Maintaining samples at an optimal temperature while in storage is vital for many lab professionals and this makes choosing the right freezer or refrigerator a crucial task. While the average kitchen freezer operates at about -20°C, laboratory variants have a much wider range of options depending on the storage conditions needed.
Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying Cold Storage Equipment
- How is the product manufactured? Ask about the quality of the materials used and the product life.
- What is the warranty? What does it include and for how long? Will anything void the warranty?
- How green is the product? Ask the company to provide details on energy efficiency and have them relate it to your return on investment (e.g. in four years will you save enough money in energy costs to pay for your freezer/fridge?).
- How much sample capacity are you getting for your space?
- What are the optimal voltage/wiring conditions for running the fridge/ freezer? If the building is older, will low voltage or voltage fluctuations affect the performance of the freezer/fridge?
Types of cold storage equipment used by survey respondents:
|Upright general-purpose lab freezers||73%|
|Upright ultra-low temperature freezers||56%|
|Low temperature upright lab freezers||45%|
|Under-counter general purpose lab freezers||39%|
|Low temperature chest lab freezers||19%|
|Flammable materials storage||16%|
|Chest ultra-low temperature freezers||16%|
|Blood bank and plasma||15%|
Service and repair methods for cold storage equipment as reported by survey respondents:
|In-house service department||44%|
|Instrument manufacturer time/material||18%|
|Instrument manufacturer service contract||10%|
|Multi-vendor service provider||8%|
Nearly 30% of respondents are engaged in purchasing new cold storage equipment. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:
|Upgrading existing cold storage equipment||
|Replacing obsolete equipment||
|Addition to existing systems, increase capacity||
|Setting up a new lab||
Top 10 Features/Factors Respondents Look for When Purchasing Cold Storage Equipment:
|Durability of product||84%|
|Reliability of product||83%|
|Sensitivity and accuracy of temperature controls||63%|
|Reputation of vendor||48%|
|Service and support||47%|
|Audible and visual hi/lo alarm for each controller||40%|
For more information on cold storage equipment, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/cold-storage