• 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

  • 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 »

  • New Denali Glass Doors from Gemtron Reduce Energy Costs

    October 14th, 2013

    SCHOTT’s New Denali Thin-Rail Door System Increases Glass Viewing Area and Reduces Energy Costs for Commercial Refrigeration

    Denali Glass DoorsThe Denali door system expands shelf space and reduces energy costs for convenience stores.

    ATLANTA, GA. – October 13, 2013SCHOTT Gemtron today unveiled its new Denali thin-rail glass door system for commercial refrigeration displays, which offers a larger glass viewing area, more shelf space, and greater energy savings. The system is being introduced at the 2013 NACS Show in Atlanta on October 13 to 15 at booth #5711.

    The high-end Denali glass door display system includes key advancements in size and energy savings. The Denali’s thin-rail frame design reduces rail width compared to traditional systems. The rail reduction increases visibility, which expands viewing area by up to 8 percent over competitors’ doors. Increased visibility offers customers a more direct line of sight to top brands, potentially improving product sales.

    “The food and beverage industry is extremely competitive, introducing numerous new products each year, further encroaching on already limited shelf space,” said Tim Dye, Business Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing for the food display business at SCHOTT Gemtron. “The Denali system expands shelf space and minimizes the frame to display more merchandise, which in turn can translate into higher sales. At the same time, the system minimizes costs through its energy efficient design, maximizing the total value of the system and saving money on the bottom line.”

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Alsman Named Southwestern Sales Manager

    September 27th, 2013

    Mike Alsman SalesMike Alsman was named Regional Sales Manager for U.S. Cooler’s Southwestern Territory including Arizona, California and Nevada. Alsman has over 25 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 U.S. Cooler’s aim to enhance dealer support. U.S. Cooler is confident that his abundance of experience, knowledge of the industry, and work ethic will lend itself well toward serving their customer base.

  • Aging the Best Deer Meat with the Game Locker

    September 20th, 2013

    hunting deerDeer hunting seasons are underway in some parts of the nation, so it’s time once again to prepare yourself to venture into the fields and forests. Once you’ve managed to harvest and field dress your first deer, there’s the matter of storing it in the proper environment to get the best tasting meat.

    Some people will quarter the deer without aging it, but this is a major mistake if you want quality venison. The deer stiffens during rigor mortis in the 24 hours after being killed. If it is processed during this time, the muscles shorten and contract causing the meat to become tough. You should let your deer hang for 2 to 4 days at minimum before processing to avoid this. For the best tasting deer meat Mississippi State University recommends 14 to 18 days of hanging time. A general rule of thumb is, the older the deer, the longer the hang time. Longer hanging times will allow the deer’s natural enzymes and acids to break down and tenderize the meat and give it a smoother, less “gamey” flavor.

    meat in game locker

    Deer meat hanging in a U.S. Cooler Game Locker

    An optimal temperature to hang deer meat at should be temperature above freezing but below 40 degrees F. Many people let the deer hang in their garage, but this far from the proper conditions because of contaminants, pests and temperature fluctuations that come with an uncontrolled environment such as this. If your meat is stored above 40 degrees it will start to rot, but if it is frozen at temperatures below 28 degrees it can become freezer burned. In these situations, having access to a commercial-sized refrigerator that will keep your deer at a constant temperature and free of outside contamination is optimal. Read the rest of this entry »