Are other walk-in manufacturers using extruded polystyrene?

Yes. And just like we learned in 2008 that XPS was a superior technology for cooling walk-ins, other manufacturers have caught on as well.

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Can I build my own walk-in?

Sure, but why? We are confident the average customer cannot acquire the necessary materials at the prices we do. Also, you will have a tough time ensuring that your walk-in will meet the standards of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2009 (EISA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) standards, as well as other regional requirements. If your walk-in does not pass the minimum health standards, your local health department won’t let you operate it.

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Do I need a floor in my walk-in?

Whether it is a cooler or a freezer, we always recommend that you purchase and install a panel floor to control the temperature in your walk-in. But just like when mom used to tell you to wash behind your ears, we know you may not always take our suggestions. If you want to be a risk taker, just make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • 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 (XPS) polystyrene sheets. Please see our architectural specifications 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.

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Do you have customer testimonials?

We sure do! We would never expect you just to take our word that we are the best! You can check out our success stories online here. We are confident that your testimonial will be added to this list soon enough!

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Do you use wood in your walk-ins?

Wood is not a preferred material for use in insulation products. In addition, wood absorbs moisture. Wood also has a tendency to warp and expand with cold and hot air, causing gaps that could let in heat.

It is always important to find out the specific materials a manufacturer uses in their walk-ins. Many use wood liberally as 2" x 4" inch tongue and groove edging around panels, in all their doors, as well as in their ceilings. We don’t use wood in our standard walk-in walls, ceilings or floors. We use approved marine plywood in our reinforced floor, and in some of our custom doors.

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How do I find out what size of refrigeration system I need?

Contact a NAKS sales representative at 1-800-854-3267 to help you with this question. Typically, NAKS will be able to determine the appropriate size of your refrigeration system during the quoting process.

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How much do your walk-ins typically weigh?

The weight of a walk-in varies widely by the size. Wall and ceiling panels weigh 2.4 lbs per sq. ft., floors weigh 3.9 lbs per sq. ft., and the standard door weighs 165 lbs. For a reinforced floor or an outdoor hurricane walk-in, weight will increase by approximately 10%. Depending on the size of the walk-in you are purchasing, some quick math should give you a better idea of what your walk-in weight will weigh.

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What does R-value mean?

R-value is how all insulation is rated: it is the resistance to heat transfer. The higher the R-value of your insulation, the cooler your walk-in unit will stay, the less your refrigeration unit will have to work, and the greater your savings. What's even better, our insulation has a 50-year R-value warranty to guarantee thermal performance practically for a lifetime.

Many factors contribute to the R-value level in your insulation, such as:

  • Whether the insulation is prone to deteriorate.
  • Age of the insulation.
  • Whether the insulation is hydrophobic (water resistant).
  • Amount of condensation (water) on the insulation, which will lead to ice build-up inside the insulation.
  • Whether the insulation has different density in the panel and voids throughout.
  • Type of insulation: Extruded Polystyrene or Urethane.
  • Thickness of the insulation: typically 4" thick for coolers and freezers.

Here is where the difference in extruded polystyrene insulation (XPS) and polyurethane insulation (foam-in-place) becomes very important. XPS insulation is designed not to develop deviations within the insulation. It is hydrophobic, meaning it will not collect condensation or become water logged with ice build-up over time. Most importantly, XPS is proven to retain three times larger R-value ratings than foam-in-place insulation after a 5-year period. This means that although foam and XPS both display high R-values on the day of install, XPS will keep your walk-in three times cooler after five years on the job. The chart below will help illustrate the value of XPS:

  R-value rating at Install After 5 years
Polyurethane (foamed-in-place) 32 8
Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) 32 24

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What kind of insulation will my NAKS walk-in have?

All our walk-ins use extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation created by The Dow Chemical Company, and all our insulation comes with a 50-year R-value warranty from Dow Chemical. NAKS stands by XPS as the superior insulation product in the industry.

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What makes NAKS better than other walk-in companies?

Our 32-year-old company is known for building the best walk-ins with the highest quality materials, most advanced technology and the best warranties in the business. We stand behind our products because we know that they outperform the competition.

We are proud to offer our XPS insulation. That alone takes the foamed-in walk-in manufacturers out of the running in terms of long-term high-quality materials.

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What type of glass doors do you use on your walk-ins?

We use and would recommend two types of glass doors:

  • Anthony International: The world's largest manufacturer of specialty glass, commercial glass refrigerator & freezer doors, case lighting, display & merchandising systems.
  • Styleline: This commercial refrigerator door company offers a full line of products, including heated and energy free glass door and frame systems for walk-in coolers and freezers and a wide range of shelving and merchandising accessories.

This product line will become available in January 2020. We determine your needs as a customer and choose the glass door that is going to work best for your walk-in. For more information on glass doors, please contact us at 1-800-854-3267 or send us a note.

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What type of refrigeration units do you use? Do I have to use them if I purchase a walk-in from you?

We use and recommend the refrigeration units from the following depending on the needs of our customers:

  • Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration
  • Tecumseh

You don’t have to purchase and use a refrigeration unit from NAKS, but we strongly recommend it. At NAKS, we pride ourselves on being a One-Stop-Shop for our customers. Why source your own refrigeration when we can do the work for you cost effectively?

To find out which type of unit is right for your needs, you can reach a NAKS sales representative at 1-800-854-3267.

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What’s the difference between extruded polystyrene (XPS) and polyurethane?

Extruded polystyrene insulation (XPS) is more consistent and more hydrophobic (to prevent water absorption) than polyurethane. It’s developed by pulling foam through a dye, which creates a closed-cell structure. This extrusion process eliminates foam voids and enables precise control of the foam’s key physical properties like density, compressive strength, cell size and orientation to ensure consistent R-values.

Polyurethane is a much less reliable material. It is developed when a chemical reaction is injected into a mold. Most times, cells of irregular size and shape are formed. These cells can easily compromise the integrity of the insulation, allow heat to penetrate and greatly reduce its R-value.

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Where can I see photos of NAKS products?

You are able to see photos and videos of our products online here.

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Why don’t you use foamed-in-place urethane insulation?

It is simple: foamed-in-place insulation is an inferior product to XPS. NAKS has been on the cutting edge of cooling technology for more than 30 years. When we learned the value of XPS in 2008, it was a no-brainer to include this material in our products in order to provide our customers with the best cooling units money can buy.

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Why should I be concerned with foamed-in-place urethane insulation?

Recently, urethane panel insulation has come under fire for numerous inherent quality issues. It may be time for you to consider using another type of insulation. Why? It's simple.

The injection process in which urethane panels are manufactured poses many challenges, namely the formation of the foam material and the overall inconsistency of the compound. Unfortunately, these issues go unnoticed as they take place within the cavity between two metal skins. For that reason, even within a short period of time they can seriously compromise the integrity and thermal performance of the panels.

Common issues caused by the injection of foam insulation are:

  • Irregularly shaped and sized cells causing air and moisture to seep into the panel.
  • Thermal drift (or the loss of R-value) caused by air and moisture inside the foam cell.
  • Imprecise control of the cell wall's strength causes many cells to collapse and therefore the foam to rapidly deteriorate.
  • Lack of a strong and permanent bond to metal skins can lead to delamination.
  • Foam insulation can result in different R-values throughout the panel due to varying foam density, voids and empty pockets.
  • Compromised short and long-term panel thermal performance.

Many customers have experienced these issues and have made the switch to walk-in coolers and freezers insulated with Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) rigid foam. For over 70 years, XPS has been shown to hold its R-value over time without the many inconsistencies of urethane foam.

NAKS uses only high-performance NAKS-XPS4 Extruded Polystyrene foam insulation from The DOW Chemical Company that is backed by the 50 Year R-value warranty. NAKS-XPS4 insulation’s outstanding attributes will contribute to higher walk-in performance, increase the longevity of the refrigeration unit, and lower energy cost to the owner.

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