Commercial Refrigeration Glossary

Here we detail a list of words, terms and abbreviations that you may come across on our site. This glossary aims to provide a quick guide detailing each terms meaning, definition or explanation in relation to our products. 

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Absorption refrigeration

A method of cooling that results in silent operation. It is typically considered to be more efficient however is not as powerful as standard commercial refrigeration. Absorption systems are generally used in hotel room or conference room fridges. 

Air curtain

A stream or blast of continuous cold air forced vertically down to form a 'curtain'. Typically used on open fronted chillers, it keeps the cold air in.


If a unit is said to be ambient, it means it is at the temperature of its surrounding area. It does not have heating or cooling devices.

Auto defrost

The term auto defrost or automatic defrost is used to describe a unit which will automatically remove the frost from within itself. It is an alternative to manual defrost.


Bottle dump

A bottle dump is another term for a chest cooler and is often seen in busy bars and clubs where large storage capacities are needed.


BSP is an abbreviation for British Standard Pipe. For example; a 3/4 BSP gas hose would be a British Standard Pipe of size 3/4.


Climate class

The maximum ambient temperature at which equipment can work at optimum efficiency and is measured on a scale of 1 - 5. This coincides with Relative Humidity. 


The first part of the refrigeration system, the compressor reduces the volume of gas or refrigerant causing high pressure which results in a temperature rise. Hot gas moves through to the condenser.


The second part of the refrigeration system sometimes known as a heat exchanger. The condenser cools hot gas refrigerant via either air or water before compressing the gas to create a hot liquid. This then travels to a metering device.


Cu.ft is an abbreviation for the measurement of cubic feet. Where possible we supply capacities in both cubic feet and litres.


Dairy deck

Commonly known as a multideck, these open-fronted chillers offer a multi-level tiered display for chilled produce.


The method used to measure noise level, typically when equipment is in operation. May be displayed as dB.

Display Refrigeration

Any piece of commercial refrigeration where the contents are clearly on view.


Energy Technology List (ETL)

A continuously updated list which features all equipment eligible on the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme.

Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA)

A scheme that allows a tax paying company to claim back 100% tax from energy saving equipment purchases in the first year. Eligible equipment must be present on the Energy Technology List (ETL).


The final stage of the refrigeration process. Cold refrigerant enters the evaporator and chills the equipment, vaporising and turning back into gas. This gas exits the evaporator and re-enters the compressor to begin the cycle again.

Expansion valve

The third stage of the refrigeration process, the expansion valve may be a capillary tube or metering device. Hot liquid undergoes a decrease in pressure which cools the liquid resulting in cold refrigerant. The cold refrigerant travels through to the evaporator.


Fan assisted cooling

Fan assisted cooling is used to identify a product which uses fans to assist in cooling the interior down to the required temperature.


Gastronorm (GN)

A gastronorm, sometimes abbreviated as GN, is a small, usually metallic container that is popularly used in the catering industry.

Global Warming Potential

Typically shown as GWP, the global warming potential refers to the amount of heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. The lower the GWP the better.


Equipment that has been returned to the manufacturer due to mis-order or damage which is then sold at a discounted price.


Hard water

Hard water is used to describe water with a high mineral content, this can damage some machines and it is recommended to use water softener in these cases. Some manufacturers will void the warranty if damage is experienced due to hard water should a water softener not be fitted.






Manufacturer’s warranty

Most of our products say "xx years/months manufacturer’s warranty" in the description. This means that if you buy the product you will have it under warranty with the manufacturer for xx length of time. On many of our commercial products the standard warranty is only parts. There is an option to add the labour warranty at an extra cost in such cases. If you are unsure about the warranty on a unit feel free to give us a call.

Milk pergal

More commonly refered to as a milk dispenser.

Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS)

A mandatory label which must be displayed on certain types of commercial refrigeration. The label shows the maximum amount of energy a product uses during operation with an energy rating, capacity and climate class.




Pan rail

A pan rail refers to a piece of countertop refrigeration that has the ability to hold GN pans.

'Plug and Play'

Any equipment fitted with a standard 3 pin plug is refered to as 'plug and play'. This means the unit can literally be plugged in to a standard socket and it's ready to use.

Pull down time

The time taken for refrigeration equipment to chill contents down to the required temperature.




The gas used within refrigeration equipment to achieve cold temperatures. There are a number of different types of refrigerant including CFC's HFC's, HC's etc. Each type has multiple forms of gas beneath it such as R134a or R290 etc.

Relative Humidity

Sometimes shown as RH, relative humidity relates to the amount of water vapour present in the air of the working environment in which equipment is positioned. It is usually displayed as a percentage (%).


When a unit is described as being remote, it means that the condenser of the unit is not built within the product, and is actually situated in a different location, usually connected by pipes.


Single phase

Refers to electrical power. Single phase can either be up to 13 Amps which uses a standard 3 pin plug or hardwired directly into a fused spur.


Slimline is a term used for units that are smaller in some way to the standard type of unit. This is usually in depth.

Static cooling

Static cooling relies on the natural circulation of cold air within a piece of refrigeration.


A surcharge is an extra amount of money that must be paid on top of the cost. For example, some deliveries will incur a delivery surcharge because they are in a certain area or an overnight delivery has been specified.


Temperature range

The temperature range is a units minimum and maximum operating temperatures. It will not exceed these temperatures in its normal operation.


A thermostat is a device used in cooling or heating products, it allows the end user to regulate the temperature by turning the relevant devices on or off.

Three phase

Refers to electrical power. Three phase will deliver more power and will operate at a higher voltage. It is required that the building be set up specifically for three phase equipment. Three phase uses a specialist electrical connector.



Ventilated cooling

Typically used in ice cream refrigeration, ventilated cooling works in the same way as fan assisted cooling.


WEEE Regulations

A piece of legislation introduced to reduce the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment being sent to landfill. It promotes environmentally sound removal, treatment, disposal and recycling.