Walk-In Cooler Costs: A Complete Guide

Having second thoughts about obtaining a walk-in cooler because of its cost? No need to worry because in this guide, I will help you understand several factors that affect the cost of a cooler together with the breakdown of every component to avoid high expenditures. 

Understand what a walk-in cooler is.

A walk-in cooler is a large refrigerator where a person can enter. To keep products cool, it has insulation and uses a refrigeration system to maintain low temperatures which is essential for businesses to keep products from spoiling or being damaged such as food and beverages, flowers, and even medicine. The temperature of a walk-in cooler usually ranges between 350 F and 410 F (2°C and 5°C).

Walk-in Cooler



Factors that influence the price of a walk-in cooler.

The price of walk-in coolers varies depending on several factors, so you must consider these factors when you plan to purchase a cooler. One important aspect is the size of the walk-in cooler because as the size gets larger, the cost increases. Another aspect is the insulation material, the higher the quality, the higher the cost but you can be sure that it can last longer than cheaper alternatives.

The cooling system is also another essential factor to consider. Cheaper versions provide simple options while those on the upper end give you more control but for a higher price. Other optional components add more convenience, but it also adds to the total price, and last is the location and installation. The more complex the location and the installation process are, the more you need to pay.

Price Increase



Cost of Each Component

Walk-in coolers are important for a lot of businesses, but sometimes, the high costs make business owners have second thoughts about purchasing. The following key components of a cooler affect the final price and I will help you understand what it is you are paying for.

Cost of Each Component


1.     The Shell of the Cold Storage

The shell of a walk-in cooler is made of insulated panels that cost between $8 to $25 per square meter. The price varies based on size, quality, thickness, and the supplier.


2.     Price of Flooring

The flooring of a walk-in cooler also contributes to the total price of the cooler. Based on the size and complexity of the flooring, it may cost you more. The usual price range for the flooring is between $6 – $15 per square foot.

Flooring of a walk-in cooler


3.     Refrigeration Unit Cost

The most essential part of a walk-in cooler is the refrigeration unit so you cannot do without it. Its price also varies depending on the size, type, capacity, brand, and other features. You will need to spend between $1,400 to $4,000 for reach-in units while for the remote version, it will cost you between $5,000 to $11,000 or more.

refrigeration unit


4.     Costs of the Door

You will be able to access your walk-in cooler through its doors, so it is another essential component that you need to consider when determining the total costs of the cooler. You can opt for, or sliding doors, and like other components, the size and material of the door will add to the walk-in’s total price. Doors will cost you between $600 to $2,000 or even higher.

Costs of walk-in cooler door


5.     Lighting Costs

The type of lighting material and the quantity affect the total price of a walk-in. Usually, each bulb costs between $30 – $60 per bulb and the quantity will be based on how large your cooler is. If you add optional parts such as light and monitor sensors, the price will increase again.

Lighting Costs


6.     Other Accessories Cost

If you wish to add more components and accessories to your walk-in coolers such as shelves, thermometers, and ramps to name a few, the costs range between $100 to $600 and it may increase depending on your specific requirements.

shelves cost



Initial Cost and Subsequent Operating Costs

A walk-in cooler, on average will cost you between $5,000 to $15,000, if you wish to personalize it with accessories, the cost will almost triple or more. A customized walk-in cooler ranges between $13,000 to $45,000 and it will still increase if you consider the size, quality, and brand.

The subsequent operating costs will vary based on different factors such as maintenance which will cost you between $150 to $500 per year. You also need to set aside some money for emergency or unexpected repairs. Energy consumption will also depend on how efficient the energy system is based on the size of the cooler, so you will also need to set aside between $100 to $500 per month.

Operating Costs



Installation Cost

The price of the walk-in cooler itself and also its components is one thing, the other is the location and installation which increases the total cost of your purchase. If the location and installation process is complex, there may be a need for more electrical work or renovation of the already existing area. The amount of labor is also another factor that increases the total price you need to pay because the more qualified people are involved, the more you need to pay. The estimated cost of installation is between $800 to $2500 but in some instances, it may exceed this.



Price Estimate Reference Table for Standard-Size Walk-in Cooler


Size (W x D x H) (ft) Size (W x D x H) (m) Price Range
6′ x 8′ x 8′ 1.83m x 2.44m x 2.44m $7000 – $16,000
8′ x 8′ x 8′ 2.44m x 2.44m x 2.44m $9,000 – $23,000
8′ x 10′ x 8′ 2.44m x 3.05m x 2.44m $11,000 – $27,000
10′ x 10′ x 8′ 3.05m x 3.05m x 2.44m $14,000 – $33,000
10′ x 12′ x 8′ 3.05m x 3.66m x 2.44m $17,000 – $37,000



Strategies to Maximize Your Walk-in Cooler Investment

The following are some strategies you may use to maximize all the investments you have made in your walk-in cooler.


1.     Maximize the Space

Utilize shelves, hanging rails or even floor-to-ceiling storage systems because these will help you maximize your storage space by allowing you to organize your products properly.

maximize storage space


2.     Maintain a consistent temperature.

You need to determine the ideal temperature needed for the product you are storing inside your cooler and consistently maintain it. By maintaining the ideal temperature, you are helping the refrigeration system work efficiently and at the same time, conserve energy.

Maintain ideal temperature


3.     Switch to Energy Efficient Lighting

LEDs are the way to go. These costs are lower than light bulbs and help you minimize your energy consumption which will result in lower expenditures.


4.     Rotate your Stock Regularly

If properly organized, you will be able to manage the inventory properly. You can also prevent the stored products from being spoilt or expired which can assist your cooler in avoiding the growth of bacteria that may damage other goods.

manage the inventory


5.     Preventive maintenance is a must.

Preventive maintenance is an essential process to make your walk-in cooler last longer. If not done properly or periodically, errors and malfunctions may happen that will affect the operation and efficiency of your walk-in.


6.     Install in an area with good ventilation.

You just cannot install a walk-in cooler anywhere. You need to find a place with proper airflow and good ventilation to prevent it from overheating.

proper airflow and good ventilation


7.     Educate staff and employees.

Since your staff and employees are the ones who will be using your walk-in cooler most of the time, it is just proper to inform and educate them on the dos and don’ts of your walk-in. This is to prevent errors or man-made problems from occurring that may affect the functionality of the cooler.

By understanding and following these simple strategies and tips, you will be able to maximize the use of your walk-in cooler. It will help you reduce unnecessary expenditures while also prolonging the lifespan of your unit.




A walk-in cooler’s price might seem too much for any person or business owner, but it is a necessary investment you need to do for your business. You may compare quotations or prioritize energy efficiency and consumption, and you also need to maximize the use of your space. The strategies indicated earlier will lead to long–term benefits so do not fear the initial price. With proper research, planning, and proper use, your walk-in cooler will become a valuable and indispensable asset to you.

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