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Should I buy a Self-Contained Plug in Display Unit or is Remote Refrigeration better?

Every business, whether it’s a small café or a large restaurant, needs somewhere to store cold foods.

Shop refrigerator units come in many different sizes and styles, which is useful because it allows you to purchase the option that best suits your restaurant’s layout and individual needs.

For instance, when shopping for a restaurant display counter, you may come across the terms ‘plug in’ or ‘remote refrigeration’ and you’ll notice that there is a large price difference between the two.

In this article we will try to explain the main differences between them…

Remote Refrigeration Cake Display Stand

What is a PLUG IN unit?

Plug in refrigerators are appliances that include all of their components, such as the condenser and evaporator, inside the unit itself. 

These types of refrigerators are the most popular option used, and they account for nearly 90% of refrigerators used in catering business.

What are the benefits a of ‘Plug in’ counter:

  • Plug in refrigerators are very easy to set up, and you ca start using them immediately.
  • Because everything is housed in one self-contained unit, it’s easy to service your refrigerator unit
  • Self-contained units can be moved easily.

What are downsides to a ‘Plug in’ display stand:

  • All in one units create heat, raising the temperature in your shop quite quickly.
  • As a result of the hot air in your premises, your air conditioning will have to work overtime to compensate, resulting in a higher utility bill.
  • The evaporator and condenser on these units can be loud

What is Remote Refrigeration?

Remote refrigerators are insulated cold food storage areas that are outfitted with an evaporator inside.

However, the compressor and condenser are located in a remote area away from the refrigerator itself.

Typically, foodservice establishments will place their condensers and compressors on the roof, outside wall, or ground.

Because the components that give off the most heat – the compressor and condenser – they are often placed away from the main unit.

Why? These establishments can suffer with poor ventilation or low ceilings.

Additionally, remote options are an excellent choice, if you have a large grocery store, deli, or commissary kitchen that operates using multiple coolers,

They keep your interior cool and comfortable for your guests, wjile also remove the noise from the condensers.

What are the benefits of remote refrigeration option:

  • Because there are fewer components in the main body of the refrigerator, remote refrigerators usually have more storage space.
  • They eliminate any noise issues, which is ideal for display units or refrigerators in grocery stores.
  • They can reduce your energy bill because your fridge will be producing less heat that your air conditioning needs to deal with.
  • If you operate in a cool climate, installing your condensers and compressors on the roof or outside can help your unit run more efficiently.

What are the downsides to remote refrigeration:

  • They are more expensive to install because you need a professional to run lines from your kitchen to wherever you want to install the compressor and condenser.
  • Additionally, because the components of your refrigerator are separated, they’re more difficult and time-consuming to repair.
  • Remote units can increase your utility bills as they require more power to move the coolant to the remote compressor and condenser.

Plug in and remote refrigerators are both excellent choices for different types of foodservice settings when you’re looking for a new refrigerator.

Set-up is easy and they offer great versatility and in most restaurants a plug in refrigerator is the perfect solution.

However, when it comes to refrigerators, though, it’s best to consider your option.

Consider the type of refrigerator that is best for your establishment’s unique situation and needs, rather than just looking a unit cost alone.

By Emilia Palak