Medical freezers are crucial in ensuring the safe storage of medical supplies and specimens in healthcare facilities such as hospitals and laboratories. However, like any other appliance, medical fridges in Canada can become less energy-efficient over time, leading to increased energy consumption and higher costs.
In fact, laboratories are among the highest energy consumers in the country, second only to data centres. Maintaining and caring for medical freezers in Canada is essential to addressing this issue.
This article provides practical tips and tricks for optimizing the energy efficiency of your medical freezers, reducing costs and impact on the environment.
How Much Energy Do Medical Freezers Consume?
From vaccine refrigerators to small medical freezers and portable medical freezers, healthcare facilities consider these systems “treasure chests” as they help maintain the integrity of sensitive biological samples. However, they can be energy-intensive, consuming an average of 1,200 kWh to 6,000 kWh per year, 2 to 10 times the average energy consumption of a home.
Buying medical refrigerator brands that reduce energy consumption is recommended. These energy-efficient freezers consume an average of 800 to 3,000 kWh annually, 30% to 50% less than standard models.
Medical freezers are still significant energy consumers despite these energy-saving measures due to their constant need to maintain a specific temperature range. ULT (ultra-low) freezers, for instance, run continuously at very low temperatures and can consume up to 22 kWh per day, resulting in high running costs. The key to maintaining consistent and stable medical freezer performance is to balance energy efficiency and performance.
Factors That Affect Medical Freezer Energy Consumption
Several factors can affect medical freezer energy consumption, including:
- Efficiency rating
- Frequency of openings
These factors should be considered when choosing a medical freezer. While newer and more efficient models may have a higher medical freezer price, they can reduce energy costs in the long run.
Additionally, choosing a medical freezer with an Energy Star rating can further ensure energy efficiency. Proper maintenance, such as regular defrosting and cleaning, is also crucial to extending the lifespan of the freezer and reducing its overall cost.
Healthcare facilities can make informed decisions about their medical freezers for vaccines and other biological samples by understanding these factors. In addition, they can effectively manage their energy consumption.
Ways to Maximize Medical Freezer Efficiency
The following expert tips will help you reduce your energy consumption and costs while maintaining the integrity of your stored medical supplies:
Choose a suitable location for the freezer
Medical freezers should be in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources such as direct sunlight, radiators, and other heat-producing appliances. Avoid placing the freezer in an area prone to temperature fluctuations, such as near a door or window. Choosing the proper location will help the freezer operate efficiently without additional energy.
Set it at the correct temperature
Setting your medical freezer at the correct temperature is also crucial for efficient operation. The recommended temperature range for medical freezers is between -20°C to -40°C. This temperature range allows the freezer to maintain its temperature without working too hard, which increases energy consumption. In addition, you can regularly check the temperature with a calibrated thermometer and adjust it accordingly.
Pay attention to its alarm system
Most medical freezers come equipped with an alarm system that alerts you if the temperature inside the freezer rises above a certain threshold, usually indicating potential issues with its performance. Paying attention to the alarm system can help prevent energy loss due to temperature fluctuations or other malfunctions leading to increased energy consumption.
Be sure to test the alarm system regularly and ensure it functions correctly. Respond promptly to any alarms to prevent damage to the freezer contents.
Properly load and organize the contents of the freezer
You should avoid overloading your freezer and blocking airflow, as this can result in temperature fluctuations and increased energy consumption. Instead, organize the contents in a way that allows easy access and proper air circulation.
Don’t forget about regular maintenance
Regular maintenance is essential for the efficient operation of your medical freezer. Regularly inspect and replace door seals and gaskets to ensure they aren’t damaged, as wear and tear can cause air leaks.
Clean the coils and condenser fan to remove dust or debris that may reduce airflow. Additionally, replace the air filter regularly to ensure proper ventilation.
Learn the proper cleaning techniques and frequency
Cleaning your medical freezer is essential to prevent frost and ice buildup, which can reduce its efficiency. It’s crucial to use appropriate cleaning techniques and frequency, which depend on your freezer model.
Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on the appropriate cleaning methods. In fact, it’s always a smart idea to check with the medical freezer’s manufacturer to ensure you’re using the correct cleaning products and procedures. This can help prolong the life of your freezer and maintain its optimal performance.
Upgrade and replace the medical freezer if necessary
If your facility’s medical freezer is old and outdated and you’re looking for a replacement, it’s worth considering upgrading to a model with additional features such as medical refrigerator battery backup. These models are designed to keep medical supplies and vaccines safe even during power outages, ensuring specimens remain at the correct temperature.
Additionally, newer models may have improved technology, better insulation, and higher energy efficiency ratings, which can result in significant energy savings over time.
Choose the right model
When selecting your next medical freezer, choose an Energy Star-certified model. These laboratory-grade refrigerators and freezers use less energy than standard models and can help you save on energy costs while reducing your lab’s carbon footprint. Energy Star-certified models are available in a range of product types and sizes so that you can find one suitable for your sample needs. By purchasing Energy Star-certified equipment, you can reduce your energy bills and ensure the safe storage of various chemicals and specimens.
As a healthcare facility, you can significantly reduce energy consumption and promote sustainable practices. Using the tips and tricks in this article will ensure that your medical freezer operates at peak efficiency and extends its lifespan. In addition, the energy savings resulting from efficient operation can also positively impact the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Are you in the market for energy-efficient freezers? 360 Medical is your go-to supplier for high-quality medical freezers for all your scientific and medical storage needs. For more information on our products or to request an online quote, please call us at +1-800-209-2082.