• How Walk-in Panels Create an Airtight Seal

    October 27th, 2014

    stacked walk-in panelsAir 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?

    gray screeding

    Screed for the base of walk-in 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 »

  • Refrigeration Solutions for Craft Breweries

    September 10th, 2014

    brewery countThe 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.

    beer warehouseEvery 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 »

  • Lighting Options for Walk-in Coolers and Freezers

    August 22nd, 2014

    incandescent fluorescent and LEDOn 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.

    kason led light

    4ft LED light for walk-in ceilings.

    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 »

  • Introducing Regional Sales Manager Richard Burrows

    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.

    Georgia sales territory

  • StarFire LED Lighting System for Commercial Refrigeration Applications

    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 led lightsStarFire 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.

    Anthony Quanta StarFire walk-in cooler lightsFor 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.

     

  • Refrigeration Guidelines for Specific Applications

    June 25th, 2014

    This article is courtesy of Austin Industrial Refrigeration.

    floral storage refrigerator

    Flowers do best with High Humidity and Low Velocity 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 »
  • Fixing Icing Issues in a Walk-in Freezer

    April 21st, 2014

    Do you have a walk-in freezer that gets frost or ice accumulation on the walls or ceiling?

    ice on ceilingThere are several different possible causes for icing or frost. Infiltration of warm humid air into the freezer is the most likely culprit. The following tips will help you reduce or prevent this.

    Check Your Gaskets – If there is icing near your door, check to make sure your door is sealing properly. Inspect the main gasket as well as the wiper gaskets and door sweep for any cracks or rips. Any rip can potentially allow air infiltration and cause icing issues. There are also gaskets in the seams between panels, which may have been damaged or cracked. You can use a bead of low-temp NSF-approved silicone caulk to help seal between the panels.

    Inspect Your Door – If your gasket is sticking and freezing to the metal trim on the door frame, your freezer door’s heater wire may be burnt out or not strong enough to sufficiently heat up the trim. If your door is failing to close, test the operation of your hinges and door closer. You may have cam-rise or spring loaded hinges which should aid in closing the door enough to get it to the door closer. At this point, a roller at the top of your door closer may not be catching the hook enough to close the door. Sometimes a simple adjustment or bending can get the hook back into a position to come into contact with the roller. The hydraulic mechanisms in door closers can eventually fail or leak over the years, so check for any fluid leakage. To replace components on your door you can speak with your service provider, the manufacturer of the walk-in or order from walkincoolerparts.com. If the frame or the door is damaged, it may be able to be repaired or replaced. Read the rest of this entry »

  • How do I keep my glass doors from fogging up?

    January 17th, 2014

    Glass doors in refrigerators and freezers are prone to getting condensation on them. For businesses such as floral shops, supermarkets and convenience stores, this fog on the glass is unattractive and obstructs the customer’s view of their products and may reduce impulse buys.

    Why do glass doors get condensation?glass door fog

    An important fact to keep in mind is that warmer air is able to hold more moisture than colder air. The “dew point” is the temperature at which the air becomes saturated and can’t hold any more water vapor and some of the water vapor must condense into a liquid form. The dew point is always lower than (or equal to) the air temperature. For example, glass of ice water will begin to sweat in a warm room because the air coming into contact with the glass is cooled to the dew point. This will cause the air to lose its capacity for holding moisture and condensate will stick to the glass. The exact same thing happens when the colder surface of your glass doors meets the warmer air in your building.

    How do I fix this problem?

    You may find that wiping windows down a few times a day may be all that is required, but this is not a permanent solution.

    1. Adjust your thermostats.

    Try slightly raising the temperature in the walk-in cooler. This will also raise the surface temperature of the doors, possibly to a temperature that will not cause water to condense on them. If that doesn’t help, you may also try lowering the temperature in your building. A colder setting on the air conditioning may help to pull more moisture from the air near your walk-in cooler. You may also try using a dehumidifier in your building to help remove excess moisture in the air. Read the rest of this entry »