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Refrigerators / Freezers

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Design Guidance

Overall Strategies


Best Practices

  • Ensure refrigerators and freezers run efficiently through regular maintenance. Remove excess frost or defrost when ice is more than .25” thick, check door seals, and keep filters and coils free of dust.
  • Share refrigerator and freezer units with neighboring labs or consolidate and unplug units within a lab.
  • Clean out material that is no longer needed to create space and reduce the need for additional units.
  • Inventory and label samples and post map of contents on freezer to reduce search time. Better yet, use a sample storage database that is integrated into the experimental protocol, including expiration dates.
  • Encourage users to minimize the number of door openings and the length of time door is open by knowing exactly where their samples are located.
  • Store DNA at -20 degrees Celsius. It is robust and does not require ultra-low temperatures.
  • When it is time to upgrade or retire a piece of equipment, choose the most energy efficient model and smallest size per cubic foot of volume required. If precise temperature controls are not required, purchase an Energy Star residential refrigerator unit instead of buying a less efficient lab-grade refrigerator.
  • Locate freezers away from thermostats to avoid distorting their temperature readings.

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Federal Requirements

Guiding Principles