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May 15, 2021
The best refrigeration contractors provide commercial refrigerator service, commercial refrigerator repair, refrigerated room services and more.

Finding the Best Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County

Whether your need is restaurant refrigeration service, commercial refrigerator repair in Marin County, or refrigerant recharging, you need to find commercial refrigerator contractors in San Rafael CA that are good, efficient, and proven reliable.

The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best refrigeration contractors in Marin County and issues related to commercial refrigeration and repair.

The TOP 10 Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County CA

The TOP 10 Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County CA

Insulated Structures

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(415) 883-2567
35-B Pamaron Way
Novato, CA 94949

Areas Served: Mill Valley CA, San Rafael CA, San Anselmo CA, Larkspur…
Services: commercial refrigeration systems, industrial refrigeration, refrigerant recharging


  • Thermatics Profile
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(415) 453-3314
PO Box 9840
San Rafael, CA 94912

Areas Served: Larkspur CA, San Rafael CA, Mill Valley CA, Tiburon CA,…
Services: commercial refrigeration services incl. restaurant refrigeration, freezer repair

Restaurant Repair

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(415) 456-3555
PO Box 2280
San Rafael, CA 94912

Areas Served: San Rafael CA, Larkspur CA, Mill Valley CA, Corte Madera…
Services: refrigerant recharging, commercial refrigeration contractors

Finding the Best Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County

Licensed refrigeration contractors in Marin County must have have a C-38 license to legally provide refrigeration repair, new commercial refrigerator or freezer installation, handling of refrigerants, refrigerant leak detection and refrigerant charging. Their work includes commercial refrigerator service, commercial refrigerator repair, refrigerated rooms and insulated refrigerated spaces for temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

In California, any refrigeration work of $500 or more requires a C38 licensed contractor. C38 license holders have worked for others for four years at journeyman-level refrigeration work experience; then have passed two licensing exams and purchased bonding and worker's compensation insurance. They are not legally required to have liability insurance; however, all refrigeration contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten designation have general liability insurance coverage that reimburses customers in the event of any damages. In addition, these certified companies have passed all other requirements for certification as Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten, including customer reference checks, hiring only documented workers, clean complaint record, and more.

Refrigeration contractors in Marin County CA most often service commercial and industrial refrigeration clients such as restaurants, grocery stores, food processors, warehouses, dairies, bakeries, meat processors, and other industries that require cold storage.

Types of refrigeration units they service or sell include ice machines, meat lockers, air doors, bar refrigeration, blast chillers, chef bases, commercial freezers, commercial refrigerators, display cases, drop-in refrigeration units, food prep tables, merchandisers, milk coolers, undercounter freezers, and refrigeration accessories. They are usually also able to repair or replace all the main components of restaurant refrigerators and other commercial refrigeration systems, including but not limited to refrigerator compressor repair and compressor replacement.

Commercial Refrigeration Parts & Components

Commercial refrigeration systems and industrial refrigeration systems have five main components:

Refrigerant  (A coolant substance that cycles between gas and liquid states to create and maintain cold temperatures in the refrigeration unit)

Compressor (A mechanical unit that compresses gas refrigerant into liquid)

External exchanging pipes (Refrigeration coils that are located outside the refrigeration unit to let pressured hot gas dissipate heat, which causes it to condense into liquid at high pressure)

Expansion valve (A small hole through which the high-pressure liquid is sucked to a lower pressure chamber on the other side where the lack of atmospheric pressure causes it to boil back to a gas)

Internal exchanging pipes
(Pipes wherein liquid refrigerant boils in the low pressure and causes the temperature to drop. This makes and keeps refrigeration units cold)

Types of Commercial Refrigerants

Refrigeration contractors in Marin County are experienced working with refrigerants, including refrigerant leaks, and refrigerant charging.

Different types of refrigerants used in commercial refrigeration units include:

CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) such as R-11, R-12, R-114

HCFCs (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons) such as R-22, R-123

HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons), such as R-134a. All these refrigerants are halogenated and contain chlorine, iodine, fluorine, astatine or bromine.

Types of Industrial Refrigerants

Refrigerants more often found in industrial refrigeration systems include the following:

R-717 Ammonia (NH3 ) Ammonia refrigerants are more commonly used in industrial refrigeration systems. Anhydrous ammonia is the most common ammonia refrigerant used in industrial refrigeration. Ammonia has excellent heat transfer properties and is more economically priced compared to other commercial refrigerants, and this low cost is one of the main reasons why ammonia is often used in large refrigeration systems. Ammonia refrigerants do not harm the ozone layer, do not contribute to global warming, and are biodegradable.

Carbon dioxide (CO2 or R-744) Carbon dioxide refrigerants have been extensively used in the past and is growing in popularity today. CO2 refrigerants have a low volume as a vapor which helps reduce the size of the compressor necessary. Because CO2 is a high-pressure refrigerant, it may require measures to contain it in the event of an emergency shut down or power outage. CO2 refrigerants do not add to global warming gasses as they're made from CO2 that was captured from and already present in the atmosphere.

Propane (R-290) or Propylene (R-1270) are two other examples of common refrigerants known as hydrocarbons. These are often used in large chemical processing and refinery facilities. In addition to being refrigerants, these two gases are also flammable, and this restricts their use to places that have safety systems such as explosion-proof electrical devices.

R-125 Pentafluoroethane (CHCF5 ) Pentafluoroethane, R-125, is a blend component used in low- and medium-temperature applications. It is nontoxic, nonflammable, and noncorrosive.

The choice of refrigerant to be used for an industrial refrigeration system should be based on the specific requirements of the cooling process. Additional criteria may include safety considerations, operating temperatures, familiarity with the refrigerant and its specific requirements, and accommodation within existing infrastructure. Experienced refrigeration contractors in Marin County should be able to help you choose which system is best for your needs.

Refrigeration contractors in Marin County will know that each of these refrigerants have their own unique properties and that you should only charge a refrigeration system with the exact refrigerant specified. Use of an incorrect refrigerant can lead to reduced refrigeration efficiency, mechanical problems leading to costly refrigeration repairs, and dangerous conditions.

Secondary Refrigerants These are substances such as air, water, or brine that are not refrigerants in themselves, but have been cooled by the primary refrigeration system to then pass over and around the areas and substances to be cooled; then return with their heat load to the primary refrigeration system. Secondary refrigerants are used where the cooling effect must be moved over a long distance making it cost prohibitive for gas-tight lines to travel that distance.

Some Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County Are A Better Value Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these commercial refrigeration contractors in Marin County CA: Insulated Structures Novato CA, Thermatics San Rafael CA, Restaurant Repair San Rafael CA.

Questions To Ask Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County CA

When it comes to finding good refrigeration service and refrigeration repair by C-38 licensed refrigeration contractors in Marin County, ask some questions about the abilities, experience, and credentials of the commercial refrigeration contractors you're considering hiring.

• How long have the Marin County refrigeration contractors been performing refrigeration installation and repair services in Marin County?

• How many clients have the refrigeration contractors served in Marin County that have businesses similar to yours or that had similar needs or equipment?

• Can the local refrigeration contractors give you names and numbers you can call as references? (All refrigeration contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already had their client references called by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)

• Do the Marin County refrigeration contractors have experience in the same kind of commercial refrigeration unit you need installed, serviced or repaired, and experienced with the same refrigerants as those used in your unit?

• What are the hours of availability of the refrigeration contractors in San Rafael CA? Are they able to accommodate your schedule to reduce the likelihood of business interruption or inconvenience?

• How does the commercial refrigeration contractor you're considering charge for refrigeration services? Flat rate or T&M (time and material)? If there's a trip charge or estimate fee, is that amount applied to the cost of any refrigeration work they do?

•  Can the Marin County refrigeration service you're hiring vouch that all employees sent to your property are legal to work in the U.S.? (All refrigeration companies bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already signed a pledge to only hire documented workers.)

• Does the commercial or industrial refrigeration contractor in Marin County have active workers' compensation and liability insurance covering all of their employees and staff working at your location? (All commercial refrigeration companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already shown proof of insurance to research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)

• Will the local refrigeration contractor you're hiring provide written estimates for new refrigeration units or repairs or maintenance services? If so, will the company detail in writing the exact unit, parts, and materials to be used, allowing you fairly compare bids?

• Do the commercial refrigeration contractors in Marin County provide warranties for their labor, not merely manufacturer warranties, beyond the 1 year warranty mandated by the state of California for C-38 licensed contractors?

• Will permits be needed for the desired refrigeration work in your area of Marin County? Who will be responsible for pulling those permits, you or the refrigeration contractor? (Beware of contractors that ask you to fill permits; this can be a sign that they're not licensed or in good standing with the state board overseeing their industry.)

• Does the refrigeration contractor perform all phases of the work you need, or do they hire journeymen and/or subcontractors to finish the job? If they hire non-employees to complete the work, can they assure you those companies or individuals are licensed and insured? Will they give you the names and contact information for those companies and individuals so you can check license and insurance for your safety?

When you've selected the best commercial refrigeration repair service or industrial refrigeration contractor for your needs, make sure they are licensed in good standing with a C38 contractors license to perform your commercial refrigeration services. (All commercial refrigeration companies bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already had their license verified by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)

Good Refrigeration Contractors Repair & Install Many Brands

Commercial refrigeration equipment most commonly serviced, repaired, sold, and installed by commercial refrigeration services in Marin County include those by manufacturers including Arctic Air, Berner International, Beverage-Air, Continental Refrigerator, Delfield, Equipex, Fagor, Hatco, LoLo, Master-Bilt, Saturn, Traulsen, True Manufacturing, Turbo Air, Manitowoc ice machines, Hoshizaki, Kolpak walk in coolers & freezers, NorLake, FSW Commercial Refrigerators, Ice-O-Matic ice machine, Scotsman ice machines, and more.

Resources About Commercial Refrigeration Services in Marin County CA

The following is a list of helpful associations and publications on commercial refrigeration & refrigeration contractors. You can get more information about commercial refrigeration installation and repair, companies that provide these services, and more.

Associations & Licensing for Commercial Refrigeration in Marin County CA

CSLB Contractors State License BoardA new commercial freezer that was installed and will be maintained and repaired by a local refrigeration expert.
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs
ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers
ARCA Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor's Association
MCAA Mechanical Contractors Association of America
BBB Better Business Bureau
MSCA Mechanical Service Contractors of America
IIAR International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration
RETA Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association
ARI Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute
RSES Refrigeration Service Engineers Society

Publications for Marin County Refrigeration Contractors and Installers

International Journal of Refrigeration
RSES Journal
Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News
ASHRAE Journal

If you are looking for commercial refrigeration services The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Refrigeration Contractors in Marin County within the following zip codes:

94976, 94973, 94977, 94979, 94971, 94938, 94957, 94966, 94914, 94950, 94913, 94933, 94948, 94912, 94978, 94915, 94964, 94929, 94942, 94963, 94937, 94946, 94949, 94970, 94904, 94941, 94901, 94930, 94940, 94974, 94925, 94903, 94960, 94924, 94965, 94956, 94945, 94939, 94947 and 94920

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Refrigeration Companies in Marin County within the following cities:

Bel Marin Keys, Belvedere, Belvedere Tiburon, Black Point, Bolinas, Corte Madera, Dogtown, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Ignacio, Inverness, Kent Woodlands, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marin City, Marinwood, Marshall, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, Muir Woods, Nicasio, Novato, Point Reyes Station, San Anselmo, San Marin, San Quentin, San Rafael, Santa Venetia, Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Strawberry Point, Tamal, Tamalpais Valley, Terra Linda, Tiburon, Dillon Beach, Forest Knolls, Lagunitas, Mission Rafael, Olema, Ross, San Geronimo, Tomales, Woodacre, Almonte, Lucas Valley and Sleepy Hollow