Walk-in Cooler Overview 
 
 For Electric Customers

The typical walk-in cooler in a business may be one of the largest electric energy consumers in the building. Even in winter months, the cooling system could run many hours a day. One option to save energy in the winter would be to have a qualified technician check to see if you could use outside air when the outside air temperature is colder than the required cooler set point temperature. When looking to upgrade an existing system or purchasing a new one, review the types of energy efficient evaporator fan motors, investigate more efficient types of condenser fan motors and look for an energy efficient control system that best fits your need. Working with a qualified dealer or technician will help you size the compressor and other components for your specific need.

Lighting inside the cooler also plays a role. Look for lighting that meets your needs and doesn’t put out heat for the refrigeration system to overcome. Are the lights left on inside the cooler when not in use or could a timer shut them off when they are forgotten and left on all night? Another way to save energy is to review how the joints of your cooler walls fit together. Are there gaps in the joints where they meet the floor and the ceiling? Gaps in these areas allow cool air to escape and cause your compressor to run longer to make up for the lost cooling.

So when purchasing a cooler, do some research into the construction of the unit. What type of insulation is being used inside the cooler? Are the insulation panels touching tightly or do they have gaps that waste energy? The higher the R-value of the insulation, the more energy efficient the unit is. Entry doors also play an important role. Quality doors provide a tight seal on the door frame saving energy. Doors that don’t fit properly or have a worn-out seal allow your cooled air out and the warmer room air in wasting energy.

For more information on saving energy, go to the Energy Star web site: Larger Opportunities: Refrigeration.
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