Laboratory Refrigerators

Protecting precious or sensitive samples is made a simple task with the right laboratory refrigerator. Laboratory-grade refrigerators are vastly different from domestic, catering or retail units. They typically come with alarm and monitoring systems, temperature control monitoring and recording, and various other features that a standard refrigerator just doesn't have. Specialised fridges are required for medical, laboratory and scientific applications. 

What sets laboratory refrigerators from others?

Those not working in (or those new to) the medical and scientific fields may not understand why laboratory refrigeration requires specialised fridges. By design, the lab fridge must cool samples and specimens for preservation. This means that in the lab, the fridge must store blood plasma, vaccines, pharmaceutical supplies, medical samples and similar. The main difference between a lab or medical fridge and those found in the private home or restaurant is that they must be unfailing (absolutely reliable) and completely hygienic at all times.

Choosing a fridge that is fit for the scientific, medical and laboratory environment can be somewhat daunting. Looking to save money can cause decision-makers to purchase an inexpensive fridge found in the showroom of the local appliance store. In the long run, this can be detrimental to the legitimacy of a project and can result in incorrect or misunderstood outcomes. For starters, fluctuations in temperature can destroy the effectiveness of vaccines and cause biological samples to deteriorate before assessments are 100% complete.

Important elements and considerations when shopping for medical or laboratory refrigerators

1. All-in-one or separate units? 

One thing that newbies to the field grapple with is whether to buy fridge-freezer units or to buy separate units. Regular household fridges that include a fridge and freezer aren't designed with temperature stability in mind, which is essential in the scientific, medical, and lab environments. Most units on the market don't allow the user to control the temperature on both sections with accuracy. It's best to consider side-by-side sets or stackable units if you need both fridges and freezers for your laboratory setup.

2. Choose size and capacity wisely 

All refrigerators work best when loaded between 30% and 80%. If empty or over-full, you can expect detrimental temperature fluctuations.

3. Consider the temperature requirements 

There's no hard and fast rule about temperatures at which vaccines and biological samples must be stored. The laboratory refrigeration requirements are determined by what is being stored. That being said, most medical refrigerators are expected to stay within the range of +2 to +8ºC. Even at these temperatures, you can expect temperature swings. An advanced medical or scientific fridge won't swing more than +/-2ºC outside of its thermostat setting. Some ultra low lab freezers can drop to temperatures between -45 and -85ºC. Before you purchase a fridge or freezer, know what you will be storing and working with. Plasma, vaccines and biological samples all have unique temperature storage requirements.

4. Choose shelving that promotes air-flow

Rather choose a unit with wire shelves or shelves that have ventilation holes. If working with sensitive material that needs protection from ambient temperatures when the door is opened, choose a fridge that has interior drawers with solid fronts.

5. Consider all the extras

Some medical or lab fridges come with a few optional extras such as locking doors, self-closing doors, door open alarms and more. 

Contact Peter Swan & Sons Ltd.

Consider our laboratory refrigerator range to find the right lab, medical, or scientific fridge for your needs. Contact us for further advice at Peter Swan & Sons Ltd today.