From extremely low temperatures to unique locking mechanisms, medical freezers offer many different features that a normal fridge cannot. Medical freezers can maintain extremely constant temperatures and can be installed with alarms to keep your most vital medicine and lab specimen safe. So how, exactly, do medical freezers differ from normal home coolers?
The major difference between regular and normal freezers is a variance in temperature abilities. For vaccines and tissue storage, a medical freezer must be much cooler to maintain a constant and sterile environment. Depending on needs and location, a freezer can be a variety of different temperatures, including:
- Home: For the home, a freezer should stay around -17 degrees Celsius. This temperature can fluctuate greatly without harm to freezer contents.
- Restaurant: While most restaurant freezers stay around the temperature of a home freezer, some specialty foods require temperatures that plummet to -30 degrees Celsius. These temperatures may also change slightly without harm.
- Medical: These freezers must remain much cooler for vaccine and specimen storage. You can purchase vaccine freezers that maintain temperatures down to anywhere from -30 to -86 degrees Celsius (the lowest medical freezer storage capacity for labs.) Interestingly, some cool storage can dip down to an amazing -209 degrees Celsius in cryobanks.
The most important temperature feature of these freezers is the fact that they can maintain extremely precise temperatures that donít fluctuate like most appliances do. In the medical field, itís important to keep a steady temperature and humidity, a main component of most medical freezers.
Locking mechanisms and alarms are another specialized aspect of medical freezers that differ from normal commercial coolers. Often, expensive and vital specimens, evidence, and medicine are stored in medical grade freezers. Because of this, locks and alarms can be easily installed in most of these appliances. If security is especially important to you, itís a good idea to inspect a model of the freezer before purchasing. If you canít clearly see the locking mechanism, ask a sales representative about the engineering that goes into keeping your cold items secure.
Installation versus Portability
There is a wide variety of models and installation types of medical freezers that tailor make them for a number of different situations. Chest coolers are common for bulk storage. If you know that youíll be in and out of your freezer often (such as in a lab), consider purchasing an upright freezer. Multiple compartments will make sure that temperature is isolated and kept constant. Portable freezers are a good idea for tissue transport. Be aware that these smaller models canít maintain as even of temperature.
Choosing a Medical Freezer
Often, medical freezers tout many different features that normal freezers do not. These aspects can include extremely low temperatures, mechanical locks, alarms and even portability and installation options. When choosing your medical freezer, you may also want to inspect the model before purchasing to make sure that all of your special features are up to par