Build a walk-in cooler for your flowers with a CoolBot and a standard air conditioner
CoolBot for Flowers
You can build an affordable walk-in cooler for your flowers using a CoolBot and a standard air conditioner. Whether you need a cooler for a cut flower farm, a budding wedding flower business or a potted peony operation, the CoolBot is a perfect choice. Our florist customers around the world save on upfront installation costs, monthly electricity bills and expensive technician visits compared to traditional refrigeration systems.
Cooler Construction Tips
A/C Fan Speed: For most uses, we generally recommend setting the A/C fan speed to high; however, too much air flow on flowers can dry them out. Most of our florists already see an improvement in flower quality vs. conventional walk-in cooler compressors because even on high, we are still blowing less air than the traditional refrigeration systems. However, to decrease air flow even further, you can upsize the A/C and set the fan speed to low.
Display Windows: Display windows are a great way to show your customers your beautiful flowers (who doesn’t want to see those pretty petals?), but they are not the best at keeping in the cold air. We need an R value of 25 (standard measure of insulation value) for an efficient cooler, and insulated glass is hardly ever higher than R-1.8! While glass looks great, it is a point of weakness in your cooler’s insulation.
In order to maintain temperatures in your glass display case, you need to increase the number of BTU’s on your A/C unit. If you do have display windows, you should at least double the number of BTUs recommended for your space. If you have any questions about sizing, feel free to fill out our Cooler Construction Advice Form and we will help figure out the best fit for you.
A/C Placement: We recommend mounting the A/C high up so the base of the unit is at eye level. This allows the cold air to blow out and flow over the product. Additionally, we recommend positioning the A/C so that it is not blowing directly onto the flowers; air flow directly on the flowers can dry them out.
“I used my coolbot for the first time during a weekend where I had TWO weddings!! I will be honest I was worried that I would have a huge cooler failure. However, my coolbot was flawless!! It took it down to 39 degrees in no time and kept it there even when I was opening the door all the time. My cooler is homemade and roughly 6×8 insulated with R-19 fiberglass insulation and with R-10 rigid foam. I use a 12,000btu GE air conditioner and we water sealed the whole inside. I could not be happier!!! I added shelves after these photos were taken. Thanks for an awesome product that is PERFECT for a florist!!“
“It is running great. I got the cooler finished just in time for Mother’s day what a great help it was. I sold a 6X6 Floral cooler for enough money to build an 8X8 almost double the size. Got tried of repair bills on the floral cooler. I read everything on a coolbot I could find before buying it all the reviews are great except I found one on a HVAC site they said it would never work. They are wrong. Wonder why they knock it, no repair needed maybe.“
“We purchased a CoolBot in June of 2009. We raise vegetables and cut flowers. Previously, we had had a compressor unit to cool our walk-in cooler. The CoolBot works extremely well and efficiently. It cools down much quicker than our compressor unit did. It uses much less electricity then our compressor unit used. We are extremely pleased with the unit. It was economical and easy to install.“
-Diane S., MI
Humidity: We often get the question, “Will this dry out my flowers?” The answer is no, you’ll be at exactly the right humidity for flowers.
Humidity in a CoolBot controlled cooler will be exactly the same as in a conventionally chilled cooler. If you do want to increase the humidity level, you can oversize the air conditioner from the sizing chart. By oversizing the air conditioner from our normal recommendations, the greater surface area of the coolant coils is used to cool the air rather than a high fan speed. With larger air conditioners, our customers can run in the lowest, most gentle fan speed.
Some customers occasionally ask if they can use humidifiers in their rooms with the cut flowers. Sure! It won’t affect the CoolBot or the air conditioner at all. That being said, we generally find that you don’t need it, and the fact that it encourages and facilitates disease in the cold room means you really shouldn’t. If you want to do some quick spritzing on especially sensitive flowers that seem to be getting a bit more air flow than others, then go right ahead. Otherwise, it’s not necessary.
CoolBot In Action
Ethylene: Ethylene is a chemical which is produced by some cut flowers. It can cause damage such as rapid senescence (deterioration with age) and abscission (also known as shattering, where the plant loses petals, leaves, etc.), and certain flowers are more sensitive to the effects.
By keeping the flowers at cooler temperatures, we are able to not only reduce ethylene production, but also the plants’ sensitivity. Ventilation can also help reduce the ethylene, but we find that no ventilation system is usually needed for CoolBot-driven coolers, as there is plenty of air exchange through the opening and closing of the door.
For more information on proper care for cut flowers, check out the UC Davis Report Handling Cut Flowers For Air Transport.