If your laboratory has less space, then an under-counter lab freezer can be the perfect answer to store temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, lab samples, and costly biological specimens safely within the limited space available.
It will also help if you acquaint yourself with the fact the laboratory and household freezers are different. And the former is more sophisticated than the latter and bears features to protect the stored items from temperature excursions, among other things.
What the Essential Factors to Consider While Selecting an Under Counter Freezer?
Before you make the purchase, you should bear one thing in mind: the cost factor. Under counter freezers usually cost more than domestic refrigerators.
You should first assess the laboratory freezer’s cost to the overall value it will provide to your laboratory in the long run.
Many pharmaceuticals, specimens, and biological samples require specific temperature ranges for effective storage. If the temperature fluctuates beyond the prescribed range, the stored items can get damaged. In that case, you will incur monetary losses in replacing the damaged items.
Therefore, figure out whether your prospective freezer can store your items effectively.
Where Will You Place the Unit?
The location where you will place your under-counter freezer in your laboratory is an important consideration before purchasing it.
Ensure that your facility has enough space to accommodate the freezer. If your laboratory is big, you can have broader options.
As you should allow the prescribed space around the freezer, ensure that your laboratory has that space to allow the cooling system’s proper ventilation.
Another important thing to consider is that you cannot use an extension cord for your counter freezer, so make sure that there is a power source nearby.
How Much Storage Capacity You Need?
It is essential to figure out the storage capacity you need to choose the right freezer capacity. Counter freezers usually have limited storage capacity, but there are options with different capacities.
To ensure that your prospective freezer can store your items, assess what storage capacity you require and compare it with the freezer’s capacity.
Also, keep in mind that not to overfill your freezer, leave some space to allow continuous airflow inside the unit to keep things in a cold environment.
What are Your Storage Temperature Requirements?
The next consideration is your storage temperature requirements, and that depends on the items you are going to store in the freezer.
Undercounter laboratory freezers can provide a temperature range between -15 to – 25 degrees C. If your temperature requirements are lower than the range, go for an ultra-low temperature freezer, which, however, is not available in under-counter configurations.
What are the Essential Features You Should Look Out for?
Do not undermine the idea of inspecting the essential features of your prospective under-counter freezer. So, what features should you look at? The answer is the following:
Check out the temperature control facilities in the freezer. These facilities are sophisticated for the high-end units.
Digital LED display microprocessor controls allow users to set specific temperatures within a range of -15 to -25 degrees C. Different models allow different temperature ranges. Still, the temperature control mechanism is what helps better manage the interior temperature.
Moreover, LEDs display the internal temperature on the exterior of the freezer.
Such freezers with dial-type temperature settings are lower in cost but provide less precise temperature management.
Temperature Monitoring and Alarm Systems
In addition to maintaining the requisite temperature range, your freezer should protect your valuable laboratory items. So, make sure that the freezer you choose can work without malfunctioning to avoid damages to your stored items.
A malfunction can result in substantial losses by damaging your items, which require the right temperature environment to stay potent. If you have decided on a refrigeration unit to keep your items at a certain temperature, then you may require refrigeration maintenance to ensure it can be restored back to maximum performance.
Ensure that the unit you choose bears automated temperature monitoring, alarming and record-keeping, which are the under counter freezer’s critical features.
Digital LED microprocessor controllers on the freezer allow adjustment to specific temperatures. The controllers send out audible and visual alarms if the interior temperature range goes beyond the set range. Some models come with a remote alarm to alert personnel in other areas of your facility. Some freezers come with an alarming system, called the built-in digital display with high/low alarm signals.
Data loggers are a sophisticated means of monitoring the internal temperature of freezers. These can send alerts even through email, text, or phone when the prescribed range’s internal temperature goes out.
Best Storage Practices
You can get the best out of your freezer only when you implement the storage practices, such as:
Avoiding On-Door Storage
Do not store items on the door shelves as they will get exposed to the outside temperature when you open the door. Outside temperature can be detrimental to the items.
Use Frozen Ice Packs to Fill Empty Space
It helps to maintain internal temperatures in the event of a power failure.
Place items inside the freezer in such a way that they are visible to locate easily. It will also minimize the time for keeping the door open.
Add Items Slowly
Put items inside the unit slowly to avoid straining items and causing temperature fluctuations.
We believe that this article will help you to choose the right freezer for your facility. And there is one more thing–choose a reputed and reliable manufacturer to get a high-quality unit. It is a good idea to plan your course of action, such as keeping a generator ready for lengthy power failures.