Should Refrigeration Units have Doors or Not?

Ice Cream Fridge

When you walk into a supermarket it is no surprise that the fridges, and sometimes the freezers, don’t have doors on them, yet at home you wouldn’t even dream of having the fridge door open constantly. Well this subject has been up for debate for the last three to four years because not only will having doors on refrigeration units reduce the supermarkets energy, it uses less energy and therefore they operate at a more environmentally friendly level.

There are many benefits to putting doors on refrigeration units including lowering the electricity bill, LED lighting can be used and enhance the look of the products and the aisles won’t be unnecessarily cold, providing a better experience for the customer too.

Whilst this is true, there are also some downsides to having doors on these refrigeration units such as the maintenance aspects and also aisle widths may have to be changed which could mean less products are sold.

Some fridges in supermarkets have been fitted with doors but without a general trend throughout the supermarkets as a whole, it is unlikely to be something that is considered as standard.
The Co-Operative Group is already running trials in around 300 of their stores with chillers that are enclosed. So far they have found that they have saved 20 per cent on energy bills and their customers are leaving warmer than before!

Alex Putman is a retailer and he has estimated that if doors were put on all refrigeration units in supermarkets across the UK, it would save 1 per cent of the energy bill in Britain.

Many believe that if the industry as a whole agreed to using fridges with doors there won’t be a need for Government action, similar to the alcohol industry who have voluntarily decided to promote “drink responsibly” so there aren’t extra rules and regulations within their industry. Within the French market, this is exactly what the refrigeration industry has done and they also have incentives including tax breaks for businesses.

As with anything there are positives and negatives to having refrigeration units with doors on, which would you prefer in a supermarket? Let us know on our Twitter page!

Photo by goosmurf / CC BY 2.0