When to Replace an Old Walk-in Cooler or Freezer

leaking water
Freezer panels will sometimes leak water when returned to room temperature.

Buying a new walk-in cooler or freezer can be a large expense, but so can inflated electricity bills. Depending on how bad of shape your current walk-in is in, a new walk-in could pay for itself within a year or two.

How long is the lifespan of a walk-in?

There’s no set time limit for when you will need to replace a walk-in. This depends on many factors including the original quality of the refrigerator, type of insulation used, how well the box and refrigeration were maintained, and if it has suffered any harsh usage. After 10 years or when your warranty runs out, you should do a cost-benefit analysis for purchasing a new walk-in.

ice accumulation
Ice accumulation on panels should not be ignored.

What are some signs that I need a new walk-in?

  • If you notice a steady increase of energy bills from month to month, it could be an indication of the gradual decline in the R-value of your insulation.
  • If there is condensation or ice buildup on your walls or ceiling it could be an indication that your insulation has failed and is saturated with water or ice. This moisture accumulation could also be the result of air leaks between panels or elsewhere.
  • If your walk-in is no longer holding the proper temperature.
  • If the temperature inside the box rises significantly when the ambient temperature increases.

Our non-scientific poll shows the ages of our readers’ walk-ins:


new walkin refrigerator Now is as good of time as any to check if your walk-in is still performing well enough to be kept in use. If you decide you need to buy a new walk-in, the sales team at U.S. Cooler is here to help and offers no obligation price quotes.