If you run a pharmaceutical laboratory, you know how important it is to keep all of your raw materials and pharmaceuticals in pristine condition. If you have cold chain products, or products that need to be kept at a cool temperature, you need the right refrigerator to get the job done and keep your products from suffering damage.
Learn which features and aspects of the fridge you should look for when you want to buy the right one for your lab.
Choose a Refrigerator Built for Laboratory Use
With so many refrigerator options to choose from and prices that differ wildly, you may be tempted to take the easy way out and choose a high-quality mini fridge meant for domestic use. While these are great for keeping drinks and perishable foods cold, they aren’t meant for the lab.
Domestic fridges, even those from the best brands, suffer from uneven temperature distribution and normally have an operating temperature range of 0 to 10 Celsius. This range isn’t good enough for a lot of medications or vaccines. You want an even, consistent temperature — not one that fluctuates.
Specially built laboratory refrigerators are for keeping medication, samples, vaccines, and medical equipment safe for use. A fan circulates the air, and these units use rapid temperature cooldown after the door has been opened to minimize temperature fluctuations. Plus, these units have an electronic thermometer, which allows you to accurately check the temperature without opening the door.
Many units also have a clear glass door, which allows for easy stock management.
Avoid Combination Refrigerator-Freezer Units
Convenience is key for many businesses, and your pharmaceutical lab is no different. However, while other aspects of your business should prioritize convenience, you should only focus on safety for your sensitive products. Combination refrigerator-freezer units are great for domestic use, but, according to studies done by the CDC, they experience temperature fluctuations as high as 5 degrees Celsius.
These combination units also offer no safe way to independently control the temperature of the different interior compartments. You should find a manufacturer that offers all-refrigerator or all-freezer units so that you have reliable and consistent temperatures. While you may need to buy and store two units, that slight inconvenience is worth the safety of your products.
Buy a Unit That Is the Right Size
The size of both the interior and exterior of your refrigerator unit is vital. With the exterior, you need to buy one that fits in the space allocated to it. You want your unit to sit in a spot that won’t hinder your lab’s workflow but is also easily accessible. Most units need at least two inches of clearance from walls and need a space free from extreme temperatures and air currents.
Make sure to also find a unit with the right capacity. You should keep your fridge stocked at all times because a fridge that is almost empty may be subject to more extreme temperature fluctuations. So before you buy a refrigeration unit, make sure you know exactly how much stock you will store in it, then choose one with the right amount of interior space.
Another interior consideration is door shelves. As a general rule, the back wall of the refrigerator will stay the coolest, so the stock closest to the door is at higher risk of ambient temperature. Choose a unit without door shelving, and make sure to place the most sensitive products near the back. Finally, make sure the shelving is the correct size for your products.
Your pharmaceutical lab has delicate materials, products, and pharmaceuticals that need the proper care, so the correct refrigeration unit is a must. Revolutionary Science offers a range of incubators and fridges for your laboratory needs. Check out our options on our site today.