Best Insulation for Walk-in Cooler

Walk-in coolers are an important item for business owners or homeowners who want to preserve products for longer periods. Insulation in walk in coolers is paramount because it helps prevent temperature variations likely to affect the quality of stored supplies.

The most ideal type of insulation for a walk in cooler is closed cell spray foam. It is the best insulation for walk in coolers for 3 main reasons as  listed here.

  1. Great R-value
  2. Water resistance
  3. Pest resistance

What is the purpose of Insulation?

Insulation is important to regulate heat flow in and out of the cooler. Heat flows from one surface to another in three different ways namely;

  1. Convection
  2. Conduction
  3. Radiation

Naturally, heat escapes from a hot surface to a cooler surface. It’s the reason why in winter, heat tries to escape a building to the outside. Now, that’s where insulation comes in to prevent heat gain or heat loss from surfaces, thereby conserving energy. Consequently, with better energy efficiency, you get to save costs that would have otherwise gone to energy bills.

What is the Purpose of a Walk In Cooler

A walk in cooler is larger than a standard cooler. You can store cooked or raw perishable products in the cooler to preserve them for longer. The main purpose of a cooler is to regulate and maintain internal temperatures of stored products.

What is the best type of Insulation for Walk in Coolers?

Closed cell spray foam is high performing and fills in all cavities on surfaces. Upon spraying, the insulation expands up to 100 times forming a rigid layer. This high performance insulation is made from two chemicals, isocyanate and polyol resin. The chemicals come in two cans and are only mixed on site. Often, the manufacturers label the two chemicals as side A and B, but the components are similar.

How to Install Spray Foam Insulation in a Walk in Cooler

When you buy the spray foam, it comes in two small tanks labeled A and B. You also have two hoses that you connect such that the chemicals combine at the nozzle. Most manufacturers will also pack some protective aprons, goggles, and gloves for safety. After checking that you have all the necessary equipment, the first step when you want to insulate is wearing the protective gear. You don’t want to itch your skin, eyes, or inhale the fumes.

Next, you want to make sure you connect each hose to the tank containing the closed cell spray foam. Use the jelly often packed with the spray foam to lubricate the nozzle of the gun. This process helps prevent the spray foam from sticking and clogging on the nozzles. Then, connect the tip of the gun and get ready to start the insulation process.

 Start by marking the frame of each wall stud with foam spray. Then, fill each wall stud cavity with foam being guided by the demarcation you made in the first step. To get maximum insulation and the perfect R-value, you need to spray about 3 layers of insulation. The best way to go about insulating the walls is to move from the bottom to top, making sure each surface is covered.

The other component of a cooler that needs insulation is the ceiling. As for the ceiling, spray directly onto it using your closed cell foam. Start from the furthest corner moving the other end. 

Once the foam on the ceiling and the wall cures, it’s now time to trim excess foam. You can easily trim the foam using a utility knife. When trimming, make up and down movements on the foam using the knife. All this time, taking care not to hurt yourself with the knife and also making sure not to damage the insulation.

After you’ve achieved your desired thickness, the last step is cleaning up the trimmed foam. If you have a broom, you can sweep the fallen pieces of foam and throw into the trash.

Why is Closed Cell Spray Foam Ideal for Walk in Coolers?

Maybe you’re wondering why you should use closed cell foam instead of other types of insulation for your cooler. Here are some of the reasons why.

Great R-value

Closed cell spray foam has an R-value of between 6.5 and 7 which gives it great thermal resistance. With this insulation, you’re assured that your cooler won’t lose coolness or gain heat from the surrounding.

Water Resistance

Walk in coolers are typically wet and you want to make sure that you only install insulation that doesn’t absorb moisture. Closed cell foam is water impermeable, making it a great choice for the cool temperatures in a cooler. Unlike open cell spray foam, which if used in a cooler, is likely to absorb water and become soggy over time, closed cell foam remains rigid. 

Pest Resistance

Closed cell foam fills every nook and crannies in the walk in cooler. You can therefore protect your inventory from pests such as ants, rodents, and other insects that can damage the products. Small insects and rodents can crawl into the cooler looking to feed on the supplies. With closed cell spray foam, you can keep the pests at bay.

Creates an Air Seal

Closed cell foam upon drying forms an air seal around all gaps on a surface, making sure that no air can get in or out making it ideal for coolers. With a cooler, you don’t want any hot air from outside infiltrating or cool air leaving the cooler an advantage you get by using closed cell foam over other insulation types.


Walk-in coolers are important because they help you store perishable products for longer periods. Insulation is important for the coolers because it enhances thermal resistance, prevents moisture penetration, pests attacks, and air infiltration. Closed cell foam takes the trophy of the best insulation for walk in coolers due to its high performance and versatility.