Which Company to Choose?

By January 9, 2021January 20th, 2021No Comments

There are several companies to choose from when selecting a mortuary cooler. During the research process, I learned that all panels used on the outside of the cooler are manufactured by the same company. In other words, it doesn’t matter from which company you purchase a cooler, the panels will be same. If that’s the case, why did I decide on the cooler I purchased? Well, although the panels are the same, cooler prices, sizes, and refrigeration systems are different.

The first decision is to determine the number of decedents one needs to store. In my case, I wanted to store a minimum of twenty four. When making the size decision, I was given what turned out to be very good advice; go with the largest cooler the designated location can accommodate. In the case of COOLTEC Body Storage, the room size was 19’ x 33’ which enabled us to purchase the largest cooler offered by the company at that time; 10’ x 20’.

The 10’ x 20’ cooler easily held 24 decedents. However, because our side-load racks are custom-made, we are able to store 32 decedents. There is not a huge price variance in the different size coolers. One company, Store it Cold, has approximately two dozen cooler sizes. Because there are so many options in sizes, its fairly easy to select a cooler that will meet your specific location requirements.

Speaking of cooler prices, one thing to keep in mind, the cost of the cooler will only be about one half of the total cooler investment for a funeral home, coroner’s office or hospital. One will need to purchase racks, in our case 8 racks, as well as, a lift in order to reach the top two shelves. The purchase of these items doubled our investment in the cooler. The 10’ x 20’ cooler was approximately $12,000. Eight racks (with 4 shelves each) were about $10,000 and the lift was another $2,200. These prices will vary from different manufactures but that was approximately what we paid. Of course, if you already have the racks and lift, that will be a large savings. But, in my case, making an investment in a cooler was a lot like remodeling a home; the price is always at least 2x more than what I thought it would cost.

Another decision that will need to be made is choosing the refrigeration condensing unit. My concerns with commercial condensing units were installation costs and potential repair costs. In addition, I was concerned that if a commercial unit would go out, how long it would take for an IVAC repair person to fix the problem. Or, what if a part needed to be ordered and it takes several days before it’s received. Decedents inside a warm cooler for several days is not a problem I want to think about or manage. For those reasons, I decided to go with the CoolBot Pro. The CoolBot Pro turns an average window air conditioner into a commercial refrigeration condensing unit. A typical window air conditioner has a built-in minimum set point that prevents the air conditioner from cooling below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The CoolBot Pro “tricks” the air conditioner to go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  Moreover, it enables the air conditioner to continue to cool the room to 34 degrees Fahrenheit. In our case, we keep the CoolBot set between 35 degrees – 45 degrees. It maintains that temperature range 24 -7. If for any reason we have a problem with the air conditioner units (the 10 x 20 cooler requires two 24,000 BTU air conditioners), we would simply go to Lowes or Home Depot and purchase another unit. The CoolBot is web-based and allows one to monitor the temperature remotely. We are notified by text and email, 24 – 7 if for any reason the temperature goes outside the range we have set.

For the reasons mentioned above, and additional reasons to be discussed in the next several blogs, we purchased our cooler from a company called Store it Cold. Full disclosure, I am not compensated in any way by Store it Cold. I am sharing my thoughts and experiences to help others in their decision-making process when purchasing a new cooler. Likewise, I am not responsible if the reader purchases a unit from Store it Cold and isn’t happy. In other words, use these informational blogs as an additional piece of information in helping the reader make the best decision possible on a cooler. The purpose of these blogs is simply to provide the reader with information that I learned through hours of reading, phone conversations, emails, and text messages. I only wish that I would have come across a blog like this one when I was researching coolers. It would have saved me an inordinate amount of time.