Remote vs. integral refrigeration - what’s the difference?

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While they do the same job, remote and integral refrigeration systems tackle the challenge in different ways. Refrigeration keeps produce at a set cool temperature to preserve freshness and extend shelf life. A refrigerator, in its simplest form, consists of a box or cabinet in which the produce sits, and a separate area with working parts of the refrigerator. These don’t necessarily need to be in the same place.

What is remote refrigeration?

Remote refrigeration is where the working parts of the refrigeration system are at a distance from the cabinet where the produce is kept. This is achieved by specialists installing pipework that runs from the location of the cabinet to another area, which can be outside, where the compressor and other working parts are located. The pipework draws the heat away from the refrigerator in the same way as an integral system and releases the heat into the air.

What is integral refrigeration?

Integral refrigeration is the more commonly used system. This is where the working parts of the refrigerator are located within the main cabinet, so that you can simply plug your refrigerator in, and it will start working. The process of refrigeration is exactly the same, but the components are all in one place.

Pros and cons of remote refrigeration

While remote refrigeration may seem more complex, it does have one very pronounced pro. Once it has been installed the running cost of the remote refrigeration system is cheaper than a standard integral system. It’s often chosen for larger setups, where multiple units can be attached to the remote working section. It’s a very economical way to run your refrigeration systems once installed. The cons of the remote refrigeration system are that it can be expensive and complex to install. You cannot simply plug in your fridge and get on with your day. The remote system will need to be installed by a refrigeration specialist, so will take longer to install initially. Removing the noise and heat from the inside and piping these away can be an excellent decision for locations where noise is a factor, and achieving a pleasant atmosphere is imperative. The heat generated by multiple refrigeration units can build up and make working environments extremely uncomfortable.

Pros and cons of integral refrigeration

Integral refrigeration is quick to set up and install. As it only needs to be plugged in, there’s usually no need to book a refrigeration specialist to come and install it for you. If you need urgent refrigeration, then you should always choose an integral refrigerator. Integral refrigerators are cheaper to purchase, due to the lack of installation costs associated with the remote systems. Large investments can be unachievable for some businesses and may cause problems with cash flow. Businesses with only one refrigerator won’t be adversely affected by the noise or heat given off by an integral refrigerator. An integral refrigerator can be moved around freely. If you want to redesign the layout of your store, to trial whether it affects your sales, then you can do so. A remote system is installed with pipework, and whilst this can be moved, it will be costly to do this. If you’re thinking of upgrading your premises in the coming years, then an integral refrigeration system would be better, as you can simply move it with you. However, integral refrigerators do cost more to run in the longer term, and this can be a very important factor to consider when you are deciding on the best refrigeration for your business. If you have multiple units, are looking to the long term, aren’t going to move locations or are happy with the design and layout of your store, then a remote refrigeration system may be best for you. Otherwise, choose flexibility with an integral unit.

Let the team at Fridgesmart help you decide on the best refrigeration system for your business

Here at Fridgesmart, we’ve worked with many businesses over the years to help them choose the best refrigeration systems for their situation. We have an extensive range of refrigeration choices, which you can view here. We spend time researching the best refrigeration available for our customers, always ensuring that the products we sell are well-designed and well-engineered, using high-quality materials. Our refrigeration systems are an investment in your business, and we want to ensure that this is a good long-lasting investment. If you want advice on whether an integral or remote system is best for your business, then our friendly and helpful team is here to help. Simply call us today on 01792 677169.