Traulsen refrigerator full of fresh food


Cool Under Pressure: Refrigerator Condensers in NYC Restaurant Kitchens

PBAC & Associates Manufacturer’s Sales Rep Joshua Erdheim sits down with Sam Tell to air out refrigerator condensers.

December 12, 2022     4 minute read

Without a consistently cold refrigerator, many New York City restaurants would be frozen out of the industry. That’s why it’s crucially important to design your kitchen to include a high-end refrigerator unit with a reliable condenser as a centerpiece. 

Joshua Erdheim, a Manufacturer’s Sales Representative with PBAC & Associates for about 15 years, demos a lot of refrigerators for NYC restaurants. For him, it doesn’t get much more reliable than refrigerator condensers from Traulsen. In this blog, Sam Tell chats with Erdheim about why condensers are so vital to a kitchen and what he believes represents the best of the best in the kitchen equipment market. 

Sam Tell: What is a refrigerator condenser?

Joshua Erdheim: A condenser takes high-pressure, high-vapor refrigerant and removes heat from it until it condenses into a liquid state. After condensing, it goes to the refrigerator expansion valve where it becomes a cold gas or cold liquid refrigerant. So basically, it functions to remove heat from a refrigerant to coolant and then to condense them into a liquid refrigerant, which then helps cool down the cabinet.

ST: How are coils involved in a refrigerator condenser?

JE: The coils are what the refrigerant goes through. The refrigerant comes in one end as a pressure gas, and as it's going through, it is condensed into a cold refrigerant. And that is what circulates through those coils. And in turn, you have compressors that take that and then push that through the cabinet to make it cold. It also helps remove heat during it.

ST: What are the important considerations when purchasing a refrigerator with a condenser?

JE: There are two things you want to make sure you have. First, an accurately sized condenser so that it is passing the liquid and the gas properly at good volumes so that it works efficiently. And you also want to have nice spacing in the condenser so that it’s more easily cleaned. You have dust and debris in a restaurant kitchen, which can get sucked into the unit. As it’s sucking the air through, it’s also taking the air and blowing it away. Over time, the coils might become covered with debris, dust particles, and grease.

ST: So the most important thing to do is to regularly clean your condensers?

JE: Yes! You must clean the condensers, whether or not it's with a vacuum or a rag. It’s the most important maintenance. When I go on a demo for a refrigerator, I point out where the condenser is. And I make note that they should be checking it and cleaning it periodically because if it builds up with debris, it has a harder time breathing. And if the air can’t circulate through it, it causes a lesser exchange and the gas will have a more difficult time turning into liquid coolers. So if a refrigerator isn’t cold enough, it could be because you need to clean your condenser. 

ST: Are there different kinds of condensers?

JE: There's many condensers in the restaurant industry. There are common types of condensers supplied by various manufacturers. Our condenser for Traulsen is on the top of the refrigerator unit, versus some other brands that have the condenser on the bottom of the unit. 

ST: What is the benefit to having the condenser on top of the unit?

JE: We believe it's a benefit to have it on the top of the unit because, well, where do particles and debris generally go in a kitchen? They go on the floor. Having the condenser on top is beneficial because it’s out of the zone of the most common debris and dangers in the kitchen. When it’s higher up, it’s less likely to get as dirty as a condenser closer to the floor. 

ST: What is the Traulsen StayClear™ Condenser?

JE: The Traulsen StayClear™ Condenser has fewer coils and larger spacing between the coils. This creates more airflow, so it’s able to change the pressure of the gas coolant to a liquid refrigerant coolant more easily and at a better pace with a higher level of efficiency. 


ST: How long should a refrigerator condenser last?

JE: It really comes down to maintenance. I see refrigerators in the market for 50 years if they're maintained. But you could end up having to replace a unit after 10 or 15 years if it’s not properly cleaned and maintained. 

ST: What kind of warranty does Traulsen have on condensers?

JE: The warranty on Traulsen condensers is five years. 

ST: How does Traulsen differentiate itself from competitors when it comes to condensers?

JE: Our main difference would be that our condensers are on the top. And as I said, that minimizes the dust and debris that’s going to find its way into the unit. And we believe having the condenser on top makes servicing the unit much easier. And in our premium product line, we also offer the StayClear™ Condenser, which is a high-end product that our competitors don’t offer. This unit has larger finds and better spacing, so it’s much less likely to become clogged with debris, which ensures the refrigerator stays cool. 


Keep your refrigeration system cool with best-in-class condensers. Contact your Sam Tell sales rep today!

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Email Updates

Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Kitchen Design
Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Kitchen Design

From beginning steps and common configuration styles to tips and insights about equipment, layout, and implementation, this useful guide is a valuable resource for achieving the perfect commercial kitchen design.

Can-Do: How Edlund Became Tops In Can Opener Manufacturing

From military use to the NYC kitchen, Vermont’s Edlund can openers are the industry standard thanks to dependability and strength.

Read More
1by1 Square Cube-1
Crush Your Beverage Service With Hoshizaki's 8 Types of Ice

Today we break down the 8 different types of ice Hoshizaki ice machines can offer your foodservice needs.

Read More
A Look at Shelving Units for Restaurant Kitchens

PBAC & Associates sales rep Joshua Erdheim stacks the advantages of food storage shelving units from Metro.

Read More