CoolBot™ Refrigeration Controller
Simply put, the CoolBot is a revolutionary product for anyone who needs access to large-scale refrigeration at a fraction of the price of traditional commercial refrigeration units. Turn any well-sealed and insulated room into a walk-in cooler using an appropriately-sized standard window air conditioner (see chart below). Installs in minutes, with no tools or electrical knowledge needed. Since 2006, tens of thousands of CoolBots have been sold worldwide to farmers, hunters, florists, restaurants, convenience stores....anyone who needs lots of cold storage space on a budget. Made in the USA and backed by a 1 year warranty.
Following is some detailed information about the CoolBot. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us via phone at 800-780-9126 / 360-426-9292, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to assist you!
This is a chart showing the size air conditioning unit recommended to cool a well-insulated room. The "industry standard" insulation for a walk-in cooler is at least 4" of styrofoam in walls, ceiling and floor (minimum insulation value of R-24).
These figures are for a 38 °F (3.3 °C) room, opened no more than 4 times per hour.
|Dimensions of the Walk-In Cooler||Size of Air Conditioner|
|6' x 8' x 8'||10,000 BTU|
|8' x 8' x 8'||12,000 BTU|
|8' x 10' x 8'||15,000 BTU|
|8' x 12' x 8'||18,000 BTU|
|10' x 14' x 8'||24,000 BTU|
Who Should Not Buy a CoolBot
The CoolBot is not for everyone. Less than 0.5% of customers return their CoolBots. But that's because the manufacturer works hard to be honest about what it can and can't do.
The bottom line is that CoolBot does not perform as well as a conventional cooler. It's a niche product that is perfect for a segment of users because it's cheaper to purchase, free to install and can save you hundreds of dollars in electricity each year. Nonetheless, there are some drawbacks.
Weaknesses of the CoolBot System
The CoolBot is cheaper than a conventional walk-in cooler system and uses far less electricity. It's easy to install, repairs are almost non-existent, and many air conditioners come with a 5 year warranty.
That all sounds great, but there are some serious sacrifices compared to a conventional walk-in cooler system. These are deal breakers for some people, and don't matter to others.
CoolBot systems take longer to cool down
Air-conditioners have less surface area that the air blows over and a much lower volume of air that is moved around. What does this mean to you if you buy a CoolBot system?
Turn on the CoolBot/air conditioner in an 85 °F (30 °C) cooler and it will sprint down to 45 °F (7 °C) in about 20 minutes. You'll be very happy!! But wait! Every degree you go down below that takes exponentially longer!
It can take another 30 minutes before you hit 40 °F (4.4 °C), even though that's only 5 degrees less! And another 30 minutes on top of that before you hit 38 °F (3.3 °C). That doesn't matter to many people, but if it does to your operation, then don't buy a CoolBot!
CoolBot Systems recover more slowly after you open the door
CoolBot systems are used by many caterers and some small restauranteurs, but may not be suitable for high-traffic conditions, when people are going in and out every few minutes.
CoolBots are used in large restaurants as secondary coolers with glowing reports, and in smaller restaurants where the door is open and closed no more than 6 times per hour. In those applications the CoolBot does great at holding things down at 38 degrees. We do still recommend small restauranteurs size up from our recommendation chart.
Poor functionality below 36 °F (2 °C)
This is related to the above. Same reasons. Many users do manage to run their coolers below 36 °F, but they (a) don't open the door often, and (b) they don't mind that it took hours to reach that temperature.
It helps a lot if they have smaller rooms and larger air conditioners (like an 8x8 room and an 24,000 BTU air conditioner would have no trouble reaching 36 °F very quickly!)
You can't freeze things with a CoolBot
This is a very common question. The answer is, it's just impossible. Most users can't below 33 °F (1 °C). Those who reached this temperature used very small rooms and 24,000 BTU air conditioners. But remember that being at 32 °F (0 °C) is not the same as freezing something. You need to be down in the single digits for that.
Running through the winter
This is actually not a CoolBot problem, and it is avoidable, but there are some precautions if you need to keep things cold when it's cold outside your room.
Some air conditioners run fine in the winter. LG, HAIER and SAMSUNG are good examples that seem to run all winter long with no trouble. But other brands might not. Frigidaires stop running even when temperatures get into the lower forties! This might not be a problem for mixed vegetable crop growers, but it would be horrible for a small restauranteur or meat processors. Be careful about what brand of air conditioner you buy if you need to run through the winter.
Automatic Restart when you lose electricity
This is also not a CoolBot problem. CoolBots start up automatically, and they remember their settings forever.
If the electricity blinks on and off, not all brands of air conditioners will automatically restart.
LG and HAIER definitely do. We don't know about GE or Toshiba. We know Frigidaire does NOT automatically restart. You have to manually turn it on and off to get it running again. The auto-restart feature is usually advertised on the outside of the box, so, this isn't a weakness of the CoolBot system, but you should look for this feature if you have blinky electricity in your area.
More things that don't work well with CoolBots
Portable Air Conditioners
Instead of sticking out the window, these units have a flexible piece of pipe (looks like Dryer vent) that fits out even the smallest window.
The ones with a single vent don't work at all (They are constantly sucking fresh, warm air into the room!)
The ones that use 2 vent-pipes work better, but still not great. If you don't need to be below 45 °F (7 °C) this solution can work for you, but don't expect to get much lower than that. Also, remember that these units tend to be more expensive to purchase initially AND they use more electricity to operate, so... we don't really recommend them even when they do work! Home wine-cellar folks use them, cheese makers use them... some florists use them (but we wish they wouldn't).
Using the CoolBot to cool a room above 61 °F (16 °C)
You don't need to buy a CoolBot. The CoolBot doesn't even kick in until the air conditioner gets down to 65F. Many air conditioners can be set to cool down to 62 °F.
Room is too big *or* air conditioner is too small for the room size
Sadly, CoolBots can't change the laws of physics. You can't expect a 5,000 BTU air conditioner to cool a 10' x 15' room very much, even if it says it can on the box of the air conditioner. They are talking about cooling down to 65 °F (18 °C). It takes more BTU's for every degree you go down!
Follow our sizing recommendations and you'll be pleasantly surprised to see that your air conditioner runs less than 25% of the time if you've insulated the room well, saving wear and tear on the A/C unit and you'll have enough cooling power to more quickly cool products that are field hot and need to be cooled quickly.
Rooms that have less than industry standard Cold-Room insulation
The industry standard for walk-in coolers is 4 inches of rigid foam insulation. There is a great link in our Cooler Construction section from Kentucky State University for a hybrid cooler with a combination of fiberglass and much less rigid foam. That works great, too. The point is, that less than R24 in a room that needs to be below 40 °F (4.5 °C) is a bad idea.
People that put us in their back storage closet will be frustrated until they add at least 1-2 layers of solid foam insulation on top of the drywall and tape, caulk or spray foam the seams. You don't even have to screw them down, but you've got to insulate those walls.
People with home wine-cellars that only need to be in the 50's can get away with much less insulation.
You have even small gaps or holes in the room
Even under the door. The smallest gaps can release a massive amount of cold air. And CoolBots have slow refresh rates. If you have a leaky old cooler, either seal it up, or buy a conventional cooling system. And whatever you do, you should seal it up, because you are wasting a lot of electricity!
As you make the room colder and colder, even very small gaps start to matter - it's like turning up the pressure on a garden hose with every degree you go down. Caulk or spray foam your seams and corners and you should be fine.
Air conditioners without a digital display
If you have an old air conditioner without a digital display, the CoolBot won't work for you. Almost all "name brand" manufacturers have moved to digital controls by now. Frigidaire still has a couple of knob-type models out there, but so far as we know, LG, Samsung and Toshiba and Kenmore have all upgraded by now.
Here's a good way to look at it:
- If you want to be at 37 °F (2.8 °C) or above and you open the door less than 5 times/hour you will absolutely love us. We will save you thousands in up-front costs, but we'll save you MORE than that in electricity savings and repair bills!
- If you need to keep things at 36 °F (2.2 °C), and you open the door less often and you don't mind that it takes a few hours to get down to 36, you'll be really happy, too, but you won't save nearly as much electricity over a conventional system.
- If you need to be under 34 °F (1.5 °C) you aren't going to be happy with using a CoolBot.
Please note: Due to the high value of this item, we must perform additional checks before processing payment. Once your order is submitted, we will reach out in 1–2 business days with a specialized quote.