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Choosing the right laboratory refrigerator for your needs

Picture of Alex Henderson

Alex Henderson

Aston Business School graduate who has been the Managing Director of Henderson Biomedical since January 2015. Passionate about helping laboratories keep their vital equipment operational and compliant. Architecture enthusiast, fitness fanatic and dog lover!

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It can be a complicated task choosing a laboratory refrigerator. There are so many brands out there, all with different configurations and slightly different specifications. It can certainly be confusing knowing which one is right for you.

Consider the size of your laboratory

One of the main factors when deciding which refrigerator to go for is space. Many laboratories have so many different pieces of equipment, that there is very little room. This means you will have to buy something that fits into a certain sized gap. This is particularly the case with laboratories located in older buildings and in built up areas.

It is true that some technology has shrunk in physical size over the years. However, there is now more equipment than ever out there which is required by laboratory technicians to carry out complex research and procedures. Despite this, the physical size of the room they operate in remains the same and so space really is a premium. There is a significant challenge if the laboratory needs a large, bulky refrigerator to store lots of samples or chemicals.

Some laboratories just do not have the space for a full length refrigerator. Therefore, users have to opt for a small, under counter model that can fit in a space under the bench. Models can be fitted with a solid or glass door. Glass doors have the advantage that users can choose what they want before they open the door. This avoids keeping the door open for too long. Keeping the door open for extended periods of time can lead to temperature fluctuations, thus potentially damaging the items you are storing.

The type of material being stored will be a deciding factor

Some substances are not only sensitive to temperature, but also to any sources of ignition. If you wish to store flammable materials, you will want to purchase a spark free refrigerator. Refrigerators will have components such as a light, fan or thermostat. These components can produce a tiny little spark when turned on. Any flammable vapours being emitted from the material will build up inside the sealed chamber and cause a catastrophic explosion. Spark free refrigerators are safer to use with flammable materials because all sources of ignition have been removed.

A lock might be considered for larger laboratories where many users have access to the refrigerator. Samples may need to be kept under lock and key for a variety of reasons. A lock should especially be considered for rare, precious or very expensive materials.

Optional extras for your laboratory refrigerator

Another factor to consider when buying a laboratory refrigerator is what optional extras you want. Many refrigerators can be equipped with extractable drawers which make it possible to sift through items without having to keep the door open. You can also have castors fitted to your refrigerator, thus allowing you to move the whole unit from one laboratory to the other.

Some users need to monitor the temperature history over a period of time. For this, a USB port can be fitted so that the unit can export data onto a flash drive.

Whatever your need, Henderson Biomedical is here to help, we offer a range of refrigerators from well-known brands such as Labcold, Vestfrost and Gram. Contact our sales team for more information about the options available.

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