If you've worked with vaccines for a long time, a typical upright pharmaceutical or standard refrigerator is likely what comes to mind when you think of vaccine refrigeration. You may not even be aware that there is another option when considering a new refrigerator.
If you have encountered problems with your refrigerator's performance in the past during daily use or power outages, it can be frustrating when shopping for a new vaccine refrigerator and trying to make the right choice to avoid a repeat of the temperature instability problems that you have experienced previously.
The truth is that the standard upright refrigerator design is not ideal and can lead to the many issues commonly experienced in vaccine storage. Not to mention the extensive time and expenses related to managing temperature excursions and avoiding vaccine losses.
Those days are over.
Phase change material (PCM) chest refrigerators are quickly becoming the gold standard for vaccine storage. In fact, these pharmaceutical-grade refrigerators are purpose-built specifically for vaccines.
Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend in the CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit to "Use purpose-built or pharmaceutical-grade units designed to either refrigerate or freeze," although "Household-grade units can be an acceptable alternative to pharmaceutical-grade vaccine storage units."
Wondering what's making PCM chest refrigerators the new industry standard? Here's how these advanced refrigerators are taking the pain out of vaccine storage AND lowering costs.
Phase Change Materials Have Revolutionized Vaccine Refrigerators
Above all else, refrigerated vaccines must have temperature stability within the required temperature range of 2°C-8°C (36°F-46°F). In fact, a history of unacceptable temperature stability in refrigerators is one of the reasons that extensive vaccine-monitoring systems, emergency planning, and other requirements, such as filling empty spaces with water bottles, have been developed over the years.
The introduction of PCMs helps to stabilize the temperature in refrigerators and eliminate temperature excursions and vaccine losses.
PCM chest refrigerators incorporate a holistic design that eliminates temperature stability problems, resulting in simpler, more effective vaccine storage and lower overall costs for providers and vaccine programs.
High quality components and traditional design elements, such as a digital microprocessor controller, are the foundation of an effective vaccine refrigerator design. The PCM technology contributes to the PCM chest refrigerator's stability and how it can maintain a groundbreaking six days in temperature range when the operation of the fridge is disrupted for any reason (fridge unplugged, power outage, etc.).
The PCM increases the thermal mass inside the refrigerator in the same way that bottles of water are often used to stabilize the temperature in vaccine refrigerators. However the PCM liner in the PCM chest refrigerator is much more effective and, in combination with other design aspects, results in a vaccine refrigerator that drastically reduces appliance-related vaccine losses.
The particular PCM that lines this vaccine refrigerator solidifies at about 4.5°C (40°F). This protects against freezing and allows vaccines to be stored anywhere in the refrigerator without worry; even vaccines on the bottom or against the inside walls of the refrigerator stay safely in the correct temperature range.
Chest Vaccine Refrigerators vs Upright Vaccine Refrigerators
If you are serious about wanting to reduce your costs and stress related to vaccine storage, a chest configuration is key. The reason is that upright refrigerators with doors on the front allow the cold air to flow out every time the door is opened. In contrast, cold air remains in the chest refrigerator more effectively because the air in the refrigerator is colder (and heavier) than the warmer air in the room.
Cold air is heavier than warm air because the molecules are packed closer together in cold air.
Consequently, the PCM chest refrigerator is not continuously working to bring the temperature back into the required temperature range. This means less noise and heat generated, as well as an extremely low power consumption.
A chest-configured vaccine fridge is instrumental in changing the way modern vaccine fridges operate.
PCM Chest Refrigerators Designed for Effective Vaccine Management and Organization
In addition to maintaining a safe, consistent environment for vaccines, TempArmour® PCM Chest Refrigerators include a comprehensive vaccine organization system to ensure that vaccines can be effectively stored, accessed, and separated when required (e.g., the separation of VFC and private vaccines).
PCM Chest Refrigerators Lower Medical Office Costs
Providers across North America that have invested in the TempArmour® PCM Chest Refrigerator typically save thousands of dollars in cost savings over the life of the fridge compared to other options. In addition to cost savings related to a lower risk of vaccine losses and temperature excursions, other savings include not having to invest in a backup power system, decreased administration and staff overtime, and energy cost savings.
Have a look at our Cost Comparison Sheet to find out how much you could save!
Where to Find Advanced PCM Vaccine Refrigerators
PCM chest vaccine refrigerators are becoming the new standard for vaccine storage because of one thing: modern cooling technology and design. And this is something that TempArmour® experts know all about. Our products are designed with industry-leading technology that’s stretching the limits of the modern medical office.
There is no need to settle any longer with a vaccine refrigerator that has inconsistent, fluctuating, or unreliable temperatures.
Have questions about TempArmour® Vaccine Refrigerators or how they can improve your practice? Call 1-866-485-4199, or contact us here and we’ll be happy to assist.