Customizing Arctic Walk-ins for Your Business

For many operators, a cooler or freezer from the Arctic Industries Blue Line series, the company's line of standard quick-ship models, is the right choice for both their business needs and timelines. However, there are a number of business models and layout challenges that require custom walk-in coolers or freezers, and Arctic walk-ins can be customized to meet your business's specific requirements. Whether you need to install a unit in a space that does not accommodate a standard Blue Line size, require a combination walk-in cooler and freezer, or are planning to utilize a cooler for a specialty concept like aging and displaying meat, this guide will help you understand what you need to know before contacting a KaTom representative to begin ordering your walk-in.

Ordering Your Custom Arctic Walk-In

Temperature: Do you need a cooler, a freezer, or a combination cooler-freezer? When ordering a freezer, -10 degrees Fahrenheit is standard, but a unit designed to hold products at 0 degrees Fahrenheit is also available. Combination units are also available that provide both cooler and freezer sections.

Dimensions: You should be prepared to give the dimensions – length, width, and height – of your desired walk-in, and if you are ordering a combination unit, you'll need to know the dimensions of both the cooler and the freezer sections. Dimensions should be denoted as either being exact or nominal, in which case Arctic's engineers will design the panels to be as close as possible to the given size using their standard panel sizes.

Insulation: You will need to choose between 4 inches of either extruded high-density foam or foamed-in-place insulation.

Floor: To prevent potential damage to both the unit and the environment around it, every Arctic walk-in freezer requires a floor, no matter where it is being installed. If a walk-in cooler is being installed at grade, it will not need a floor, but a floor is recommended for units installed in any other environment. Floors may be stainless steel or aluminum, diamond treaded, and reinforced with a 34-inch-thick, marine-grade plywood subfloor. Marine-grade plywood is treated to resist the absorption of water so it will not mold or be weakened by moisture. This option is recommended for heavy-duty use, such as when the floor needs to be reinforced to support mounted shelving, and cannot be added after the manufacturing process has begun.

Finishes: Arctic walk-ins are available in more than 100 finishes, including a variety of metals, textures, patterns, and vinyl. The standard finish option is 24-gauge Acrylume, a steel that has been coated with a special resin to protect it against fingerprints and discoloration. Other common finishes include galvanized steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Doors: The standard door measures 34 inches wide by 78 inches tall and includes 36-inch-high diamond-tread kickplates on the exterior and interior. Customizable door options include non-standard sizing, no kickplates, doors that swing into the unit instead of out, and doors that slide, rather than swing. Glass doors are also available for coolers used in merchandising or display applications. If you do not need Arctic to supply the doors for your unit, you should request a framed wall opening and provide the exact dimensions needed to accommodate the selected door.

Door Accessories: There are a number of door accessories available for your unit, in addition to upgrading to polished chrome hardware and a security locking bar, that you may wish to add.

  • A third hinge can be placed between the top and bottom hinges to provide additional support to the door. This can be a valuable option for high-volume operations where employees need to access the unit several times each day, often while transporting equipment or supplies.
  • True to their name, jamb guards can be placed over the door jamb to protect it from damage, either from the door itself or from equipment that passes through it.
  • An audio visual alarm, or AV alarm, is a thermostat that can be set to alert operators if the box's temperature falls outside the specified range. For example, a cooler's AV alarm may be set off if the temperature is higher than 40 degrees or lower than 33 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A door can be equipped with a vision panel, or a window (either 14 inches square or 14 inches by 24 inches) that can be heated or unheated in coolers. All freezer vision panels are heated to prevent frost that could obscure the user’s view into the unit.

Refrigeration: There are several refrigeration options, from water- and air-cooled systems to remote and self-contained refrigeration. Self-contained systems may be mounted flush, on the top, or straddle mounted on the top or side. You will need to specify both your unit's temperature requirements and your desired horsepower, volts, and phasing. There are also design options for coolers that will be used with beer and for freezers that will open into coolers. To avoid overworking the unit, please note if it will be accessed more frequently than twice per hour, as this is the standard use for which refrigeration is sized.

Box Accessories: Your Arctic walk-in freezer or cooler may be customized with a number of accessories that improve your unit's functionality, including a ramp on the interior, exterior, or both; a strip curtain to help prevent cold air from escaping when the door is opened; and a choice of fluorescent or LED lights.

Box Location: Whether your walk-in is located indoors or outdoors will determine whether you need additional features like a membrane or sloped roof, a rain hood over the doors, or a perimeter angle. If your unit will be installed outdoors:

  • A rubber roof cap, called a membrane roof, can be added to protect your Arctic walk-in from water.
  • The sloped roof helps your walk-in shed water and snow that would otherwise settle on top of it. True to its name, one side is higher than the other and it slopes to the edge of the unit.
  • L-shaped aluminum channels known as perimeter angles are used to secure the unit in place. They are attached to both the concrete slab below the walk-in and the bottom of the walk-in itself. If your Arctic walk-in cooler or freezer will have walls exceeding 12 feet in height, perimeter angles are recommended.