One question we are frequently asked by our customers is: what are the differences between a Built-in undercounter refrigerator or freezer and a free-standing one? Knowing and understanding when to use the right unit could save you time, money and minimize the chance of unit failure. Both units look and function in a similar fashion; however, there are differences that need to be considered when you evaluate the space and environment in which you intend to use the unit.
Built-In Undercounter Refrigerators & Freezers
Built-in units, like the LabRepCo Undercounter Laboratory Freezer LHP-5-UFMB (above), are designed to be installed in areas which typically have very little clearance around the unit for ventilation; for example, under a counter and between fitted cabinets. These built-in units draw room air from the front of the unit under the door. A fan is then used to draw this cool, room air into the compressor compartment keeping the compressor cool, helping to prevent the compressor from overheating and – ultimately – failing. It is worth noting that this fan will add a low level of noise to the room.
Free-Standing Undercounter Refrigerators & Freezers
The free-standing unit, on the other hand, is designed to be placed in an open area, or in an area that allows for greater air circulation. Free-standing units, such as the LabRepCo Undercounter Laboratory Refrigerator LHP-3-URG (also above), do not use an exterior fan to aid in the cooling of the mechanical compartment, making it vital that proper clearance is maintained on all sides of the unit (usually between 3-4”). These units are not intended to be used in tight areas such as under a counter or between cabinets. However, because they lack the external fan that you find in the Built-in units, they tend to omit less noise.
In conclusion, it is the placement of these units that matters most in terms of pinpointing their differences. We hope that this short blog has helped you today, and if you have other questions, please feel free to contact one of our refrigeration specialists at 1-800-521-0754, or email us at [email protected].