Things to Consider When Buying a ULT Freezer

An ultra-low temperature ULT) freezer plays a vital role in protecting research samples, medications and even fruits and vegetables. If you need a ULT freezer, you want to ensure the one you choose has the required functionality and benefits to improve your operations. Factors like remote monitoring, storage space, temperature stability and life expectancy are important.

This guide offers an in-depth look at all the things you should consider when comparing ULT freezer units for your application.

Understanding ULT Freezers

An ultra-low temperature freezer allows you to store and preserve products within a temperature range of between approximately -40 degrees Celsius to -80 degrees Celsius. Some ULTs can operate at even colder temperatures.

This equipment is ideal for temperature-sensitive materials that require extremely cold storage, particularly in lab settings. Examples include biomolecules, bacteria, blood samples, vaccines, biospecimens and products for medical procedures.

6 Key Considerations for Purchasing a ULT Freezer 

A ULT freezer will be an investment, but choosing the right option will help you use it to its fullest potential and realize a great return on investment. Taking the time to understand different ULT aspects can make all the difference in your decision. Here are six things to consider when buying a ULT freezer.

1. Storage Capacity and Size

ULT freezer capacity directly impacts how many materials you can store. A ULT freezer's storage capacity is typically measured in cubic feet or liters. Calculate your ideal capacity so you can choose a model that meets or exceeds your needs.

Additionally, the freezer itself must fit inside your space. For example, if you work in a small lab, you might benefit from a benchtop freezer or upright model instead of a horizontal chest freezer. Account for a few extra inches when taking measurements to ensure the freezer gets proper ventilation around the back, top and sides.

2. Orientation and Space Utilization

ULT freezers come in different orientations. Depending on your space and needs, either a vertical or horizontal freezer will be a better fit. While upright freezers take up less floor space and provide great rack options and upright configuration compartments, chest freezers hold temperatures better than upright freezers when you open the doors. Be sure to accurately measure and document the width, depth and height of the space you have for the freezer and compare your measurements to the ULT freezer you wish to purchase.

3. Energy Efficiency and Electrical Demands

Like any other kind of refrigerator or freezer, ULT freezers can have high electricity demands. A report by the United States Department of Energy states that one conventional ULT freezer may use around 20 kilowatt hours of energy per day, which is as much as an average U.S. household would use in one day.

To help save energy and lower your utility bills, explore ULT freezers with energy-saving features. These freezers will often come with an ENERGY STAR® label.

4. Temperature Stability and Control

Maintaining stable temperatures is essential for keeping samples and other materials stable for as long as possible. It's common for some ULT freezers, like upright freezers, to lose some of their coldness when they're open. When browsing freezers, make sure to confirm with suppliers how quickly the temperature will return to normal once the freezer's door is closed again.

You can also ask the supplier if the freezer has additional temperature stability features. These features might include a local alarm that notifies you of issues and an independent monitoring system that will log temperature reports and send you a text or email when the temperature is faulty or incorrect.

5. Warranty, Service and Life Expectancy

When comparing freezer brands and units, you'll find that most ULT freezers come with varying warranties and life expectancies. Some models might also require more frequent maintenance, especially if you're considering older or used models.

Speak with your ULT freezer sales rep to see whether they offer a parts or labor warranty and if there's an extended warranty you can purchase. No matter the warranty, you should expect to complete preventative maintenance to keep your freezer in good condition. Consider the ULT freezer's useful life expectancy, too.

6. Data Logging and Monitoring

Data logging is important for keeping track of your ULT freezer's temperature and performance. Some freezer systems can send notification updates to the operator's personal device. Speak with your sales rep to confirm whether the freezer you're considering will have this feature and other customization settings and alarms. You might also check whether it can provide predictive analytics to help you monitor its performance.

Special Considerations for Buying Used ULT Freezers

Buying a used ULT freezer can be a smart choice, particularly for organizations and labs that may not have the budget to invest in a new model. When you buy a used ULT freezer from a reputable company, you can get a quality piece of equipment with the features you require at a lower price. Still, there are factors to consider when comparing used ULT freezers. 

  • Assess the remaining service life: Be sure to ask the provider about how long the previous owner used the freezer and what its remaining life expectancy is.
  • Check the company's reliability: Research the company you plan to buy from by checking out their website and evaluating online reviews of their freezer models. Are they certified? How do consumers rate their products and services? This information can help you choose the best possible equipment provider.
  • Consider warranty options: Does your supplier offer a good warranty period? It's helpful to work with a company that can evaluate your unique situation and offer a warranty that reflects your needs. Purchasing extended warranties may also help your situation.
  • Buy a quality-assured ULT freezer: A reliable company will have their products tested for quality and be transparent about the condition of their used items. See how much information you can get about the used ULT freezer you're interested in before committing to a purchase.

How New Life Scientific Can Help

Whether you're searching for a new-to-you ULT freezer for your lab or need a ULT freezer to start freezing food products, New Life Scientific is your source for used ULT freezers and various other equipment types.

To ensure you receive the most value for your money, our products are quality-assured by NLS technicians, and we offer a 120-day warranty and an extended warranty depending on your situation. If you're unsure which of our available freezers would best suit your needs, our team is always here to provide expert advice and help you make an informed purchasing decision.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to our team today. If you're ready to purchase one of our high-quality ULT freezers, request a quote to get started.