When you set out to shop for your freezer merchandiser, it's good to have a few key pieces of information in mind. First, decide what kinds of products you'll need to keep frozen and how much of them you'll be keeping in your display. Also, know where in your business you'll be installing your unit and how much room you have to dedicate to it.
An important rule for using one of these boxes is to not overfill them. There must be plenty of space for air to flow around the foods inside, ensuring everything remains at proper temperatures. An overfilled box will not be able to maintain the correct temperatures, and will run the risk of breaking down under the stress of being overworked.
Size and Number of Doors
These boxes come in multiple sizes with one, two, or three doors. Your choice will depend mainly on the storage capacity you need. There are a couple of ways to measure the size of these units. Manufacturers calculate size based on interior cubic feet, so it's how many customers shop for these units. However, since you won't be able to use every single inch of space, the most reliable way to judge them is based on how many shelves you need. Think about how many products you'll be storing and how many of each. Four is the standard number of shelves that most manufacturers include per section, but you can opt to purchase more if you're going to be storing smaller items.
Two types or doors are available on a glass door freezer:
- Swinging doors are the classic type of door because they open wide to allow full access to the cold contents. Often this type of door will have a self-closing mechanism, so they'll always form a positive seal that keeps your food cold and conserves energy. If you plan to use these, be aware that you'll need to make your aisles extra wide to allow customers to pass by while doors on both sides are open. You should also perform regular checks and cleaning of the gaskets, as they can become worn and may harbor bacterial growth if they're left dirty. Many models have easy-to-remove gaskets designed specifically for this purpose.
- Sliding doors are mounted on rails and slide horizontally. They are available in cabinets with two or more doors, and are designed to conserve space. They are particularly useful in narrow aisles, since they don't have to swing out. Be aware that only one door in each section can be open at a time, which means customers will have to wait on others to finish retrieving the items they want. Also, the rail and hardware can become worn, creating a situation where the doors may not close completely, so it's good to keep an eye on them and make sure they aren't getting left open to waste energy which will run up your utility bills and compromise the quality of the products stored in them.
Compressors are one of the key components in any refrigeration system. Their location within the equipment can have an impact on your maintenance and cleaning routines. Here is a rundown of the benefits and considerations for each type.
- Because they're easier to get to, they're often easier to service and clean. Technicians don't have to do as much lifting and climbing to replace parts, which could mean shorter service visits and lower repair bills.
- Because their lowest space is devoted to the compressor, these have higher bottom shelves, so customers don't have to bend as far to reach items stored there.
- Bottom-mounted compressors tend to take in dust and dirt from the floor, which means their coils need to be cleaned more frequently.
- In bottom-mounted units, refrigerant lines have to be run through the back of the cabinet to the evaporator at the top of the box. This takes away usable freezer storage space.
- Top-mounted compressors may not require as much cleaning as bottom-mounted versions. Because they're away from the floor, they won't take in quite as much dirt and debris.
- Boxes with top-mounted compressors typically have more usable storage space because refrigerant lines don't have to run through the back of the box.
- Heat rises, so air temperatures tend to be higher near the top of your equipment. This can make top-mounted compressors less energy efficient than bottom-mounted ones.
- Top-mounted compressors are a little harder to get to, so servicing them is a bit more difficult. Maintenance visits may take longer and require more than one technician, increasing the cost of repairs.
Many of these include a lit signage area above the door. These can be used to display your own custom signage or can be fitted with a sign from the manufacturer to highlight your company brand or show your customers what they'll find in the display freezer.
Interior LED lights are a brighter, more attractive, and longer-lasting alternative to traditional fluorescent lighting. They come standard in some of these units and are available as an option in most others.
To make cleaning easy, and to help deal with spills, choose a unit with a bottom drain. If you need your unit to hold open food, be aware that one with a drain cannot be used for that due to health department regulations.
Common exterior finishes include black, white, and stainless steel. A few models are available with painted sides in a number of unique colors that can help match your unit with your décor. If you want your merchandisers to serve as a standalone display, one with glass sides will allow customers to see inside from all sides.