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Old 03-12-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
babalu87
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Default Building a cool room

In the planning stages of building a cool room in the basement.
My basement gets pretty warm (near 80) during parts of June then July and August and we want a place to keep both wines and beers at a more stable temperature all year.

Going to install a window AC in one wall and build the room using rough cut full 2X4's so I can have extra insulation, walls will be skinned in OSB.

Room will be 9 X 6 feet and have one door.

Any feedback ideas would be appreciated

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Old 03-12-2010, 07:55 PM   #2
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A couple of things come to mind:
First, how close will the wall be to the boiler? My guess is far enough, so...
Second, why are you using rough cut 2x4's? I would guess that you already have them or they're free. 2X6 walls will give you better insulation. All of the insulation I've seen is 3 1/2" or 5 1/2" to accomodate standard lumber. The amount you gain can easily be lost by crushing/not utilizing the insulation. If you can, the blow in foam that they cut is the bomb. Also, your door will fit funny unless you modify it.
Third, You might want to consider putting your AC unit on the same side as your boiler if there is a drain to pipe to so you don't have to have a bucket. Not only that, but if it's too close to the door, it's a PITA.
Fourth, Make sure that the AC unit you get actually cycles on and off. My compressor shuts down, but the fan runs continuously.

The above comments are lessons I learned when I built my cold room. I used 2x6 walls on 3 sides. I sealed it with caulk. I put a cheap exterior metal door on it. If you turn out the lights, it is absolutely dark. You have to close the door slowly, because it literally pressurizes the space. You won't need that big of a unit to keep an 80F room at say 65F. However, this could easily be used/converted to an ale fermentation room with a constant temp of ~68F. Then, a lager chamber is a breeze to put in a room that stays 68F. Incrementalism is very costly and inefficient. Let us know how it turns out. Luck - Dwain

2 things: I just saw your post count. You are well aware of incrementalism. The second thing is, what about moving it over to the stairs. You might gain some space by using the area underneath them (fine place for a lager chamber).

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Old 03-12-2010, 08:18 PM   #3
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Dwain thanks for the tips.
There is already storage under the stairs that I built.
We can also put shelves/racks on the outside of the cool room for our larder (canned goods etc.) This is the best utilization of the space for us.

Its is a quick rough sketch and yes the AC will go on the side that the boiler is on.
Code calls for that wall to be 6" from the boiler and I'll be over double that.
I'll control the AC with a digital controller that way I can leave it on full blast and just let it cycle.
Yes, it wont require much in the way of BTU capacity and I'm actually getting a 5000 btu for free to cool it.
Might decide to go with 6" walls but this should be a very efficient room to keep cool even with 3 1/2" walls. It is on the North side of the house and part of the reason our basement gets so warm is the bulkhead door but that will be corrected as part of this project.

Thanks for the feedback

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Old 03-12-2010, 08:58 PM   #4
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Your going to need to install a vapor barrior prior to building out any walls. Then walls with unfaced fiberglass insulation (ceiling too)and MR drywall. Tape, seal or and caulk all joints, transitions and door perimeters.

If you look at wine cellar construction, that would be a good start.

I built a few wine cellars( 10x12) and with the proper construction and a simple wall mounted cooling unit, they maintain 53 degrees.

The main concern you'll have is mold issues. That is why it is so important to get your insulation and vapor barrior right!

Good luck

Bull

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Old 03-13-2010, 02:19 AM   #5
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Ever see one of these control units?

It's called a COOLBOT. Looks like it could get the most out of that window unit.

www.storeitcold.com

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Old 03-13-2010, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlosbor View Post
Ever see one of these control units?

It's called a COOLBOT. Looks like it could get the most out of that window unit.

www.storeitcold.com

So I am going to spend 3X what a 5000 btu window costs to control it?

These are $40.00
http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...6805901c500a71
Add the probe and its still less than $60.00
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:45 PM   #7
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You can't switch an A/C unit with a PID, at least directly. You would have to add either a contactor or SSR. So, if you add up the cost of a PID control, relay and temp probe, you would be better off just using a simpler controller or even a room thermostat. I use a cheap electronic programmable thermostat (<$30 at HD), with a 40va 24 volt transformer and a relay. Total cost under $50. The programmable stat allows setting a minimum off time to eliminate short cycling on a sudden draft of warm air, like when I open the door on a 100+ day to bring in some carboys.

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Old 03-13-2010, 07:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
You can't switch an A/C unit with a PID, at least directly. You would have to add either a contactor or SSR. So, if you add up the cost of a PID control, relay and temp probe, you would be better off just using a simpler controller or even a room thermostat. I use a cheap electronic programmable thermostat (<$30 at HD), with a 40va 24 volt transformer and a relay. Total cost under $50. The programmable stat allows setting a minimum off time to eliminate short cycling on a sudden draft of warm air, like when I open the door on a 100+ day to bring in some carboys.

My point was (as is your point) there are cheaper ways
Even using a PID its only another $20 for an SSR

I do have a thermostat as you have mentioned and am thinking of using that as well.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:03 PM   #9
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Just remember the most bang for your buck will be spent on insulation. The above post from bullinachinashop had very good advice. Moiture resistant drywall will hold up better than OSB, which can absorb and retain moisture, and eventually rot. OSB should be fine for the outer walls, of course. If you really want to maximize the insulation, consider sheathing the interior with foam sheets on the studs, and drywall to cover. With your size room, you could do it with 4 sheets.

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Old 03-14-2010, 12:59 AM   #10
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So I am going to spend 3X what a 5000 btu window costs to control it?

Sorry, I didn't mean to piss you off about the cost. I just happened to find this while seaching for a way to cool the room my dad is building. Forget I mentioned it

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