Cookie-cutter refrigeration installations are a mindset of the past. New design features and technology have opened up the commercial refrigeration market to intriguing possibilities. Standard is still a possibility, but in an age of next level technology, energy efficiency concerns, and increasing demand, it is important that refrigeration contractors are able to take the next step towards unique creativity. As the customer, you have to remember that standard is easy, but greatness requires a dedication to thinking beyond the initial refrigeration application and focus further on the customer experience and custom design of refrigeration systems. Accomplishing this improved approach to refrigeration is easier than you think. The first step is to take a look at the refrigeration needs of your facility. Here is a simple checklist to help you do this effectively. Observe the refrigeration systems you currently own and ask yourself… What would I like to change? What have I heard from my staff about these units? Are my customers best served by the current equipment I employ? Does my current refrigeration equipment and its configuration serve my business needs? What is the energy usage costing me? Notice that cost wasn’t the first item on the checklist. Don’t get me wrong, money and profit margins are important, but these topics aren’t the place to start when designing refrigeration to fit your business needs. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) there are several factors to consider when purchasing refrigeration equipment including compressor location, door configuration, and mobility. The EERE’s standpoint is built from an energy usage perspective, but it was developed specifically for commercial refrigeration purchases and supporting analyses of these statements was provided by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Compressors can be top or bottom mounted. EERE suggests that bottom-mounted compressors tend to operate more efficiently because the air near the floor is cooler. “Ergonomics is another advantage to this configuration because food products are placed in the easier-to-reach storage spaces,” stated the agency. “This should help users find what they need faster and close doors sooner. Products with top-mounted compressors should be considered in commercial kitchens where a lot of flour is used because as flour dust settles near the floor it can be sucked into the refrigeration system and affect performance.” There are also many options with doors: solid, glass, half or full heights. “Solid doors are better insulated and easier to clean, while glass doors allow users to see the contents of the unit, which may eliminate unnecessary opening and closing,” stated the EERE. “Units with half-height doors tend to be more energy efficient, although this can impact storage space.” These are just two refrigeration factors to consider. There many more, but one in particular businesses tend to forget or not even consider — the wow factor. At Calwest, we don’t forget the wow factor when installing refrigeration systems at places like Kaiser Permanente, Monster Energy, Fender, Target, Better Beverages, Costco, Best Buy, Macys, Nordstrom, Moreno Valley Mall, Walmart, Walgreens and Ross Stores, Ontario International Airport, Sam’s Club, Target, Albertons, Home Depot, Kmart, Big Lots, Chaffey Community College, University of California Riverside, Kohl’s, and many more. Not only do we endeavor to wow the customer with unique, energy-efficient designs, but we also aren’t afraid to take an innovative approach to provide your customers with an amazing experience — beer caves included.
AJ Milbes | Aug. 17, 2019, 5:48 a.m.