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Cold Room, Part 5
Posted April 14, 2004 at 07:33:13 AM by Bean in the Beer category

I ended up using two thermostats to control the AC unit for the cold room.  An external Johnsons Control thermostat cuts power to the whole thing when the target temperature has been reached.  I set it at 38F, and it has about a 4 degree range, so it shouldn't be flipping on and off too much once I get some thermal mass in there.  The second thermostat is used to power the compressor on and off and act as a defrost control.  Originally, I thought I could get by just using the external control, but when my AC turned into an ice maker, I realized how cold those coils can get.  So I removed the internal thermostat from the AC and looked up the part number on the internet (sorry, didn't write it down).  I discovered that the adjustable range on the dial could be moved, so I twisted the set screw until the range was centered around 32F and reinstalled it into the AC.  I moved the sensor bulb from the internal thermostat as close to cooling coils as I could and set it for about 31F.  My defrost cycle was born.  Any time an ice block begins to grow on the coils, the compressor kicks off and the fan stays on.  The slightly warmer air in the room circulates and melts the ice.  Works like a charm so far.

Now back to construction.  I finished caulking the seams with silicon and pulled out all of the temporary screws I had holding the foamboard in place and filled the holes with caulk.  The liquid nails should hold everything on it's own.  Once I was satisfied with the placement of the AC (making sure it is tilted towards the back of teh unit to help condensation runnof), I sprayed Great Stuff expanding foam around all sides.  The foam should help insulate and seal the room as well as keep the AC unit stable.  I made sure not to block any of the air intake vents.

I stuffed the electrical outlet with some spare insulation (nothign flamable), put an insulated cover on it, then a face plate.  I installed a faux doorknow on the door and two sliding latches to hold the door shut.  I used the two latches to prevent the door from bowing out at the top and bottom.  I put in various sizes of weather stripping and foam rubber around the door and when the latches are latched, a good seal is formed.

The inside of the cold room is done.  All thats left to do is finish the warm side, mount my taps, and drywall the exterior.

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