Empty refrigerator in grocery store

How Do Commercial Refrigerators Work?

Commercial refrigerators are vital to many businesses, especially those in the food and beverage industry. Whether it's a restaurant, grocery store, or catering service, commercial fridges help keep products fresh and safe for consumption. This article will delve into the intricacies of how commercial refrigerators work, discuss the costs associated with them, and explore the benefits of renting these appliances when required.

What is a Commercial Refrigerator?

A commercial refrigerator is a cooling system designed to store large quantities of food at the optimal temperature to prevent spoilage. Unlike residential refrigerators, commercial ones are more powerful, have larger storage capacities, and are built to withstand continuous use.

How Does a Commercial Refrigerator Work?

The working principle of commercial refrigerators isn't far from that of your home fridge. They use the process of refrigeration, which involves removing heat from the contents of the refrigerator and releasing it outside.

The refrigerator's compressor pumps refrigerant (a cooling agent) through the system's coils. As the refrigerant evaporates, it absorbs heat from inside the refrigerator, thereby cooling the contents. The heated refrigerant then moves to the condenser coils outside the fridge, releasing the heat into the surrounding air and cooling down before returning to the evaporator to repeat the process.

What is the Difference Between a Commercial Refrigerator and Your Home’s Fridge?

While both commercial and home refrigerators serve the primary function of keeping food cold, they differ significantly in terms of size, power, design, and regulations. Commercial refrigerators are larger, more powerful, and designed to withstand continuous use. They have robust compressors that can quickly cool large quantities of food, which is crucial for food safety in a commercial setting. Their storage capacity is also significantly higher to accommodate bulk food items. On the other hand, home refrigerators are smaller, less powerful, and designed for intermittent use. They are built with convenience in mind, offering features like adjustable shelves, door storage, and, sometimes, an integrated freezer. Additionally, commercial refrigerators must meet more stringent health and safety regulations compared to residential models.

Businesses That Need Commercial Refrigerators

Any business that deals with perishable goods requires a commercial refrigerator. This includes restaurants, cafes, bakeries, butcheries, grocery stores, convenience stores, hotels, hospitals, schools, and catering companies.

Costs Associated with Commercial Refrigerators

The costs of commercial refrigerators can vary widely based on factors like size, type, brand, and energy efficiency. On average, a new commercial refrigerator can range from $1,000 for smaller under-counter units to over $10,000 for larger walk-in units.

In addition to the upfront cost, there are ongoing maintenance and energy consumption costs. Commercial refrigerators run continuously and can contribute significantly to a business's utility bills. Therefore, investing in an energy-efficient model, though more expensive initially, can lead to cost savings over time.

Regular maintenance is crucial to keep the refrigerator running smoothly and prevent costly repairs or replacements. This includes cleaning the condenser coils, checking the door seals, and ensuring the thermostat is correctly set.

Benefits of Renting Commercial Refrigerators

For businesses that need a commercial refrigerator temporarily or cannot afford the hefty upfront cost, renting is an attractive option. Here are some benefits:


Renting allows businesses to upgrade or downsize their refrigeration capacity as needed without a significant financial commitment. You also can choose from short-term and long-term rentals to fit your business needs.

Maintenance and Repair

Rental companies typically handle the maintenance and repair of the rented refrigerators, relieving businesses of this responsibility.

Cost Savings

Renting eliminates the need for a large upfront investment, making it easier for small businesses or startups to manage their cash flow.

Commercial Refrigeration Renting Options with Cool It!

Because of high costs and seasonal demands, renting refrigeration for your business can be a cost-effective and efficient solution. At Cool It!, we offer a wide range of affordable, walk-in units for many types of businesses that allow you to meet your budget and business needs.

Visit us online or call us at (877) 960-1377 to learn more about our rental refrigeration options today.