Can a Walk-In Cooler Be Converted into a Walk-In Freezer?

If you already have a walk-in cooler in your business, is it possible to convert it to a freezer? This is a tricky question to answer. The short answer is yes, but it is costly and time-consuming. You are better off buying a walk-in Freezer if that is what your needs are. It is possible to convert a walk-in cooler into a walk-in freezer. However, there are a few things you will need to consider before making the switch, and we do not recommend the change.

What to Consider with a Walk-In Cooler Conversion

First, you will need a refrigeration unit capable of cooling temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius (or 32 Fahrenheit). This will require an upgrade from your current refrigeration unit because it is not designed to produce and maintain the low temperatures required for a walk-in freezer.

When considering a walk-in cooler conversion, you should also factor in additional costs associated with changing out the evaporator. The new evaporator will have to defrost heaters along with new piping and heaters for the drain.

If your walk-in cooler box does not contain a specially insulated floor, you will need to have one installed. The walls and ceiling are the same for a cooler or freezer, but you will lose too much of the required temperature and capacity if you decide to use the existing cooler’s floor. This can cause the refrigeration unit to work harder, and fail faster.

Finally, if you are still considering an attempt to convert your walk-in cooler to a walk-in freezer, you need a door/frame heater. This includes tearing the frame apart of your current cooler door (if possible) and adding heating cable. If you do not have these heaters in place, the door on your walk-in unit will freeze shut. In the event that employees show up for work and are rushing around to prepare for the day, they may try to yank the door open from its icy grasp, and in doing so damage the seal and costing you money for repairs, and even loss of food due to a further drop in temperature.

Should I Convert My Cooler to a Freezer?

Overall, converting a walk-in cooler into a walk-in freezer requires careful consideration and can be done, but it is not typically recommended. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Think of it like adding an aftermarket sunroof to your car. You can do it, there are people that will do it for you, but they often leak, and can potentially cause structural damage to your vehicle if it was not engineered to accommodate one in the first place. Cold storage solutions like walk-in freezers require extensive engineering and careful design to ensure that food is kept at optimal temperatures.

At Fugh Refrigeration, we specialize in walk-in cooler and freezer repair, maintenance, and installation. If your needs have changed and you want to replace your current walk-in cooler with a walk in freezer, we can help you explore your options and see what avenue is best for you!

Contact us today to speak with our refrigeration experts about scheduling a walk-in freezer or cooler installation!


About The Author

Meet | Posts

Ben Lutz is the owner of Fugh Refrigeration, has decades of experience in the HVAC/R industry, and has managed many heating, cooling, and refrigeration technicians over the years.