R-value: what it is and why it is important

Reliable refrigeration is important for many industries, including catering, floristry and scientific research. Keeping food, flowers or chemicals at a stable low temperature prolongs their life and ensures they are safe and suitable to use.

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The Food Standards Agency highlights the importance of adequate and reliable refrigeration in order to keep food safe, so it is well worth spending some time researching the most appropriate unit for your purpose.

In order to maintain a steady temperature, good insulation in a cold room is essential and makes a large difference to efficiency and, therefore, running costs. Good insulation also reduces how hard fridge components have to work which increases their life expectancy and reduces maintenance.

What is an R-value?

An R-value, also known as an R-factor, measures the quality of a fridge’s insulation. The value is determined by how well a material resists the flow of heat. The R-value can change depending on the type of foam used in the insulation and also how old the foam is.

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Why should you consider the R-value?

When choosing commercial cold rooms, such as those found at www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/cold-rooms/integrated-cold-rooms, R-values should be an important consideration. A typical R-value for a walk-in cold room is around 25, however, many manufacturers have developed rooms with considerably higher R-values, thanks to the types and thicknesses of the foam used.

A high R-value means that your cold room will have a better ability to keep out ambient heat. This means your unit will not have to work as hard to maintain a low temperature, which can extend the life of your compressor and also lower your running costs.

Changes in R-value

The R-value of a unit can change over time as the insulation ages, so it is important to consider a long-term projection, rather than just the R-value at purchase. Projected R-values can differ according to the mean operating temperature of your cold room, so you should think about what temperature your fridge is going to be kept at. Lower temperature requirements may mean a different type of insulation would be better.

There are many technical and practical specifications to consider when selecting the most suitable cold room, but researching R-values could save you a considerable amount of money in running and maintenance costs over the long term.