How to build a walk in flower cooler
Are you planning to put a walk-in flower cooler on your property? A variety of commercial options are available for a walk-in flower cooler, but for those who are handy and would like a specific size or variety, building your own walk-in cooler might be the best option.
You may be surprised to discover that a homemade flower cooler is not out of your reach. A few steps will put you well on your way to a walk-in flower cooler that is just what you wanted.
Decide on the size of the flower cooler that you want to construct. The 8-by-10 cooler is a standard size. Consider how much you will store in the cooler and how much space you will need to move around once you have begun filling it.
Begin constructing the flower cooler. Use the plywood panels for the walls and ceilings of the cooler, and support these panels with 2-by-4s. In building a walk-in flower cooler, you are essentially constructing a new building on your property, so be sure you follow any specific local building requirements for safety.
Add the foam board or fibreglass panels for insulation, and caulk over any air openings. Coolers are most effective when they are airtight, so be sure that your cooler has no air pockets and will be able to hold in the refrigeration. In choosing between foam board and fibreglass, consider the potential for moisture: Foam board will hold up better against moisture, whereas fibreglass cannot withstand moisture. The choice is yours, but be sure to consider your specific cooler and the conditions within and around it.
Add the refrigeration system that you will be using. Most gardening experts recommend using a floral coil, which is larger than a typical cooling coil for food and beverages. The larger coil provides extra humidity, which your flowers will need in the cooler; too much dry cooling, and the flowers will not be able to survive in the cooler. The floral coil is a fairly long coil in a rectangular shape and has a two-sided discharge. The floral coil will be more expensive than a smaller coil, but will be worth the investment to protect the flowers.
Install the door, ensuring that it seals properly. A regular door will be insufficient for a flower cooler, so look into the industrial doors that lock and seal more effectively. The cost will be higher, but you will save in both the quality of the flowers and in energy costs, since the door will seal off any undesired flow of air.
- Review the local building codes carefully. It may be that if you add a new structure to your property, you will be required to leave it on the property if you ever move. If you do not mind leaving it behind, then proceed with your plans. Otherwise, look into a factory-built structure, which is usually not considered a permanent addition to the property.
- Check local building codes for installing refrigeration units. Some floral coils are easy to install, but building codes might require professional installation. Look into this carefully, because an illegal installation can cause problems in the future.