- January 13th, 2015
U.S. Cooler has released an updated version of our mobile site http://www.uscooler.mobi for our dealers and customers on the go with smartphones and tablets. This site will allow you to check the status of your order from the main page (all you need is the job number and dealer phone number). As you’re completing a job you can easily pull up installation instructions or our troubleshooting guide. You can also view product information, find dealer sales websites, call U.S. Cooler, size refrigeration and much more.
Currently we are not automatically redirecting mobile users from uscooler.com to uscooler.mobi. Users will have to type in uscooler.mobi or click the “View on Mobile Site” banner that will appear on our main site when viewed from your phone. What are your opinions of automatic redirection from standard to mobile websites? Is there any other information you would find useful on our mobile website?
- January 7th, 2015
Whether you run a restaurant, convenience store or a supermarket, your walk-in is an important investment. It should be taken care of to ensure many years of efficient usage. Here are tips from walk-in manufacturer U.S. Cooler for maintaining your walk-in cooler or freezer.
How to keep your walk-in operating efficiently:
- Close the door when not in use. Do not block or prop the door open for extended periods of time. Make sure it is closed at all times except when entering and exiting the walk-in.
- Periodically (minimum of twice a year) clean the evaporator and condensing coil. If located outside, the coils should be cleaned more often. Clean the fan blades to reduce drag.
- Make sure fan motors are running at optimum speed.
- On outside condensing units, maintain clear and adequate airflow. For example, do not allow trash or weeds to accumulate around the walk-in.
- Make sure there is nothing stacked around the coil to prevent restricted airflow.
- Do not pile anything on top of the walk-in. This could cause damage to the ceiling panels.
- Occasionally have a service technician check all electrical connections to make sure they are good and tight. Loose wires could cause high amperage, which will cause your unit to use more energy.
- Check for damage or decay in the insulation on suction lines between the condensing unit and evaporator coil. Replace as needed.
- Hinges should be lubricated once a year to ensure they close properly. (Some hinges utilize self-lubricating nylon cams, so this will not be necessary if that is the case.)
- Make sure the lights are off when exiting the walk-in. Lights produce heat, which will cause your unit to run more to hold its optimal temperature. Make sure your walk-in has a switch with a pilot light so you can tell if the light is on without opening the door.
- Check the door sweep for tears and make sure it is sealing properly against the threshold.
- Periodically, check gaskets between panels to make sure they are not cracked or weathered. Replacement of damaged gaskets will ensure your walk-in is efficient and up to local health codes. Read the rest of this entry »
- October 27th, 2014
Air infiltration, or lack thereof, plays a major role in an efficient walk-in cooler or freezer. Walk-ins are manufactured to be air-tight because any cold air that escapes will lower efficiency and any warm air that enters can cause condensation and icing problems. Air and moisture infiltration can damage panel insulation, causing it to lose R-value and reduce the life of the walk-in. It seems like a walk-in constructed of numerous separate panels would be prone to air leakage, but this isn’t the case. So how do manufacturers of walk-ins create an airtight seal between panels?
Manufactures have different methods of sealing panels, but at U.S. Cooler, we use precision-cut tongue & groove insulation between two metal skins (of galvalume or stainless steel), cam locks and panel gaskets. The interlocking design of our panels ensure they fit together like puzzle pieces and are held tightly in place by aligning and tightening cam lock mechanisms. Double-barrel compression gaskets line the inside and outside of each panel. When the panels are locked into place with a cam wrench, the gaskets seal against each other and create an air and moisture barrier. Walk-in coolers without an insulated floor are inserted into a vinyl channel (screed) to prevent air from entering when mounted on concrete. Read the rest of this entry »
- September 10th, 2014
The craft brewery industry has seen exponential growth this decade, fueled by consumer demand for full-flavored beers. According to the Brewers Association there are 3,040 breweries operating in the U.S., 99% of which are small, independent craft breweries.1 With thousands more breweries in the planning stages, this trend shows no sign of slowing.
The logistics of how to keep beer cold and fresh before shipping to the consumer is vital to the success of any craft brewer. That’s why Brew Cave by U.S. Cooler is introducing their new line of walk-in coolers for the brewery industry. Brew Cave is best known for its walk-in kegerator for residential bars, but now produces everything from keg storage warehouses to tap house coolers.
Every brewery has unique needs and budgets. Brew Cave’s flexible design process allows them to easily create custom walk-in coolers. Whether the cooler needs to be angled, have reach-in glass doors, operate with minimum sound, be located outdoors or any other special case, Brew Cave is up to the task. Their parent company U.S. Cooler has been in operation since 1986 and its employees have extensive experience catering to a wide assortment of industries from bars, convenience and grocery stores to scientific and manufacturing facilities. Read the rest of this entry »
- August 22nd, 2014
On average, lighting contributes 20% to 50% of a business’ electricity usage. As an operator of a walk-in cooler or freezer, your choice of lighting is of even greater importance. Every bit of heat that is added to the walk-in’s environment is going to increase the load on your refrigeration, ultimately resulting in inflated energy costs. While fluorescents offer a huge step up from incandescent bulbs in energy efficiency, they still create nearly 9X the heat of LED lights.
Lighting Technology Comparison Efficacy (lumens per watt) Heat Emitted Lifespan (hours) Incandescent 10-17 85 btu’s/hour 750-2,500 Linear Fluorescent 30-110 30 btu’s/hour 7,000-30,000 LED 50-100 3.4 btu’s/hour 35,000-70,000
View a full comparison chart of the major lighting technologies.
Fluorescent lights are generally standard in walk-in cooler and freezer installations, with LEDs being available as an upgrade. LEDs offer advantages in a walk-in because they don’t run the risk of failure in low temperatures and high humidity environments as other lighting types do. LEDs (and incandescents) turn on instantly and don’t need time to warm up to reach full brightness. They also don’t contain mercury which could contaminate your stored food if a fluorescent bulb breaks. LEDs can be used for overhead lighting in the walk-in and are very prevalent in merchandising coolers typically found in convenience stores. The LEDs in merchandising glass doors provide a brighter light than fluorescents to better illuminate products. Some convenience store operators are even opting to upgrade their fluorescent lights with LED retrofit kits which can result in energy savings up to 85%. Read the rest of this entry »
- July 14th, 2014
We are pleased to announce Richard Burrows has joined the U.S. Cooler Sales Staff. Richard is now the Regional Sales Manager for our Southeastern Territory which includes the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. He will be based out of his home office in Atlanta, GA and can be reached at 404.216.3206 or emailed at richard[at]uscooler.com.
Sales Support and Customer Service will continue to be based out of our Quincy, IL, facility.
Richard has over 22 years of experience in the refrigeration and foodservice industry. His experience with engineering, product development, sales and marketing in the industry makes him a valued addition to this territory and our organization’s aim to enhance dealer support.
Our goal is to provide you with the best customer service possible and we believe Richard will help facilitate a great experience working with U.S. Cooler. You can expect to hear from Richard soon, if you have not already. We are confident he will assist you with any and all of your walk-in needs.
- June 29th, 2014
Anthony International now offers the Quanta StarFire LED lighting system designed specifically for the commercial refrigeration industry. This industry leading light output system is designed to handle the harsh cold environments for both the normal and low temp applications. This patent pending design offers light pointed directly where it needs to be, at the merchandise to aid in increased product sales.
StarFire delivers a less than two year payback on your LED investment. Reducing compressor run time, reducing wattage, eliminating maintenance cost, while providing the most light output of any other LED on the market.
This energy efficient StarFire design can save you up to 85% of your current energy cost and also remove the amount of heat that is added to your cold environment, therefore reducing compressor run times. The Anthony StarFire design has an exclusive power supply integrated into the light bar. When you add up all the benefits of the StarFire LED lighting systems you will enjoy a fast payback on your lighting investment.
For more information, please download the StarFire Data Packet – PDF.
Note: The StarFire was previously known as the CrossFire sold by Schott Gemtron.
Does your company manufacture a commercial refrigeration product or accessory you’d like us to feature? If so, email Kristin[at]uscooler.com with details on your product, quality images, and links to more information.
- June 25th, 2014
This article is courtesy of Austin Industrial Refrigeration.
Aside from the box temperature, other considerations that are particular to medium temperature applications (walk-in coolers & refrigerators) are the air velocity and humidity of the refrigerated space. Below freezing, humidity is inherent (the moisture is mostly frozen out of the air), so low temp applications are easier to spec than medium temp.
The following are common design parameters and examples of their application:
- 35 degrees F / 90%+ relative humidity (low velocity coils) – high humidity – Used for: sensitive materials, floral – roses
- 35 degrees F / 85% – 90% relative humidity – general purpose – Used for: foodservice, fresh meats, packaged goods not sensitive to humidity, short-term mixed produce, thawing, and dry goods unaffected by humidity
- 35 degrees F / 60% – 75% humidity – low humidity – Used for: retail, beer and beverage coolers, packaged items, materials sensitive to humidity
- 45 degrees F / 55% – 70% humidity – low humidity – Used for: aging red wine
- 45 degrees F / 90%+ humidity (low velocity coils) -high humidity – Used for: sensitive materials, floral – general
- 55 degrees F / 55% – 70% humidity – low humidity – Used for: processing rooms occupied by personnel
- 55 degrees F / 60% – 75% humidity (low velocity coils) – low humidity – Used for: produce Read the rest of this entry »