator coil being inside or on top of the unit itself. Top mount systems are more common in outside units as they tend to discharge heavy amounts of heat. Side mount systems are similar to top mount systems, but are mounted to the side panel of a walk-in cooler unit and are an efficient solution for buildings with low ceilings. Remote systems are less expensive than the top and side mount units, and are set up apart from the walk-in unit to reduce the ventilation needs of the unit. Remote systems are charged with refrigerant on site, and require a professional technician to build, assemble, and install the system. Pre-assembled remote systems are the pre-built solution to remote systems and allow for an easy installation by a certified technician.

How Do I Install A Walk-In Cooler?

Walk-in units require professional installation from a licensed and certified technician. Contact us today for a list of trusted installers.

Does My Walk-In Unit Require A Floor?

It depends on the requirements of your space. If you have a level concrete floor, you may not need a walk-in floor. However, for floors that are not level or insulated you would need to install an insulated floor to allow the walk-in unit to cool properly. Your local health department may require a floor to be installed, so it is best to check with your local health department to confirm their requirements before ordering your walk-in cooler.

  • An insulated floor is required for freezers. Coolers may need an insulated floor depending on the location and application.
  • If you are installing a cooler with no floor, you can choose to insulate the concrete slab underneath with extruded polystyrene (“XPS”) sheets. Please see our architectural specification for further details.
  • Under no circumstance should you install a cooler without a cooler floor over wood framed flooring or on the second floor. Condensation will develop under the floor.
  • Freezers must be installed with insulated floor panels or a concrete mass insulated floor. NAKS will provide required materials to insulate a concrete floor.

What Size Unit Do I Need?

Our walk-in coolers are pre-built in specific sizes. If you are unsure what size unit you need, we suggest asking a local walk-in cooler installer to come out and measure the correct size unit for your application.  Be aware that the unit size you need depends not only on what you plan to store in the unit but also may be limited by installation tolerances.

Purchasing a walk-in cooler may seem like a daunting task, but our team of experts is available to help answer any your questions. You can also check out our walk-in builder tool to get a better idea of what you may need and the price of the right walk-in cooler for you.