Purchasing a refrigeration unit for a laboratory is vastly different from purchasing one for a kitchen. Lab managers must consider a number of factors, such as the usage and temperature requirements for the fridge. It’s always best to check for institutional requirements before purchasing any new lab equipment. Lab managers can also check with an appropriate professional organization, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding usage-specific requirements.
Assessing the Usage of the Refrigeration Unit
A freezer compartment is a standard feature on most residential refrigeration units. However, when purchasing a unit for a lab, it’s best to choose one that’s a refrigerator or freezer, but not both. The CDC recommends this approach for labs storing vaccines, and it’s also a good practice to follow for any temperature-sensitive lab materials. A non-combination unit allows for better temperature control and stability. If you do need a refrigeration and freezer, purchase two separate units.
Considering the Size and Capacity
As a general rule of thumb, a smaller refrigerator will usually be less expensive than a very large one. It can be tempting to purchase the smallest possible unit for your lab. However, this will likely lead to an overstuffed fridge. If your fridge is completely full with samples and other lab materials, it won’t operate as efficiently because the sheer amount of items will adversely affect air circulation. This will cause some parts of the fridge to be too cold, while others will be too hot. Hot and cold spots can compromise your temperature-sensitive materials.
Evaluating the Temperature Requirements
The temperature of a lab fridge is arguably the most important consideration. The temperature range capacity of the fridge or freezer you select should reflect the storage requirements of the lab’s samples and materials. A standard lab freezer can generally reach minus 10 to minus 20 degrees Celsius. Ultra-low temperature units may reach minus 85 degrees.
Since 1970, B & J Refrigeration Inc. – Heating and Cooling has been a trusted provider of commercial refrigeration and air conditioning services. We take pride in delivering exceptional customer service with honesty and integrity. Call (520) 355-4857 to chat about your commercial refrigeration needs.