Walk-In Costs

What will it cost to run my walk-in?

Before purchasing your walk-in, you may be wondering how much it will cost to operate your walk-in.

To give you a rough estimate of how much it cost to operate a walk-in cooler or freezer, using the national average of 11.89 cents per kilowatt, look at the chart below.








*These numbers were figured using the $.0999 kilowatt hour cost. According to the Energy Information Administration this is the average cost in the United States for commercial electricity.

This chart was created using several assumptions that can affect your actual operating cost.

  1. The type of insulation in the walk-in.
  2. Efficiency of the refrigeration system.
  3. Inside and outside temperature of walk-in.
  4. Where the walk-in is located.
  5. The temperature and the weight of the product entering the walk-in.
  6. How often the door is opened.
  7. The age of the walk-in.
  8. Cost of electricity.

This is just to name a few. Actually over a hundred factors are considered when sizing refrigeration systems for a walk in. Most walk-ins are designed to run 80% of the time or between 16 and 18 hours per day. For more information on this topic and a more accurate estimate, view our operating cost article.

How do I keep my walk-in operating cost lower?

Most users do not understand that they can lower the cost of operating their units if they do some very simple things. First, if initial costs are not an issue, purchase your walk-in cooler or freezer with extruded polystyrene insulation. It is the overall best insulation in the market for walk-in coolers or freezers. Next, do some simple things such as order your walk-in with strip curtains to lower heat gain to the walk-in when loading or walking into the unit. You need to work with your refrigeration service technician to set the minimum required defrost cycles for your specific needs. Step inside the walk-in once a month and check for any light coming from around the door, refrigeration systems, electrical connections and other penetrations in the panels. If light is found, contact your local service technicians to correct the issue. Periodically check door gaskets and door sweeps for wear. If wear is evident have your dealers replace the worn part. Have regular maintenance of the refrigeration system by a licensed refrigeration technician.

Who services your walk-ins and refrigeration systems?

U.S. Cooler® has a nation-wide service network to service their walk-ins and refrigeration systems. Call your in-house sales representative for the service dealer near you.

How are you priced compared to other manufacturers?

U.S. Cooler® believes that walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers are a must in the many markets we service. Most walk ins are purchased because they are necessary to the success of the business they serve. That is why most walk ins are not purchased emotionally but logically. Most customers purchase a walk-in wanting a certain level of quality then they look for the lowest price they can get. U.S. Cooler® has always provided the best quality walk-ins at the most reasonable pricing in the industry. You will not find a better value in any other walk in produced today. We may not always be the cheapest but at the level of quality you need in your application, you will not find a better buy.

Drawings & Specifications

Can you send me a drawing?

Call our sales department and a salesperson can take the information and immediately send you the drawing. On the extremely complicated drawings call the sales department and they will take the information and quickly give you a drawing. U.S. Cooler® is dedicated to providing you with the information you need to make your walk-in purchase decision.

Can I get other sizes than are listed?

Yes. U.S. Cooler® makes all sizes of walk-in coolers and freezers. Call your local U.S. Cooler® dealer for a competitive price on your walk-in.

Do you manufacture custom sizes?

Yes. U.S. Cooler® has an automated custom manufacturing plant and resources to provide our customers custom products with the high level of quality that you find in our standard products. Call your dealer or go to our dealer search page to find a dealer near you.

Where can I get specifications of your walk-ins?

Go to our engineering specifications page and choose which format you want for our complete specifications.

How much does the walk-in weigh?

We weigh each walk-in before shipment to get the exact weight. But you can figure an estimated weight by taking the surface square footage of the walls and ceiling times 2.4, then add the floor surface square footage if included times 3.15 add these two numbers to 220 pounds for the door and you will get an estimate of the walk-in weight. Add 130 pounds to this weight for an 8’6″ pallet and you will get an estimate shipping weight.

Do you keep drawings of my walk-in on file for later expansion?

All U.S. Cooler® walk-in drawing are kept on file for future expansion or repair. All that is needed is the US Cooler® job number for the walk-in. U.S. Cooler® customer service personnel can help you find this number.

What kind of skins can I have installed on my walk-in?

U.S. Cooler® offers many types of the surface skins on the walk-ins we sell. The types carried at this time are the following:

  1. G90 26 gauge, stucco embossed galvanized. This skin is used for interior and exterior walls, ceilings and exterior floors.
  2. G90 26 gauge, stucco embossed galvalume. This skin is used for interior and exterior walls, ceilings and exterior floors.
  3. G90 26 gauge, stucco embossed white galvanized. Used for interior and exterior walls, ceilings and exterior floors.
  4. 24 Gauge stainless steel polished 3B. Used for interior and exterior walls, ceilings and exterior floors.
  5. 22 Gauge stainless steel 2B brushed. Used for standard interior floors.
  6. G90 20 gauge flat galvanized. Used on non-NSF floors.


Do I need a floor in the cooler?

Coolers can be installed on ground contact concrete floors and pads but it is recommended that an insulation barrier be installed under the walls of the unit to reduce condensation on high humidity days. On coolers located on wood frame floors a cooler floor is necessity. Condensation will develop under the floor and eventually rot the floor out. On freezers, a floor or an insulated concrete floor with insulation barrier is required. Check local codes or contact an architect for concrete insulated floor plans for your area.

Why do floors need to be reinforced when equipped with a ramp?

Doors and floors are the most used and abused parts of a walk in cooler or freezer. Standard floors are designed with a 600-LB load per square foot. That sounds like a lot of load carrying ability until it is considered that a 200-LB load on a two-wheel cart can develop a load of 50-lbs per square inch or 7,200-lbs per square foot. Usually when a ramp is requested, it is assumed that two-wheel carts carrying heavy loads will be used in the walk in. Due to this factor, U.S. Cooler® will only provide ramps with reinforced floors.


Where can I get an installation manual?

Check out our installation manual and choose the format you wish and download the installation manual.

How hard is it to install your walk in?

All U.S. Cooler® walk-ins are test assembled in our plant before shipment to assure that all the panels and parts fit nicely together and meet our stringent quality standards. We provide a layout drawing with each panel labeled and an installation manual with pictures to assist in easy assembly. The walk in will go together better than any other walk in on the market. Most installation problems, if any, have to do with site preparation. Taking your time and following instructions any person should be able to install a U.S. Cooler® walk in.

How do you connect the panels together?

Almost all non-warehouse walk ins are delivered knocked down and come with the panels equipped with cam-action locking devices. These cam-lock locking devices allow the panels to be locked together to assemble the walk in.

The cam-locks are designed as male and female versions. The male cam-lock has a hook and the female cam-lock has a pin. When the right angle hex shaped cam wrench is inserted in the male cam-lock hole and turned in a clockwise fashion the hook reaches out inserting itself into the female cam-lock and catches the pin. Once the pin stops the hook from turning, the cam action of the male lock kicks in and draws the hook toward the male cam-lock. This causes the panel edged to compress squeezing the gasket and providing an air tight seal.

These locking devices come mostly in two forms. In foamed-in-place walk in the cam locks have fins that, when the panel is foamed in place, are held by the foam, which forms around the cam lock. Only the foam in the panel holds these types of cam-locks. The other type of cam-lock is a block panel fastener. These types of cam-locks are held in a strong plastic holder that is held in place by the foam and the metal skins of the walk in. U.S. Cooler® not only uses these types of cam-locks but also has them foamed-in-place to add further insulation.

Can I build my own walk-in?

Many people think it would be cheaper to build their own walk-in but find that once they add up the cost it can be like building your own car from scratch. Also, the local health departments may have issues with the walk in not meeting health regulations for cleanable radiuses and surfaces. It is a bad day when the health department tells you, you can’t use the walk in you built for your business because it does not meet minimum health standards


What is the R-value of your walk-in?

R-value is the resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value the better the insulation is in a walk-in cooler or freezer. K-factor is the ability of heat to flow. The lower K-factor, the better for walk-in coolers or freezers.

R-value of any insulation varies according to age of the insulation, wetness of the insulation, type of insulation, mean temperature of the insulation and condition of the insulation.

Most companies publish the R-values of their walk-in coolers and freezers. These R-values are usually taken at the time the insulation is produced rather than what the R-value is after the unit has been in the field for one year. In the roofing industry manufactures publish a 90-120 day aged R-value at a 75° mean temperature. Even these R-values do not take into consideration the moisture content of the insulation, which can lower R-value by as much as 75%. It also does not take into account that your walk-in will operate at a much lower mean temperature.

When buying a walk-in cooler or freezer ask what the aged R-value of the insulation will be at your mean operating temperature, 5 years after manufactured and how resistant to moisture the insulation is. You will be surprised how these numbers vary from their published R-values.

R-values of different types of insulations are as follows:

PublishedProjected 5 Year Actual
Extruded Polystyrene3224

What kind of insulation do you use?

U.S. Cooler® uses two types of insulations in walk-in coolers and freezers today; extruded polystyrene and foamed in place polyurethane. U.S. Cooler® or its dealers will be happy to supply you with the correct insulation for your specific needs.

Why don't you use all urethane insulation?

U.S. Cooler® manufactures walk-ins using two types of insulation; foamed-in-place polyurethane, and extruded polystyrene. There are few manufacturers manufacturing walk-ins with both types of insulation. Using two types allows our company to manufacturer each walk-in with the correct insulation that best suites the customer’s needs. Since we believe that foamed-in-place polyurethane is a good insulation when it is used not only to insulate but used in an item that has many parts that need to be molded together, we use it to manufacturer our cooler and freezer doors. For cooler and freezer walls, ceilings and floors we use extruded polystyrene.

Do you use wood in your boxes?

It is always better not to include wood in walk-in coolers and freezers. Wood is a poor insulator and does not do well in the consistently damp or wet environments commonly found in walk in coolers and freezers. Some walk in manufactures actually use 2X4-inch tongue and grove edging around each panel edge throughout their walk ins. Some walk in companies use wood throughout their walk in doors. U.S. Cooler® uses no wood products in our standard walk in walls, ceilings, doors, or floors. We do use 3/4 inch plywood in our optional extra strength floors and some custom built doors.

Is wood bad in walk-ins?

First of all, wood is not a good insulator. Second, wood absorbs moisture. In a freezer it can then freeze and swell causing the joints to misshape and leak precious cold. Third, damp wood is a food source for mold and can cause mold to grow inside the panel and possibly cause negative health affects. Finally, wood can absorb water vapor lowering its already low R-value. This water vapor, through freeze and thaw cycles, causes water to run down and either freeze inside the walk in or run outside the walk in causing an unsafe slippery floor increasing injuries and liability issues. Therefore wood is not desirable in walk ins.

Ordering and Shipment

How safe is it to order a walk-in online?

U.S. Cooler’s® dealer site is independently certified and encrypted by a third party to provide secure communications between you and our dealers. It is the most secure way to place orders on the Internet.

How do I contact someone to talk to?

Dealers can call 800-521-2665 for a U.S. Cooler® customer service representative. They are highly trained and capable of answering your questions. If you would like to talk to a U.S. Cooler® dealer, go to the dealer locator. Enter your Zip Code to find the closest 10 dealers to you.

How quick can you ship?

U.S. Cooler® believes quick delivery is a high priority for our customers and therefore it is a priority in our company. We provide many standard units in stock ready for immediate delivery. We provide many other stock units on a 24-hour basis. One of our greatest strengths is our ability to deliver custom units within 2 to 3 weeks from receipt of signed acknowledgement and credit approval. Whatever delivery you choose U.S. Cooler® keeps its word. If we tell you your walk-in will ship a certain day we will ship it that day.

How do I know where my order is in production?

Dealers can call U.S. Cooler® at 800-521-2665 and ask for your sales person or go to our web page that allows you to check on your order and find out where it is in our plant. Once your unit is finished, you may go to our walk-in order status page, fill out the information. Then you will be able to look at your walk in completed and test assembled in our plant.

How do you package your walk-ins?

Most walk in manufacturers would say that their major customer service issue is shipping damage. Walk ins by nature are somewhat fragile when pitted against a raging forklift or crazy two-wheel cart. U.S. Cooler® has engineered a shipping system that all but eliminates the normal damage seen by our competitors. A pallet is provided as a shipping base for each walk in. Packaging foam is installed between each panel and on long hauls plywood is installed around the outer sides of the pallet. Then everything is wrapped in plastic and marked fragile for shipping. Also we try to eliminate transfers from trucking company to trucking company to reduce transfer problems. Overall, U.S. Cooler® does all it can to see that the product arrives at your location in the quality shape that it left our plant.

How long will it take to get here after it ships?

Delivery is always dependent on the location that is receiving the shipment and where the shipper is located. U.S. Cooler® is located in the center of the country so the entire United States is accessible in a very reasonable ship time. Most of our orders are next day shipments meaning that if your walk-in ships today you will receive it tomorrow. Other areas take a little longer but are always within ten days of shipment. U.S. Cooler® consistently negotiates with carriers to receive the best rates, quality control and quickest delivery possible.

How do I trace my order?

Dealers can call your U.S. Cooler® representative to get your tracking number or you may go to our order status page, fill out the info and get your tracking number and a link to check its location.

Where can I get my shipping pro number?

Go to the order status page and type in dealer telephone number and job number. You will go to your order page. There you will be able to select pro number and shipper for your order. Once you have the pro number and shipper you can call the shipper to track your order.

How do I unload my box when it gets here?

To reduce damage most U.S. Cooler® walk ins are shipped skidded on a skid. Once it is at your site it will need to be unloaded with a forklift or the unit will have to be unloaded off the skid piece by piece from inside the truck. This is a three to four man job not counting the trucker. Time is a consideration as some trucking companies’ charge extra for extra long unloading times.


How long does it take to get a quote?

We have computer programs that allow the quotation of a custom walk-in while the customer is on the phone. Many of our quotes are quoted this way. However, some items are not manufactured by our company and need to be specially priced from our suppliers. These quotes are not able to be quoted automatically but should be quoted within 24 hours.

Can you email me a quote?

Yes. You can go to our walk-in price quote page to fill out a quote request and send it to our company. It will immediately be routed to the appropriate sales person for their action. The quote with your cost will soon follow.

Can you fax me a quote?

Yes. You can go to our walk-in cooler & freezer price quote page and print a quote form or use your own forms to fax us a quote request at 217-228-2424. It will immediately be routed to the appropriate sales person for their action. The quote will soon follow.


What type of refrigeration do you use and / or recommend?

First, you should require all systems to come equipped with EISA compliant equipment as required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

U.S. Cooler® has the capability of using several different manufacturers when supplying refrigeration systems. U.S. Cooler® requires all of them to provide EISA compliant equipment and systems. When you discuss the purchase of a walk-in with our sales personnel they will help you decide which design better fits your needs, and if you have no preference, supply you with the most competitive price for the system you need from our suppliers. If you have a manufacturer preference we can also quote you their system with the design you need.

How do I find out how big of refrigeration system I need?

You can call your local U.S. Cooler® dealer and they will help you size your unit. If all you want is an estimated Btu requirement you can go to the refrigeration sizing page and fill in the questions. It will give you an estimated BTU requirement for your refrigeration unit.


What kinds of warranties are available?

U.S. Cooler’s® Standard Limited Warranty is 10 years on panels and one year on parts. No labor is included. The Limited Warranty is provided to the first owner of the unit as standard because to be competitive in the industry, most walk in companies’ offer this type of warranty. However, we believe that many of our customers want to have a more inclusive warranty and therefore we offer the following optional limited warranties on refrigeration systems.

  1. Extended 2 through 5-year compressor warranty with no labor included.
  2. 1st day through 1st year parts and labor warranty.
  3. 1st day through 5th year parts and labor warranty.

Do you offer an extended compressor warranty?

Yes. U.S. Cooler® offers the following refrigeration system warranties.

  1. Standard at no extra charge is one-year parts only warranty on all parts.
  2. One year from day one through day 365 extended labor warranty.
  3. 2nd year through 5th year extended parts warranty with 1st day through 5th year labor warranty. No compressor.
  4. 2nd year through 5th year extended parts warranty with 1st day through 5th year labor warranty, including the compressor.
  5. 2nd year through 5th year compressor only warranty with 1st day through 1st year labor warranty.

Note: Item 2 through 5 are offered at an additional charge.

At the present time no labor warranty is provided on the walk-in panels other than our standard return-fix or replace standard 10 year limited panel warranty.


Is NSF and UL Certification Important?

Very. NSF stands for National Sanitation Foundation and is looked upon as the ultimate foodservice design and equipment listing agency by the local building and health departments. In many states and counties if it does not have the NSF seal it is not allowed for public use.

UL stands for Underwriter Laboratories and is well known in both the foodservice and building industries as a testing laboratory of products and materials. You will find a UL sticker on all UL tested products. This sticker will show their test results on varying items or show that it meets UL standards. Many building code professionals look for this sticker when approving electrical compliance.

What type of glass doors do you use and/or recommend?

Our company is set up with all the major glass door manufacturers. If you have no preference, the design that best fits your needs will be provided to you by choosing the most competitive supplier at the most competitive price we can find. If you have a preference in door manufacturer, we will provide you the best competitive quote we can obtain for that system.

U.S. Cooler®

Do you sell direct to end-users?

No. U.S. Cooler® believes that it is important to have a relationship with a distributor in your area.

What makes you better than other walk in companies?

U.S. Cooler® believes that quality and service at a reasonable price is what most walk-in users are looking for. We believe all walk-in manufacturers should make sure that the walk-ins they produce meet stringent quality performances. However not all manufactures do this.

The following steps that U.S. Cooler® does will show you how we are better:

  1. U.S. Cooler® test assembles all their walk-ins. A picture of your walk-in is taken and placed on the Internet so you can view your walk-in test assembled in our plant.
  2. All raw materials purchased by U.S. Cooler® must meet quality assurance test before being inventoried for materials in production. There are test procedures in place for making sure the materials going into your walk-in meet the standards you think they do.
  3. U.S. Cooler® makes walk-ins using extruded polystyrene and foamed-in-place polyurethane. We have the ability to engineer the walk-in with the correct insulation to meet the customer’s needs rather than try to make their walk-in fit limited production capabilities of their plant. Ask the walk-in manufacturing company if they can make walk-ins with more than one type of insulation. If they say “yes” then they are more apt to sell you the walk-in with the correct choice of insulation to fit your needs.
  4. U.S. Cooler® offers and stocks different types of metal so they can choose the best metal to meet your needs.

Where can I get a list of customer testimonials?

Go to our customer testimonials page to hear what our customers say about our company.