A timely email from Tony, a British expat who has visited our pub a couple times and who helps out at The Beer Shoppe in Yakima, Washington, and an anonymous comment on my last post, pointed my in the right direction for solving our cellar refrigeration issues. I was prepared to crack open the imposing electronics package of my new Sears Kenmore air conditioner and figure out how to bypass it when I was saved by CoolBot.
This device is ingenious. It turns a normal, everyday, working air conditioner into a refrigeration unit without messing with the electronics. How does it do this? It has a little heater that is attached to the temperature sensor of the unit with a piece of foil. This fools the unit into thinking that it is warmer than it really is. Brilliant.
The old guy was icing up every day in a serious way, so I was determined to fix it when I got back from Portland late last Wednesday night. Started work at about 10:00 PM and had the old unit out and the new one in by 12:30. The CoolBot was very easy to install and set up. I waited around until about 3:30 to monitor its performance, and was satisfied that by the AM, or rather later in the AM when I returned to open the pub that the cellar and its contents would be sitting at a pleasant 52 degrees.
There ya go. Instead of dropping four or five grand on a fancy refrigeration unit, get yourself a 10,000 BTU air conditioner and a CoolBot for around $600. Well, there is building a room and insulating it, but you knew that.