Refrigeration is a crucial part of any commercial kitchen to ensure food products are stored safely. A cold room makes a great addition or replacement of your refrigeration equipment, with the capacity to hold high quantities of food and ingredients whilst remaining energy efficient.
As cold room and refrigeration specialists, we’re available to survey your site, supply the cold room equipment, and install it for you. Before you make your purchase, there are a few key considerations and information you should know to ensure your cold room is suitable for your business.
- What is a cold room?
- How does a cold room work?
- What temperature range can cold rooms be used at?
- Why use a cold room?
- Cold Room Features
- Cold Room Considerations
- Cold Room Installation
- Cold Room FAQs
What is a cold room?
A cold room is a type of insulated, refrigerated space that is designed to maintain a set temperature. They’re used in professional kitchens to store food, as they can hold a lot of stock and can vary in size from a small walk in room to a larger warehouse. Sometimes they are called ‘walk-ins’
Cold rooms can’t be moved around, unlike other forms of commercial refrigeration. They need a specialist (like us) to install them.
How does a cold room work?
Cold rooms largely work the same as any other refrigeration equipment. They use a compressor, condenser, fans and an evaporator so they can maintain temperature. A gas refrigerant gets compressed before expanding and absorbing energy, and passing over the evaporator coils. It liquifies under the high pressure, which cools the coils and the surrounding air.
What temperature range can cold rooms be used at?
Most cold rooms are between -2°C and 10°C. The specific temperature will depend on what’s being stored inside. If you need a colder solution, a cold room can be set up as a freezer, providing ultra cold storage between -50°C and -80°C.
Why use a cold room?
Cold rooms are ideal for when consistent and powerful refrigeration and freezing is needed as they provide exact temperature control for your food supplies.
They have a lot of advantages over traditional fridges and freezers, especially if you have a large amount of stock.
Cold rooms have a large amount of storage space, and as the capacity is so big they can be a lot cheaper to run than smaller pieces of refrigeration equipment. There will be no need to buy and maintain multiple refrigeration units.
You can put your cold room either indoor or outdoor, leaving more space in your kitchen for cooking and prep machines. This is ideal for sites with smaller kitchens, although if you have it outdoors it will need a weatherproof roof.
Food is kept on racks, so it’s easier to keep it organised and find things compared to other types of storage. They also make restocking a lot simpler.
Most models will have built-in security features to prevent damage and theft.
Cold rooms are accessible and easy to use, making them convenient for both restocking and grabbing ingredients.
Cold storage is designed to reduce fluctuations in temperature, so less energy is needed to adjust the temperature while they’re in use.
Cold Room Features
Cold rooms can have a lot of extra features to improve day to day operations and performance:
- Most will come with an automatic defrost that actively melts ice.
- All modern cold rooms will have an emergency escape, in the form of an internal button that opens the door. Some may also include a panic button inside.
- Automatic or manual interior lights are usually fitted as standard.
- If you use trolleys to load stock, a ramp can be added. This also helps to reduce the trip hazard from the raised door frame.
- Self closing doors are sometimes present to help reduce running costs.
Cold Room Considerations
Before purchasing a cold room, there are a few key factors you’ll need to be aware of:
- Your cold room can either be used as a walk in fridge or walk in freezer, and some models can be used as both. You’ll need to decide what you need for your business.
- Your stock will be placed on shelving (also called racking), which ensures ingredients are easily accessible and the storage space is maximised. You can normally configure this however you like, so the shelving is often sold separately. As a cold room is a harsh environment, food acids, moisture and general usage can cause shelving to rust or break. It’s important you choose an option that is made from PVC or anodised aliminium which are resistant and strong.
- You’ll need to know the ambient temperature around the walk in. The highest ambient temperature is the highest temperature the cold room can operate in before the internal temperature is affected. Most cold rooms operate in temperatures up to 32°C, but if you require a higher ambient temperature more powerful options are available.
- You should consider ventilation, as cold rooms require a large amount around the unit so heat can be transferred to the outside. If your cold room is going to be installed indoors, you should consider what else is in the room and if it could affect performance. It shouldn’t be positioned in a confined area as it may not have enough ventilation to hold the correct temperature.
Cold Room Installation Procedure
If you would like to purchase a cold room from us, the first step will be to arrange a site survey. Here we’ll check what is suitable for your site and look at measurements, potential obstructions, ventilation and anything else that could affect the performance.
Once we determine a suitable location for the cold room, we can arrange installation at a time and date suitable for you.
Should something go wrong with your cold room in the future, we’re also available for any repairs and maintenance needed.
Are cold rooms used just for food?
You can put anything that needs chilling or freezing in a cold room, including flowers, drinks, and ice sculptures.
How are cold rooms powered?
Usually cold rooms only need a plug to operate, and they are incredibly power efficient. If your cold room is particularly large or powerful, you may need a hardwired connection.
Can a cold room be moved once it’s installed?
It’s not usually a good idea to move a cold room once it’s been installed, but some of them can be. It’s best to get an expert to do this, to ensure nothing is damaged.