What To Consider When Shopping For Medical Refrigerators and Freezers

Medical Freezers and Refrigerators

Medical refrigerators and freezers are very different than your standard at home unit. Lab freezers, units used in clinics and hospitals, need to have precise temperature management so that stored samples, vaccines, and medications are kept at the appropriate levels to prevent being compromised.

The medical and scientific fields have a much lower margin for error when it comes to refrigeration. Making sure the right unit is used can help mitigate temperature fluctuation, so that vaccines and medications are kept viable for use in the future. If you are in need of medical refrigerators and freezers, here are some things you need to take into consideration.

It is advised by the CDC that units that provide both refrigeration and freezing are not used. That is because having a unit that does both can cause unnecessary fluctuations up to 5 degrees Celsius. While that might not seem like a lot, and for a home unit it isn’t detrimental, for vaccine storage it can cause detrimental damage rendering them unusable. It is advised to instead invest in separate units so that both can function optimally.

How Much Storage Space

Consider how much storage space you need in your unit. Choosing one that is too big or too small can cause unneeded issues over time. Units can best function at a 30 to 80% capacity, and less can cause fluctuations in temperature, and any more and cause hot or cold spots to occur, due to a lack of air circulation.


Depending on where the units fans are located, placement can factor into overall efficiency. Built in medical refrigerators and freezers are best suited for under counter use, while a free standing unit should be placed in the open so that it can properly ventilate. Consider where you will place your unit so that you won’t have any avoidable issues in the future.


Depending on what you are storing, the temperature ranges are something to consider. While most medical refrigerator units are between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, freezers can have a larger range, though most basic units are between -10 and -20 degrees Celsius; however, advanced medical grade freezers can reach -85 degrees. Know what temperature is needed for what you will be storing so that you can get the unit to properly suit your needs.


Wire shelving, or ventilated shelving is essential to making sure air can circulate throughout the unit. This can prevent cold or hot spots, which can sabotage inventory. Take this into account when looking at units.


Many units come constructed with temperature gauges, but a daily check log should also be taken, especially if you are storing things for a long period of time. Checking temperatures throughout the day and documenting them can help identify fluctuations that could be addressed sooner, rather than later. You may also want to consider an auditory alarm that can alert you to whenever the temperature dips beyond an acceptable range.

The Takeaway

If you are in the market for medical refrigerators and freezers, think about the above considerations, and put them to use when deciding what unit will be best suited to serve your needs. There are a lot of interconnected factors that can make vast differences when deciding on the right option. Don’t leave your sensitive medical inventory up to chance; make sure you cover as many bases as possible so that all of your stored items stay viable.

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