DIY: How to Insulate a Walk in Cooler

by Irving Oala; Updated September 26, 2017

Walk-in coolers and freezers are necessary in restaurants, convenience stores and commercial food kitchens where a large amount of food and drinks must be kept frozen at any given time. As these walk-in coolers must constantly cool a large amount of warm air, properly insulating these machines is incredibly important. Otherwise these coolers will either not cool what is inside of them properly or waste a tremendous amount of electricity and money.

Items you will need

  • Rubber strips
  • Adhesive
  • Quarry tile floors
  • Aluminum siding
  • Extruded polystyrene insulation
  • Extra door
Step 1

Remodel the floor of the walk-in cooler as a large amount of cool air can escape out of this area. Attach extruded polystyrene insulation over the existing cement or rubber floor of the walk-in cooler. These pieces of insulation come in large pieces that are attached directly to the floor or in a foam spray that is sprayed and spread over the floor of the freezer. On top of this insulation, measure and cut quarry tiles to help keep the floor of the walk-in cooler cold and maintain this cool temperature.

Step 2

Attach rubber strips around the edges of every door that opens into the walk-in cooler. This includes doors that allow customers to select products in convenience stores, as well as the doors allowing employees to enter or exit the cooler. Affix these rubber strips with an adhesive that bonds firmly to metal door frames. Doing this will greatly reduce the amount of cool air that seeps out.

Step 3

Build a separate door and entryway in front of the main walk-in cooler door. This may be difficult if the walk-in cooler leads directly into the business. However, if a few sheetrock walls and another door are built around the main door to the walk-in cooler, this will contain more cool air every time someone opens and closes the door.

Step 4

Attach aluminum sheet metal to the walls of the walk-in cooler, as this will keep the cool air inside the cooler and the hot air out. Measure these sheets of metal and cut them to size, so they cover all of the walls and even the ceiling of the walk-in cooler, if possible. Install extruded polystyrene insulation on the walls before attaching these aluminum metal sheets with heavy duty sheet metal screws.


  • It is much better to make these insulation additions and remodeling decisions before you have begun using your walk-in cooler, as many of these projects will force you to shut down the cooler so that the insulation additions can be properly installed.

About the Author

Irving Oala began writing professionally in 2007. He writes for various websites when he is not writing screenplays and short stories. He is also a huge sports fan and automobile enthusiast and always tries to fix broken items or devices around the house on his own.