Is Installing Commercial Equipment at Home a Good Idea?
Cook like a pro! This is something that we very often hear in TV commercials trying to sell us the pans that cook by the sheer power of will and have 2-3 lifetime warranties. They do so because they know we all want to have the best possible equipment for everything that we use in our homes. Being professional means to be the best. If we take a look at the professional kitchen equipment we see a beautiful sight… stainless steel, heavy-duty construction, capacity… everything simply screams PROFFESIONAL!
Who would not want that? After all…all those busy restaurant kitchens use it, and if it works great over the long term for them, then in your not so busy, quiet and not so demanding kitchen the commercial equipment will do even better…right?
Well you want to think twice about that…let us tell you why.
1. The noise
If you haven’t heard us because you are standing next to a big commercial refrigerator you want to buy, let us repeat…THE NOISE! Commercial equipment is made specifically for the busy kitchen. If you have ever seen how a restaurant kitchen looks during the peak hours than you know what we are talking about. And if you haven’t, let us paint you a picture…several dozen people moving quickly around, chopping, cooking, boiling, frying, carrying food and dishes, yelling orders…very busy, and already noisy, so they don’t notice the additional noise coming from a commercial refrigerator.
But put that same commercial refrigerator in your home and you will notice it, constantly. Commercial refrigerators usually have a precisely set range of temperatures that are closely monitored, so they frequently turn on their big compressors in order to keep those temperatures, and counter the effect of frequent door opening. Of course some cooking equipment is not noisy but their supplemental equipment such as ventilation systems are very noisy, because as it pushes a high volume of air through it makes a lot of unpleasant noise.
2. Power difficulties
If you are considering buying commercial grade kitchen equipment you may have noticed that they are heavy-duty equipment. This type of equipment needs a lot of power in order to function properly. This is not a problem for restaurants. But…your home is typically not equipped for heavy-duty equipment. The wiring in your home is not capable of handling the increased power requirements for commercial equipment.
But let’s say you are lucky enough to have such house wiring…you have 230V and 3-phase wiring and you are looking into installing commercial grade range in your kitchen. The power those ranges require so much electricity that your happiness would last only until you get your first electric bill. Same goes for the commercial equipment using gas. Even if you invest in equipment with the best energy saving certifications they will still be using a high amount of power, and sucking money out of your wallet.
How often do you wear helmet while driving your car? Probably never. That is because you don’t need it since your car is made for safe driving. But what if you were to drive a NASCAR vehicle? Those cars have much different safety rules. The same goes with commercial kitchen equipment. Those are made for a professional environment where experienced professionals, without children, pets, or nosy quests around them, will use them.
Residential equipment has better insulation, better protection, to and from environment.
For example, you will have to prepare the entire environment in order to have the same level of safety, like stainless steel or non-combustible surfaces near commercial ranges, plus you will have to invest in commercial range ventilation. The heat produced will probably make several rooms uninhabitable during the summer so more air-conditioning would be required, as well. All this adds up to more and more dollars out of your pocket.
4. Cleaning and maintenance
Simple question…how much do you like to clean your kitchen? Or even better…how often do you like to disassemble appliances just to clean them? While the residential equipment is pretty straightforward when it comes to the cleaning, the commercial equipment is a whole different story.
Also some equipment, like ice makers, due to the high quantities of daily ice production MUST have water filters, otherwise the ice quality will suffer.
Commercial refrigerators work a lot harder than residential ones. So their condensers get dirty much faster…dirty condenser means less efficiency. In addition, commercial refrigerators have more complex condensers in order to be effective. So to clean it properly you will have to open the refrigeration system every few days.
Restaurant kitchens have staff trained to do that cleaning and it becomes part of a regular routine.
You, on the other hand would have to find specially trained technicians (specialized for certain brands) and have liability insurance that permits them to service equipment in residential locations. This is extremely important because when it comes to the environment that commercial equipment is made to operate in must facilitate servicing.
Another major issue and we can’t stress this enough: All the warranties are usually pretty specific about the environment the products are supposed to be used in. The same goes for commercial grade kitchen equipment. Those warranties are strict about the installation in private homes, and often do not provide coverage no matter when the equipment was purchased.
Also, the homeowner insurance companies can and will consider the insurance policy voided if commercial equipment is installed in your home, because the insurance company may also consider it to be a liability which violates the fire and safety codes.
With all this said, you can see that having professional equipment at home may sound tempting but there are many disadvantages. It may be tempting and cool to drive your family to picnic in the NASCAR car but a nice safe family car is the best and safest idea.