Floral refrigeration units are an excellent way for florists to preserve and display the arrangements they spend so much time putting together. Between bulk shipments and display arrangements, florists typically have a lot of stock to manage at any given time. As flowers tend to lose their freshness and wilt fairly quickly without regular upkeep, a refrigeration system may help.
Of course, there’s a wide variety of styles designed to match different applications throughout a floral business. From walk-in coolers to refrigerated display cases, floral refrigeration isn’t simply a cold box with flowers in it. Floral refrigeration units are also fitted with temperature humidity controls to maintain an ideal environment for fresh cut flowers. The ability to set a specific temperature and humidity, or introduce a bit of circulation within the unit, means that flowers will last just that much longer before they need to be discarded or composted.
What To Consider When Selecting a Floral Unit
For the most part, you’ll want to be realistic about your needs and budget. A floral unit can be an expensive investment, but it also means you’ll be able to hold on to stock longer and offer people fresher flowers. Here are a few major points to consider:
- Cost — Essentially, you want to really evaluate if the cost of a floral refrigeration unit is something your business should take on. While a properly maintained unit can last for ages, smaller floral shops may benefit from smaller units or no unit at all depending on their volume of business.
- Display or storage – Once you’ve decided to buy a floral unit, the next question is what kind suits your business. While sizing can vary significantly, the main two options you’ll consider are display and storage. If you have bulk flowers and minimal shop space to display, or if you run your business mostly online, cold storage may be a better option for handling lots of flowers at once. If you’re looking to display the flowers, or only need to keep smaller collections of flowers preserved at any given time, refrigerated cases are probably a more affordable and suitable option.
- Advanced or simple — You’ll also want to consider the style and features of your unit. Some units are more like cabinets or display cases with moderate cooling and circulation options, while other units are full-on refrigeration equipment complete with controls to set specific temperatures and humidity levels that are appropriate for flowers.
- Maintenance – Finally, think about the upkeep that goes into a floral refrigeration unit. For the most part, keeping it clean and operating it as it was designed will keep it running for years. But routine maintenance or repairs may be a good way to get the most out of your investment. So you’ll want to factor in potential repairs, upgrades, or expansions in the future when selecting the right unit.
What makes floral coolers unique?
Many people look at a floral cooler and see what is essentially a chilled display case, but floral refrigeration is actually a fairly distinct type of refrigeration technology. Because flowers in shops are often fresh cut and essentially being preserved before they wilt, they require a fairly specific range of treatments to stay fresh long enough to be sold.
For example, the ideal temperature for most common flower shop flowers is around the upper 30s in Farenheit. Too far off of 38 degrees in either direction, and the flowers will begin to wither and lose their freshness even faster. That means you’ll want a cooler that allows you to set that temperature range, and usually one that’s high enough quality to not fluctuate or lose temperature from the gaskets and other uses.
That means you can’t simply take a beverage cooler or an uncirculated, unrefrigerated display cabinet and expect the same results for flowers. Investing in the right cooler for your business can mean a pretty significant uptick in sales or less wasted product. But coolers aren’t one size fits all, so be sure to do a bit of research and find the right cooler for your particular business parameters.
Caring for your cooler
Once you’ve taken the plunge and purchased or installed a floral cooler, the main concern going forward will be keeping it in shape. We have a guide
on keeping coolers clean, and much of the advice here is the same.
Essentially for cleaning, you’ll want to set a routine for your own shop. Pick an appropriate amount of time, and depending on how frequently you need to change out the flowers in your unit, give your system a good cleaning between each new cycle. After that, take a good look at all the functional components. Every 3-4 months, consider giving your equipment a check up. Check gaskets, temperature consistency, and general performance for any drops or changes in efficiency.
For a cooler that needs to maintain such specific temperatures and internal environments, you’ll want to take good care of all parts of the equipment. It’ll also extend the lifespan of the cooler.
Some jobs are best left to the professionals
If your cooler isn’t cooling, or you need help with repairs or routine maintenance, we can help. Our professional team of refrigeration technicians in Austin offer a range of commercial refrigeration services
. Get in touch
to speak to one of our refrigeration experts today.