The Basics in Selecting a Laboratory Freezer

Laboratory freezers are very high quality appliances. They have to be, because often what is placed inside them must have their temperature maintained precisely. For this reason companies who provide laboratory freezers must be prepared for their products to meet stringent standards in safety and performance required for the lab.

With this being said, not all laboratory freezers are created equal and not all freezers serve the exact same purpose. This article will discuss the function each different laboratory freezer serves and how to determine which one suits your needs.

What is a laboratory freezer?

Laboratory freezers are designed to adhere to the highest standards of quality and safety. Unlike their consumer cousins, they are designed to work problem free under the most difficult conditions and to perform at a high level of quality for extended periods of time. Their parts are more heavy duty and medical grade and in some cases they are custom built for a specific purpose or space. They also have special features including alarms to alert if the temperature changes within the unit outside of allowed tolerances, digital temperature displays, and a door lock. Consequently, they cost considerably more than consumer freezers.

Laboratory freezers excel at delivering high levels of performance including:

  1. Being durable and reliable so that there is assurance that no contents placed in the freezer will be damaged. They must be able to store: vaccines and other medications that must be stored according to CDC guidelines, chemicals that require specific consistent storage temperatures, lab samples such as blood and bone marrow, and biological research samples that include tissue, fluids and cells.
  2. Being able to meet ultra-low temperature requirements.
  3. Being able to maintain temperatures consistently and within the stated tolerances.
  4. Having controls that are easy to utilize.
  5. Having a complete range of features.

Types of Laboratory Freezers

While they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, there are four main types of medical freezers that you will come across during your search for the perfect unit. Upon examining the various options, your facility should have no problem finding a freezer that meets the unique needs.

Upright Laboratory Freezer

These are the most common laboratory freezers and they are also the most accessible to anyone working in the lab. They stand upright like consumer refrigerators and come in a variety of sizes and shapes from ones that fit on a counter top to ones that are very large and need their own dedicated corner of the laboratory. They will all have shelving to focus on allowing scientists easy sight and access to contents placed inside them. They are commonly used in nearly every research facility and hospital.

Under-counter Laboratory Freezer

When floor space is an issue, many labs opt to purchase an under counter lab freezer. These freezers are typically built into a cabinet and fit exactly into a specified space. In terms of its function, it can provide the same functionality as an upright freezer, but its size will be limited. Also these freezers will generally have an installation cost.

Laboratory Chest Freeze

These freezers look like the chest freezers that are common in restaurants and some homes where they are used to store larger, or bulkier items for longer periods. They typically open on the top via a hinge in the back. They usually have minimal shelving.

Ultra-Low Temperature Laboratory Freezers

In the lab setting there will be the need to store some materials at temperatures as low as -85° Ultra Low Temperature Laboratory Freezers are designed to reach and consistently maintain these temperatures. To provide its functions these freezers use a lot more power than the other types of lab freezers, so expect higher electricity bills. Ultra low temperature freezers come in a variety of sizes.

 

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