For foodservice consultants and designers, selecting the right refrigerated display case is just one important step in the design phase. The proper installation of the display case is essential for operators to maximize the effectiveness of their new equipment. Installation mistakes can lead to higher utility bills, and in extreme cases, equipment failure.

With that in mind, there are several pitfalls for designers and consultants to be aware of when installing display cases. Here are four issues to avoid when specifying display cases.


Air needs to be circulated, and blocking vents can seriously affect temperature regulation inside the display case. Whether it’s a wall, additional display cases, or other obstacles, restricting airflow not only disrupts the case temperature, but it can lead to a spoiled or damaged food product. Additionally, it’s important to design millwork around the display case, preventing vents on the front of case from becoming blocked by the millwork.

[SEE ALSO: What Consultants Should Consider When Specifying a Refrigerated Display Case]

Sunlight Exposure

Is the display case near a window or door? Exposure to direct sunlight can act as a heater to create an irregular ambient temperature outside of the case. That will force the display case to work harder and use more energy to maintain ideal temperatures inside of the display case. Be sure the refrigerated display case is out of reach of direct sunlight to ensure the equipment functions properly.


Similarly, when installing a refrigerated display case, keep it away from HVAC vents. Constant hot or cold air forcing itself directly onto the display case results in those irregular heating or cooling temperatures. Air conditioning or fans blowing air directly unit prevents the case from maintaining its ideal temperature.

Other Foodservice Equipment

It may seem harmless, but designers should avoid installing a display case next to an oven or any cooking or holding equipment that gives off excess heat. That dramatic rise in temperature around the showcase will cause improper cooling and can waste energy doing so. Designing for bakeries and other operations that frequently cook or bake in the front-of-the-house, should be done so with this in mind.

Are you a foodservice consultant or designer looking to get the most out of a refrigerated display case? Sign up for a virtual one-on-one meeting with an ORION by Clabo expert to discuss best practices for installation, operation, and more. Register today!