1. Can commercial refrigerators be placed without clearance?
Although there's nothing stopping you from doing that, it is more efficient to place the unit with at least 3" of clearance on all sides. This allows air to flow better, meaning the refrigeration coils will be properly cooled and the compressor will not have to work so hard. This ultimately saves you money and adds life to your unit.
2. What should I consider before purchasing a commercial refrigerator?
Three things, at least, should be considered when shopping for a Commercial Refrigerator. What are you storing? How much of it is there? Where are you placing it? This will help you determine the size of the unit you need and considering placement will allow you to plan for clearance and swinging doors.
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3. How can I save on my energy costs with a commercial refrigerator?
Think about Energy Star rated units, which are already known for saving energy. Considering solid and split doors over the convenience of glass doors will make a difference. Split doors, especially solid ones, allow easy access to products with minimal energy loss that can be associated with full sized doors. The location of the compressor can also affect energy efficiency. Top mounted compressors generate heat away from the cold zone, making the process more efficient.