I am building a 6’ x 9’ x 9’ walk in cooler. I will have cold storage for fruit, rootstock and trees (not Fruit and trees at the same time). The cost will be around $1500.00 using a room that is already framed, Insulation sheets to R-30 and a special thermostat that converts a window AC unit I already have.
Neat!! This is what our warm winter folks need. It would be perfect for chilling everything from potted fruit trees to blueberries. In Southern CA one could have off season fruits by chilling spring, summer, or fall. Hey even in winter.
I had not thought of that. You would just have to be careful to not let plants dry out in there.
Nice system Mike. Really came together nice. One of the orchards in the area has a coolbot room and he loves his.
That’s not my cooler in the video, just a good example. I will try to post some pictures when its done. I want to see how long I can keep trees dormant that I dig up this weekend. I have tree orders going to Michigan that need to be delayed another three+ weeks. If they were dig when fully dormant, I could keep them sleeping until June.
I had a walk in cool room last year. Decided to make use of an enclosed trailer that I dont use on real regular basis going forward. Just finished insulating it with 2" foam board. Hope to get the AC hole cut and the AC put in this coming weekend. The Coolbots are pricey but I was happy with how mine functioned last year.
Stupid question time, Coolbot?
Coolbot is a thermostat that allows a window ac unit to cool down to 35F. Normally, AC units only cool to 60F.
Love your cooler room. You will get a lot of benefit from it.
We added a coolbot and AC unit to our home-made cooler when our refrigeration unit failed. It works great, but it will not pull the temperature of a large amount of produce full of field heat down quickly like the commercial unit did. That will not be a problem for your trees.
We hesitated on the coolbot for a while because of the price, but the unit works great.
Thanks for relieving my ignorance!
That is a great idea! Since my husband doesn’t build much I’m looking into a coolbot. Lucky you! What do you think it will cost a month to run it?
At 11 amps, it would cost $110 per month if it ran non stop. I don’t think it will cost more then $50.00 a month to run in the spring and fall.
I used a couple of 5 gallon buckets in mine last year. Seemed to work well. I didnt go hog wild with insulating my trailer either. If it was something permanent (eventually we will have a cold storage shed/barn) besides the trailer I will super insulate it. Air leakage is a bigger issue with cold storage than R value.
I am not in my final resting place yet! Oh not the final resting place you meant! I am not in my final home Lord willing. I do like the cellar option idea. We have a root cellar at my mom’s farm. Every home can benefit from a root cellar. Our cold storage is currently used for nursery stock. That is why we dont need it but for a month or two every year.
I made a root cellar for at my Anchorage house 20 years ago for exactly the opposite reason - to keep plants warm. It’s a 10’x10’x3’ hole lined with railroad ties and a hinged insulated lid.
I store my roses and other flowering shrubs in pots in it. The first winter, I put a remote bulb thermometer into it. When it was -20F above ground, it was +20F in the cellar. I can keep zone 5 plants alive in a zone 3 climate.
I put in a similar room in my basement a few years ago. Right now its just a room (wine cellar mainly) but the vague plan is to turn it into a fruit room. I was planning to add an outside air vent to cool it, basically let in the cold air to cool the room. It won’t be as cool as the real deal but the electricity cost will be low.
That room is really large! They call that a studio apartment in NYC. You did a great job!