Commercial Display Fridges & Freezers: Size & Capacity Deceptions

There are many tricks in commercial fridge or freezer industry marketing to deceive you into thinking a fridge has a similar size and capacity to what is considered “standard”. We are going to describe a few things to watch out for when making decisions about sizes and capacities.

Actual Depth & Size

As mentioned, a lot of cheaper commercial refrigerated display merchandisers can electronically look very much like the industry standard models used in Australia (usually 2,000mm high with 200mm high sign box, 1,094-1,286mm wide by 710mm deep). Obviously, you need to check all the measurements, but take important note of the overall depth of the unit and make sure the internal depth is also listed. This is a common source of complaint about these units, besides being inefficient (high electricity charges), not performing as described or implied – not actually food rated when showing images of food within and describing they are suitable for cafes, restaurants, etc. Most businesses will prefer to re-stock less often, not have to hold additional stock that is cold dependant out the back, unless your plan is to not sell much of the product.

Litreage Capacity

The internal capacity of a commercial fridge or freezer should be the actual space. This might surprise you but we are aware a large number of suppliers and manufacturers are calculating the internal space and purposely not including the space that the evaporator takes up internally. As an example see our Huxford HSL300 and Huxford HFM30PLUS as pictured below, the evaporator/fan takes up a large portion of the top rear of the cabinet. It is misleading for any supplier/manufacturer to calculate this internal space based purely on a rectangular shape.

Model or Part Number

Globally part or model numbers mainly used to refer to the internal capacity size, whether that be “cubic feet” for USA or “litres” for UK and Australia. So a part number of # FRIDGE-20 in the USA might be 20 cubic feet capacity. In Australia it might be # FRIDGE-600 which might be 600 litres. Make sure the capacity is mentioned, don’t take the part number as the capacity. And as mentioned previously on “litreage capacity” confirm the internal space is exactly that “space” and not partially “occupied” by an evaporator.

Our mission here at Huxford Refrigeration is to educate our customers so they can make the right decisions. It is our opinion that the commercial display merchandising refrigerator and freezer is one of the most critically important assets when it comes to cold food storage and merchandising. Not only for the safety and well-being of your customers but for the continued success of your business.

Huxford Refrigeration recommends regular maintenance from qualified refrigeration mechanics. Commercial display refrigerators and freezers (similar to cars) have moving parts and fail more dramatically and expensively if they have never been serviced. Consult your operation or instruction manual for more information on preventative maintenance, cleaning and cost saving procedures you can perform. For safety always turn off and unplug a refrigerator or freezer if you are cleaning or working on it. Never perform electrical or refrigeration work unless you are qualified to do so.