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Root Cellar Question  RSS feed

 
Frank Giglio
Posts: 26
Location: Thorndike, Maine
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Hey Folks!

I'm not sure if this is the best place for my question but here it goes.

I have a large root cellar and am curious how to improve the air quality. My house to off-grid and certain pieces of equipment like a dehumidifier is not an ideal option.

The cellar is located in the northwest corner of our basement and has crushed stone over dirt floor. All four walls are concrete.

There is a window to the west that I open for ventilation. I find most produce will mold in the summer and my ferments don't seem to hold up great down there either in the warmer months.

Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Ohh, and my home is in midcoast Maine.
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Jack Edmondson
Posts: 240
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Maine is a sunny state. I would suggest a simple DC solar panel collector, and a computer fan. You can find (cheaply) cooling fans that move 5 cfm that run off straight DC current. Wire directly to the collector. No charger or controller needed. Sun up? Fans on. Sun down, fan off. Cloudy day, slower fan. How many cubic feet is your root cellar? Simple math will tell you how many times you will turn over the airspace.

 
Frank Giglio
Posts: 26
Location: Thorndike, Maine
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Great idea Jack!

I have DC outlets throughout the house and believe there is one in the root cellar too. This sounds like an easy fix.

 
R Scott
Posts: 3363
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Do you have vent pipes with a low input and high output to get the air to move?
 
Frank Giglio
Posts: 26
Location: Thorndike, Maine
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R Scott wrote:Do you have vent pipes with a low input and high output to get the air to move?


I don't and that is what I am thinking I need. There is a window which I though to replace with plywood and two holes. One whole with a screen the other with flexible ductwork reach the floor.
 
Sebastian Köln
Posts: 123
Location: Germany · Schleswig-Holstein · Eutin
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We have a semi-basement in our house. The floor is/was a thin (1-2 in) concrete with loam below.
The humid and warm summer air was leaving condensation on the floor and the walls. Also the humidity from the loam was drawn into the brick walls (no moisture barrier on the interior walls).
After reading a lot of opinions on that subject and talking to different people, receiving different answers each time, I decided to remove the concrete floor in one room.
The condensing water goes now directly into the loam floor, limiting the humidity to the moisture level in the ground.
We also removed the old paint and plaster and applied earthen plaster. The air quality has improved so far. (There are tree more rooms to convert, so the real effect isn't visible yet.)

If taking out the stone floor is possible, you could replace it with an earthen floor..
 
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