Walk-In Coolers and Freezers


Walk-in coolers and freezers (walk-ins) are large, insulated refrigerated spaces with access doors large enough for people to enter. Walk-ins are used to temporarily store refrigerated or frozen food or other perishable items. The equipment is composed of an envelope (panels and doors) and a refrigeration system.


The current standards for walk-in panels, doors, and medium-temperature dedicated condensing refrigeration systems took effect in 2017. The standards for low-temperature dedicated condensing refrigeration systems and medium- and low-temperature unit coolers took effect in 2020.

In 2023, DOE proposed amended standards for walk-ins that would improve the efficiency of single-packaged units, refrigeration systems, and non-display doors.


Walk-in coolers and freezers are generally assembled on site from pre-fabricated wall, ceiling, and floor panels; doors; a refrigeration system; and additional electrical components. Technology options for reducing walk-in energy consumption include improved insulation, higher-efficiency compressors and fan motors, improved heat exchangers, and fan speed controls.

Savings through what year?: 2046
Energy saved (quads): 3.15
CO2 savings (million metric tons): 159
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate: 9.9
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate: 3.98


Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2023
Updated DOE Standard Due 2020
2nd Federal Standard Effective 2017
2nd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2014
Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2012
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2011
2009 CA Standard Effective *
2009 DC Standard Effective *
2009 MD Standard Effective *
2009 CT Standard Effective *
1st Federal Standard Effective 2009
2008 RI Standard Effective
EISA Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2007
2007 DC Standard Adopted
2007 CA Standard Adopted
2007 MD Standard Adopted
2007 CT Standard Adopted
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 2007
2005 RI Standard Adopted

* State standard never went into effect due to preemption by federal standard.

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.