Cooler Insulation- Extruded Polystyrene Vs. Polyurethane

U.S. Cooler manufactures walk-in coolers and freezers employing both Polyurethane and Extruded Polystyrene. Through testing and years of experience we maintain that extruded polystyrene insulation is superior for use in walk-in coolers and freezers. Polystyrene has many characteristics that prove it to be the best insulation material for walk-ins. The two main insulating foams found in walk-ins are Extruded Polystyrene and Polyurethane. Each insulation has differentiating characteristics and should be optimized for the specific application.

Polystyrene is a dense closed-cell structure that is very resistant to moisture and holds its R-Value longer than other competing insulations found in walk-ins, such as Polyurethane. This allows less water infiltration in the insulation, which in turn saves energy and money. When water starts seeping into the insulation’s pores, the R-value drops dramatically causing the refrigeration to work harder to hold its respective temperature. Refrigeration working overtime means higher energy bills. Polystyrene is less water vapor permeable; therefore, water vapor does not infiltrate through the material as quickly or easily as it does other insulating materials.Using studies performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CRREL), U.S. Cooler demonstrated extruded polystyrene saved consumers over $5,000 in energy costs over the first five years of operation. The savings again are due to extruded polystyrene’s ability to resist moisture and to retain its R-value better than other insulators.

Polystyrene used in walk-in coolers and freezers is made from “at least 20% pre-consumer recycled polystyrene.” (Owens Corning, Technical Bulletin: Recycle Content Claims Must be Reliable and Verifiable) Polystyrene found in walk-ins is also 100% recyclable. Manufacturing companies that produce these insulation materials, reproduce the resources in new insulation material. Alternatively, it is important to note that Polyurethane is produced from chemicals and is not made from any recycled materials nor can it be recycled or reused.

Polystyrene in walk-in coolers and freezers is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly insulation used in walk-ins today. Not only is polystyrene in walk-ins made with recycled materials and is 100% recyclable but it is energy efficient and can save a great deal of money in energy costs and reduce carbon footprint over the life-cycle of the walk-in.

Heart to Heart Cold Storage Unit

Heart to Heart International Inc., a leading global humanitarian organization, has installed a U.S. Cooler cold-storage unit on Saturday, January 24, 2009, at its Global Distribution Center in Kansas City, KS. The 14,000—cubic-foot, refrigerated unit is expected to store life-saving medications, such as insulin, for Heart to Heart’s local and global health initiatives. Much of the hardware and labor was donated by local businesses.
“Without the support of several charitable companies, this day might never have come,” said Jon D. North, Heart to Heart’s CEO. “Now we can deliver life-saving medicines requiring cold storage more efficiently to under served people in Kansas City, in the United States and almost anywhere in the world.”
U.S. Cooler is very gracious for the opportunity from CFM Distributors to contribute to Heart to Heart’s mission.

Department of Energy Meeting

The Department of Energy (DOE) has begun the first step in developing a standardized testing procedure for energy efficiency requirements in walk-in coolers and freezers. On February 4, 2009, the Department of Energy held a public meeting to discuss the proposed standardized testing process. In the Energy Independence and Securities Act of 2007 (EISA), it states there must be a performance-based standard for walk-in coolers and freezers in place by January 1, 2012. This requirement was one of the main topics presented at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to familiarize interested parties with the approach and analytical tools that DOE anticipates using in the future. DOE proposed a preliminary document describing their plans for regulating energy efficiency in walk-ins. The meeting provided an opportunity for feedback and comments on the Framework Document.

Ellis Craig (Owner) and Luke Craig (VP of Operations) represented U.S. Cooler by attending the meeting in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of February. The meeting represented just the beginning steps of arriving at a standardized testing method for the walk-in cooler and freezer industry.

There Needs to be a Walk-In Cooler and Freezer Certification Program

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) warns that the new walk-in cooler and freezer law could hurt manufacturers. The problem with the new law is that there is no enforcement mechanism built in, so a non-compliant company can manufacture walk-ins using their same old inferior panels and methods and beat compliant manufactures on price.

To address this issue, AHRI is launching an initiative to educate distributors, installers, and equipment owners about the new standard and its requirements. The association has developed a simple checklist that installers and equipment owners can use to make sure the walk-in cooler or freezer being specified or installed complies with federal law.

In addition to customer education, manufacturers believe the solution is the development of a certification program for walk-in coolers and freezers that would clearly identify those units that have been independently tested to verify they achieve a federally established minimum performance rating.

AHRI said the federal government is working with industry to develop a testing methodology for this equipment by 2010. In addition, a final rule is expected to be adopted in January 2012 that will establish a performance-based standard.

The full article can be found here.

Don’t let this happen to your cooler

KNOXVILLE (WATE) — Knox County health inspectors were forced to temporarily close a North Knoxville deli this week over a walk-in cooler that was way too warm.

When the inspector found the walk-in refrigerator at 60 degrees and not working properly, she ordered a lot of food thrown away including ham, turkey, meatballs, pepperoni, bacon, eggs, and cheese.

Nearly 100 pounds of food were ordered thrown away because they weren’t safe to eat. Garelli’s was closed until the refrigerator was repaired.

Plus, the inspector found a roach crawling on the kitchen floor. Garelli’s pest control company was ordered to pay a visit.

Maybe the roach was attracted to the moldy grapes, celery and rotten tomatoes the inspector found in the refrigerator.

Mold was also found in the ice machine and water was leaking onto the kitchen floor.

Garelli’s is open again.

Here are some tips to help you pass your restaurant inspection.

Make sure your walk-in has insulation that will retain it’s r-value well over time. And always make sure your refrigeration unit is functioning properly.