The refrigerator is an equipment whose function is to maintain, in a controlled environment (refrigerated space), various fluids and substances, so that they are kept in good condition. The lower the temperature, the less chemical and biological activity.
Two main types of refrigerators are distinguished in the health sector: laboratory refrigerators and pharmacy refrigerators. Both must allow easy and complete cleaning of surfaces and must offer high reliability, especially with regard to temperature control. Some models also offer an automatic defrost and / or forced air cooling function.
They are mainly used for the preservation of samples and reagents. They maintain a constant temperature to minimize the risk of cross contamination or explosion of volatile materials. In order to maintain a stable and uniform temperature, many refrigerators have a fan that circulates the air inside the appliance. When the refrigerator door is opened, the fan stops automatically to prevent the cold from escaping. In addition, they are usually equipped with separate compartments to avoid cross contamination. These devices can also be used to preserve blood and vaccines. However, there are also refrigerators specifically designed for the storage and preservation of blood, the so-called blood bank refrigerators. They are used both in laboratories and in blood banks.
Pharmacy refrigerators are intended for the refrigeration and storage of medicines and vaccines in conditions that guarantee their conservation. They provide reliable cooling and stable temperature. They have an alarm system that is activated in the event of a power failure or if the refrigerator door is left open. This system is essential to avoid situations that may lead to an increase in the temperature inside the appliance (especially in summer). Likewise, they have a security system that prevents the temperature from falling below 0 ° C. Refrigerators for the storage of sensitive medicines are usually equipped with a locking system that allows access to these to be controlled.
What features to consider when choosing a refrigerator?
The choice of a refrigerator should be made taking into account, in addition to the intended use, the capacity, the temperature range it offers, the configuration, and the number and type of doors.
- Capacity: the storage volume is decisive and your choice will depend on the type of service for which the refrigerator will be used.
- Temperature range: it is a very important criterion. Most refrigerators have a temperature range between 2 ° C and 8 ° C, according to quality standards.
- Configuration: to be chosen based on available space in the lab or pharmacy. Vertical refrigerators, or cabinet-type refrigerators, are the most common, but horizontal refrigerators also exist. There are also built-in refrigerators, which are installed under the counter in the laboratory. In general, the latter have less storage capacity.
- Number and types of doors: Refrigerators can have between one and four doors, which can be solid or glass.
What should you take into account for the proper functioning of your laboratory refrigerator?
It is important to note that, for the best operation of the refrigerators, it is necessary that they be located in a cool and ventilated environment. There should be at least one window in order to avoid heating the area.
When installing a laboratory refrigerator in your spaces, it is necessary to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer; in order to properly maintain your equipment. We also advise you to keep it completely away from any ray of sunlight, in this way its operation will be the most optimal.
Additionally, you must place it at least 15 centimeters from the wall, this also favors air circulation, so you guarantee that its useful life lasts as long as possible.