Tips for Maintaining a Medical Fridge or Freezer


The undercounter lab refrigerator and medical grade freezer are crucial to keeping specimens, vaccines, and medications, and other items safe. To be most useful, an undercounter lab refrigerator should make a minimum of noise, have redundant systems to maintain high levels of performance, maximize storage capacity, and use as little energy as possible while providing all this. Here are some tips to keeping an undercounter lab refrigerator or pharmacy freezer in top condition.

Defrost Regularly

Defrosting medical refrigerators and freezers is not fundamentally different from defrosting a home fridge and freezer unit. The frost levels in these units can affect the uniformity of cooling, which is a serious issue for medical samples and vaccines. It also affects energy consumption, which can dramatically increase costs over time. Frost should generally be removed any time it becomes so thick that the inside walls can no longer be seen. Advanced units may have indicators to show when it’s time to defrost.

Keep Voltages Correct

It’s not uncommon for a someone to simply a buy a unit and plug it in. An undercounter lab refrigerator is a delicate item and many things depend on whether it works reliably and correctly. Any unstable voltage can cause a malfunction, so the voltage at the power plug should be within 5% of the range needed by the unit, and the power supply should be rated at least 25% higher than the unit needs. This will allow room for any issues, including startup power needs.

Always Keep the Filters Fresh

Filters should always be changed on schedule, but the placement of the scientific freezer will have a lot to do with filter life. Common areas with lots of traffic churn up lots of dust, while quiet, enclosed labs are much cleaner. The newest generation of freezer for pharmaceuticals is filter-free, which saves you a step.

Consider Your Surroundings

The temperature and humidity if the area where the undercounter lab refrigerator is stored will have an affect on the unit, and when temperatures are too high and the unit must run hard all the time, efficiency is lowered, equipment can overheat, and in worst case scenarios the unit can even fail.

Proper Daily Usage

While maintenance is important, it’s also critical to use a pharmaceutical grade refrigerator in the right manner at all times. It should always be stored with plenty of room for air to circulate around it, and it should be cleaned only after it has been unplugged and allowed to warm. It should never be loaded beyond the recommended capacity, and it should always be connected to a dedicated electrical circuit. It’s also important to keep the doors closed as much as possible. Everyone should establish a habit of looking through the door to find needed items before opening the door, and buying a unit with an alarm to alert everyone to an open door is always a smart move.

An undercounter lab refrigerator has a lot riding on its stable, reliable performance. Help your units do their job by treating them right every day and by maintaining them properly and at regular intervals. Then you’ll always be able to count on them when you need them.


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