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What is the difference between domestic and commercial refrigeration?

What is the Difference Between
Domestic & Commercial Refrigeration?

One of the questions we get asked by hospitality professionals who are stepping out into their own business is whether they need to invest in commercial refrigeration straight away. After all, if you are opening a small café or bar, chances are you are only servicing a small number of people at a time, and perhaps don’t see the value in investing in a commercial refrigerator. But there are some significant differences between domestic and commercial units – and having the right kind of unit can end up saving you money on running costs.

Domestic Fridges

Domestic fridges are much quieter than commercial fridges and chill products efficiently without consuming a lot of power. However, they are not designed to cope with products being continuously taken out or replaced and this is the main reason a domestic refrigeration unit is not suitable for commercial businesses. One of the other drawbacks to domestic refrigeration units is that they tend to come only in a small range of standard sizes. And finally, domestic units generally come with freezers attached, whereas commercial units typically do not.

Commercial Fridges

Commercial fridges come in a huge range of shapes and sizes to suit whatever retail space you are looking at. From upright display models to smaller units designed to fit under a bar or kitchen benches and fridges which are designed for transportation of produce or liquids, you can select the shape and type of fridge specific to your requirements.

Commercial fridges and freezers have been designed specifically so that they can remain cold despite being continuously in use. They have larger compressors, condensers and fans which work to continuously distribute chilled air inside the unit and remove excess heat from the coil. All this power comes at the cost of a noisier unit than what you would experience with a domestic refrigeration unit – but means that your products will stay chilled regardless of how often the unit is opened in an hour.

Looking After Your Commercial Fridge or Freezer

It is even more important to regularly service a commercial unit thanks to the supercharged motherboard, compressors, fans and insulation. Because your unit is working hard virtually all the time, any stress (such as very hot days in summer) can have an impact if your fridge or freezer is not taken care of.

Need More Help?

If you are still unsure of whether you need a domestic or commercial cooling unit, please get in touch with our team of expert technicians. We will run through your specific business requirements and help you decide which type of fridge or freezer is right for your needs.

Top Tips

Why it is Important to Maintain a Regular Servicing Schedule

Why is it Important to Maintain a Regular Servicing Schedule

Caring for your heat pump is easily and often discounted as a ‘nice to have’ rather than a necessity. However, they are an asset worth something to the value of your home and your own personal comfort so therefore worth taking care of.
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Longer lifecycle

Like anything with a motor, regular maintenance and servicing is important for your heat pump to keep it running as well as possible for as long as possible.

Enhancing efficiency

Efficiency should be a key driver to get your heat pump serviced regularly, after all, isn’t efficient heating why you had it installed? When it’s not running at its peak it’s costing you more in energy consumption.

Health benefits

Regular heat pump servicing helps the filters keep doing their job of removing bacteria and odours from the air in your home.

Improved comfort

If your heat pump isn’t at its peak and heating or cooling proficiently it’s directly impacting your comfort levels.

When to service

A good brand, serviced properly, can last anywhere up to 15 years. Never having it serviced could knock at least 5 years off that or at least ensure it’s performing poorly for a large portion of it’s lifecycle.

Your heat pump should be serviced before you really need it so pre-winter and, if you use it for cooling, before the peak of summer.

If you notice your power bills have increased without an obvious reason it could be your heat pump is not running well and needs a service.

I clean my heat pump filters, I don’t need a service

We hear this a lot and it’s important to know that cleaning and servicing are quite different. Filter cleaning is basic maintenance and good on you for doing it often. However, servicing also tends to the mechanical operation of both the indoor and outdoor units.

Things you can do yourself

  • Check your manual and follow any instructions it gives on maintenance and cleaning.

  • Clean supply and return grilles/louvers with a damp cloth (these are the fins that swing back and forth to move the air) and make sure they’re not blocked.

  • Filters can usually be cleaned simply by vacuuming or wiping with a damp cloth. During times of heavy use you may want to wash them in warm soapy water, leave to dry and return to the unit.

  • To clean the outdoor unit, gently hose it down to remove dirt and a brush to clear away cobwebs and bits of plants and leaves that have gathered and could block the coil or drain.


  • If your system won’t switch on, check the remote control batteries. It they’re ok, check the fuse in your fuse box.

  • If the temperature is right but the air flow is weak check the filters aren’t clogged with dust and in need of cleaning.

  • Check your manual’s troubleshooting section and follow any instructions.

  • If you don’t see any improvement after following these tips it’s time to call in Precision!.

Precision Service

Because we know air-conditioning so well, we know what your system needs, and when, to ensure it’s running in top condition.

At Precision, our service includes the following:

  • Clean and disinfect the systems’ coils

  • Clean and disinfect drain pipes and condensate pumps if fitted

  • Clean air filters

  • Check the electrical circuit for the system

  • Check for any refrigerant gas leaks

  • Check the systems fault diagnostics

  • Check temperature readings

  • Check the systems general operation

  • Check noise levels

  • Instruct in any operation and maintenance requirements if necessary

Looking to start a regular servicing and maintenance Schedule? 

Book your system in with Precision and we will make sure you continue to have a comfortable & healthy home!