A commercially refrigerated space is generally defined as an enclosed area that’s designed to maintain a temperature below 55-degrees. And while this might sound like a pretty specific definition, it’s actually subject to a lot of confusion by owners and operators of commercial buildings!
The most common problem is this: any space meeting the definition above is considered a commercially refrigerated space… however within that broad, overhanging definition there are numerous smaller designations that have their own requirements. As an obvious example, a chilled warehouse is going to be a very different space from a grocery store frozen food section!
Space tends to be the biggest separator when it comes to defining commercial refrigeration in Florida. This is because the size of a refrigerated area is going to dictate the requirements of the system working to keep temperatures low. The larger the space, the more complex and intricate the system used to cool it and vice-versa!
Take a look at the general breakdown of different commercially refrigerated spaces based on their size:
- Chilled warehouses are going to be the largest refrigerated areas, usually dictated as 3,000 square feet or more. The temperature here is going to hover just below 55-degrees, usually.
- Cold storage typically refers to a 3,000 square foot or bigger space that is maintained at or around 32-degrees.
- A walk in cooler is the next item down the line. This space is less than 3,000 square feet in size and enjoys a temperature of below 55-degrees, but usually closer to freezing at 32-degrees.
- A walk in freezer is the same as the above, but temperatures are dictated below freezing, meaning sub 32-degrees.
- Refrigerated aisles and bays are typically found in grocery stores. These are the areas where frozen food and meat are kept and can be attuned to function above or below freezing. They usually hover between 30-45 degrees, depending on what’s being stored within them.
Tending the needs of spaces
Why is it so important to distinguish the different types of refrigerated spaces? Because knowing what you’re dealing with means knowing how to address problems, maintenance and other special intricacies!
Consider this scenario. You call a commercial refrigeration specialist to come out and assess a problem with your walk in freezer. As soon as you say “walk in freezer,” a professional is going to assume the above description. If you actually meant “chilled warehouse” however, that’s a whole new set of parameters that your refrigeration specialist might not have come equipped to service!
Knowing how to talk about things in a specific way also helps you to better understand the needs and accommodates of your commercial refrigeration in Florida. If you’re told that your liquid line solenoids are malfunctioning in your walk in cooler, for example, you can begin to understand how that part affects that system. Thus, if you have a problem in the future that involves this specific part, you’ll understand how it’s being assessed and resolved.
Getting on the same page when it comes to communication is key in any situation and it all starts with having the same meaning for words and phrases. Familiarize yourself with the above definitions so that you can properly inform your refrigeration contractor about issues within the unique parameters of your system.