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Choosing Between an Indoor or Outdoor Walk-In Refrigeration Unit

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When you operate a commercial kitchen of any sort, you will probably need a walk-in refrigeration unit. This will provide you the space you need for food storage that is then readily accessible and at your fingertips. You also eliminate the need for large doors and slide-out shelves with a walk-in unit, which can then mean taking up less space.

A walk-in refrigeration unit can be stored outside or inside, and both types of models have their own advantages and disadvantages. Note a few of those here so you know which to choose for your facility.

Outdoor walk-in units

The most obvious advantage to a walk-in refrigeration unit that you store outdoors is that you save space in the kitchen and food prep area. If your facility has a small kitchen, this can be the best choice. Another advantage is that you can more readily take delivery of food items without disrupting your kitchen. Your vendor can move the truck to the outside area of the building and you can store your food items in the walk-in unit without having to bring things through a busy kitchen every time you take delivery of your items.

The disadvantage of an outdoor unit is that it's less convenient to retrieve food items, and this can be bothersome in a busy kitchen. Some can be installed over an exit door so employees can walk right into the unit from the kitchen, but if you don't have such a door, then you will need to spend the money to create one or have employees walk outside every time they need to get something from the unit. Outdoor units will have panels to keep them protected, but they're still exposed to rain, snow, and other such inclement weather that can cause them to break down more easily than indoor units.

Indoor walk-in units

A walk-in unit kept indoors is more convenient for your kitchen staff and more secure and protected. They may also be more affordable, as they don't need added panels to protect them from weather and heavy-duty locks to secure your inventory.

However, keeping a walk-in unit inside means that the motor will generate heat that needs to be vented, which then may increase your air conditioning bill during warmer months. The floor of your building may also need to be reinforced to support the weight of an indoor unit, and this can be costly. Depending on where you want to install the indoor unit, your kitchen may need some expensive renovations to accommodate it, so be sure you consider this when making a decision.

For more information, contact a local refrigeration unit supplier or installer.