I thought some of you might be interested in seeing how I built my new cooler. Follow the link below.
Wow! I'm so glad to see this post... it is exactly what we have decided we need to do for a cooler this year - juggling 3 refrigerators is getting ridiculous.
We had hoped to get a garage frame built this past fall but it just didn't pan out. Our eventual plan is to make a small room in the garage. Our other option was to convert a shed that is crammed with kids bikes, toys, a generator, lawn mower, etc. into a temporary cooler but where to put all that junk?!
So... a corner of our basement became the logical spot and we plan to start on it in March. You'll probably hear from us with questions! Like my first one ...you don't have the air conditioner in a window - are there any kinds of problems you foresee in not having it positioned outside?
Thanks for the link and having done this before us!
I'm glad I could give you something to think about, Laurie. The only problems I foresee are having to collect the condensate from the AC and possibly my basement warming up a little as the AC throws heat out of the cooler. I think I can deal with both of those. I'll know better in a few months.
Thank you! This is great info and I love (and need!) the photos.
Okay, maybe I'm not as advanced as others here, but what exactly does the cool-bot controller do? Can you build this cooler without the cool-bot?
I usually only need cooling overnight (or even morning to afternoon) from the time I harvest to leaving for market, once or twice a week. Could I just use an air-conditioner to cool the area?
Thank you for posting this!
Dee, according to my understanding, the Cool-Bot does two things for you.
1. It tricks the AC into getting the room colder than it normally can. Most AC units won't let you set a temp lower than about 60 F.
If you are clever, maybe you can figure out how to trick the AC into going colder than normal, maybe by putting a light bulb near the temp sensor to make the AC think it is still hot. But then, the coils on the AC can ice up with frozen condensation. There is a way around this too by using heating strips and a timer. Lynn Byczinski covers this in her flower farming book, and I added up the price of the parts and decided that I may as well just buy the Cool-Bot.
2. The Cool-Bot senses the temp of the coils and if it senses freezing, it will turn off the cooling cycle for a short time to let the ice melt. At least this is what I think it must do. They don't really say how it gets rid of the ice.
I tried pretty hard to avoid spending the $300 on the Cool-Bot, but in the end decided that I couldn't do without it.
Hope this is informative.
Thanks so much TM. That extra info was very helpful. I should just bite the bullet and spend the money to do this. Like Laurie I'm juggling several refrigerators, all of which don't always accomodate some of the taller cuts. Sure would be nice to have a walk-in cooler!
Well, I enjoy cutting a few bouquets now and then, and just lurk on this forum from time to time, but have to say your cooler is very cool!! :)
Thanks, Terrene. I was hoping it would be. :]