Casual consumers use technical terms generously, but engineers don’t have that luxury. Take coolrooms and freezers, for instance. They’re obviously both designed to safely store perishable items, but there are key differences between them. Let’s draw a clean separation line between the two chilly environments so that you’ll always know which room suits which application.
Contrasting Temperature Characteristics
Coolrooms, as the label infers, are designed to keep commodities cold, not frozen. Therefore, the thermostat drops the internal environment down to just above the 2°C mark. Now, depending on the stored content, that near frozen setting can rise to 5°C, but it rarely goes higher. A freezer, on the other hand, plunges the temperature below the point where water becomes ice. This cooling point levels out at around -18°C. Powerful refrigeration units pair with digital thermostats to maintain this frosty temperature.
General Content Preservation
Abstract numbers don’t carry much information. Yes, anything below 0°C becomes ice, but that’s about all the general public knows. Add some visuals to that numerical data by taking a stroll down a supermarket’s cooling aisles. The coolroom setting is fairly easy to find, with its rubber-sealed glass doors. Chilled bottles of beer and cans of soda live here. Meanwhile, on the other side, the freezer compartment holds chunks of ice-hard meat, products that can be stored in this manner for months at a time.
A freezer is a sealed unit that’s accessed a few times a day. It’s equipped with drip alarms, a strong door, and defrost pipes. These are the mechanical and electrical components that keep a thick rime of ice frozen inside the insulated chamber. Conversely, most coolrooms are work areas. For example, there’s probably a room behind that beverage cabinet, a place where someone is stocking new cheeses and imported beer. Similarly, restaurants and florists keep their products fresh inside these working coolrooms. Freezers don’t advocate this operational model. Instead, they literally slow biological processes so that meats and liquids enter a kind of suspended animation.
Coolrooms and freezers use different degrees of cooling power to accomplish similar objectives. Think of the cooling unit as a freshness supporter, an enclosure that slows chemistry and biology. Medical samples and beverages, flowers and meat, they’re all kept fresh inside cool rooms. Freezers, meanwhile, drop down into a subzero realm, so their stored contents employ an arctic environment, a climate that locks cellular structures and non-organic chemistry in time.