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Glass Door Refrigeration Buying Guide

< All Buying Guides.

Keeping produce chilled to the ideal temperature whilst still advertising attractively can be a tall order; this is where quality commercial glass door refrigerators enter to solve all of your problems.

Convenience stores, bakeries and other shops can utilise the glass door and refrigerated body to show off their products clearly and effectively. These units provide an ideal way to store chilled drinks or food items safely whilst also displaying the pieces attractively to the customers. Refrigerated merchandisers are available in a variety of sizes and finishes to guarantee that there is a piece that will perfectly compliment your business.

Understanding all elements of these upright glass door chilled displays ensures that you make the right decision the first time and finalise a wise purchase for your business.

Key features;

  • Good quality insulation is essential to units performing in the most efficient way possible. Produce is maintained in premium condition ready to deliver customer satisfaction with every purchase.
  • The aesthetics and design of glass door refrigerated displays tend to be more attractive than solid door alternatives. This is due to the fact that displays are designed to aid the sale of products and enhance desirability in front of house areas. An ugly piece of equipment will reflect badly on all items stocked. With flat glass doors, you can kit out your business with a display refrigerator that complements your business style and décor.
  • Glass door chillers are ideal for self-service allowing customers to browse items and choose at their leisure. 
  • Hygienic materials both externally and internally will improve food safety and make cleaning easier.
  • All commercial refrigeration is designed to hold consistent temperatures typically ranging somewhere between 0˚C and 10˚C. This is suitable to meet all standard refrigeration needs, including the storage of dairy items.
  • The mechanical components used to power the equipment are stronger and more resilient than domestic parts and so longevity is increased and the unit is able to deal with the extra pressures of commercial environments.

Areas to consider;

  • The size of the overall unit in relation to the dimensions of the area available should be your first consideration. Always allow at least 2cm on all sides for adequate air circulation reducing the strain placed on the compressor and improving overall performance. The size of the display will also have a direct effect on the capacity offered. Ranging from 94 litres/3.3 cubic foot to 2040 litres/72 cubic foot there are plenty of options to accommodate all sized businesses.
  • Some glass door refrigerators have undermounted designs. This involves the main mechanics being housed at the base of the unit as opposed to the top. Not only does this improve air circulation in premises with lower ceilings but also places the main components in the coolest area. The low situation makes cleaning, servicing and maintenance easier with improved accessibility.
  • Displays are available with a choice of single, double or triple doors each with increasing capacity. Single door units have the option of right or left hinged doors to accommodate for all layouts and to eliminate any potential obstacles.
  • The efficiency of the product should be considered. This will play some part in dictating the level of running costs you can expect. Efficiency will often depend on the insulation, door seals and build quality etc. Locating manufacturer’s that acknowledge the importance of these features will generally have also paid close attention to increasing efficiency. You can also look out for equipment that features on the ETL and so is eligible on the governments ECA Scheme. Flagship brands typically have increased efficiency and improved longevity so although they may cost more initially you will see the savings in the future.
  • If looking for a unit with multiple doors there will often be a choice of sliding or hinged. You may find that sliding doors are the only option due to limited space and access, however, these are generally harder to maintain than hinged alternatives as dirt and grime can easily build-up and clog the runners reducing overall performance. Where there is a choice to be made, hinged doors are advised.
  • The number of shelves supplied with each unit will be dictated by the overall size of the equipment. Obviously, the larger the equipment the more shelves will come as standard. Shelves will often be adjustable to allow more personalised organisation of stock. Consider the materials from which the shelves are made. All commercial grade shelves should be strong enough to withstand the weight of multiple produce without bowing or bending.

Additional extras;

  • Exterior finish. The exterior finish should be chosen to complement the décor and design of your business. With different finishes to choose from the perfect product for your individual requirements is there somewhere.
  • Castors. Certain models feature castors, either as a full set or positioned only at the rear. This provides increased manoeuvrability when moving the equipment in general and during cleaning operations. Obviously, commercial refrigeration can be very heavy and so castors make everything a lot easier.

By now you should have narrowed down your possible selections but before finalising your purchase pay attention to these areas.


Display refrigeration can measure and weigh quite a lot, especially with larger units. You may have established that you have the internal space available to house the product however always make sure that you can actually get the equipment through an access point. Doorways and nearby obstacles are often overlooked until delivery is actually taking place leading to potential additional costs. By acknowledging any issues prior to purchase and delivery, appropriate arrangements can be made.


The warranty supplied as standard with glass door refrigerators will vary with each manufacturer. Always double check exactly what you are being offered and if there is an option to upgrade. With some units have a full parts and labour warranty others will only come with parts meaning that should any problems arise you will need to cover the cost of all labour. Typically offered over 12 or 24 months, some manufacturer’s will provide a longer warranty.

Ask advice

The options available to you should becoming clear however for additional advice you could look to friends who are in the same business. Remember that their recommendations will be based on what works for them and you may have different requirements to theirs. Alternatively you could enquire with an impartial and unbiased supplier who can listen to your requirements and provide valid suggestions for you to choose from, making the process much easier.