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I live in Minnesota. I want to build an indoor root cellar in the basement. I will insulate and vapor barrier a small room in the northeast corner of a walkout basement. My initial plan was to put a wire-mesh covered PVC pipe straight out the side of the house with a mechanical valve to pipe in free cold air throughout late fall, winter, and early spring. All the advice I have been given is to automate this and use a heat pump instead to maintain the approximately 40 degrees required. The other issue is how to keep the humidity at 85-90%. The commercial humidifiers I have found have a maximum of about 45%. Has anyone built indoor root cellars like this and what advice do you have?
 

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I live in Minnesota. I want to build an indoor root cellar in the basement. I will insulate and vapor barrier a small room in the northeast corner of a walkout basement. My initial plan was to put a wire-mesh covered PVC pipe straight out the side of the house with a mechanical valve to pipe in free cold air throughout late fall, winter, and early spring. All the advice I have been given is to automate this and use a heat pump instead to maintain the approximately 40 degrees required. The other issue is how to keep the humidity at 85-90%. The commercial humidifiers I have found have a maximum of about 45%. Has anyone built indoor root cellars like this and what advice do you have?
Hey there im in northern ontario and thinking of doing the same kind of build. I started with a digital temp and humidity display so i could see what im working with. Going to retrofit an existing room. Im using the same ventilation method u are mentioning with pvc, one to remove stale air at the top of the room and one at the bottom piping in fresh cold air. For humidity im going to try wet sand or a tray of water and see how that works. I want to vapour barrier the 2 walls that are attached to my finished basement and the ceiling but not sure what side to put barrier on yet.
 

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This is great Skyclock. You raise an important point, unfortunately, I did not measure the temperature and humidity in the basement last winter. We are hoping for a good size crop for our little homestead this fall so there will be some guesswork involved to have things ready for this winter. Do I understand correctly that you do not plan any active heat or cooling source and will just try to maintain an insulated room with passive cool air? Thanks again.
 
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