To insulate or not? That is the question when building a keezer.
(Note: The link above goes to the home base for all keezer posts. If you're new to this series, start there.)
For the longest time my wooden keezer collar remained uninsulated. I'm often asked why. Maybe some expect an intelligent answer, but I don't have one. The real reason I haven't insulated it?
Not just that, but it hasn't been a high priority for me. Certain projects I get to the “good enough” stage and move on. This has been one of those. The estimated electricity use on my chest freezer is $27 per year. Obviously that changes when you add a wooden collar. On the flip side, the normal operating temperature is less than 0°F and I'm running it at 35-45°F.
The point being, at a few bucks per month I don't have a large incentive to improve the electricity use. The bigger motivator is to save the chest freezer's compressor by reducing how often it turns on/off. On that front, I've been very happy with how infrequently the compressor turns on.
That's my case for not insulating. HOWEVER…..I recently picked up a foam insulation board for another home project. It's 1″ thick and has an R Value of 6. There was plenty of it left over to insulate the collar so hell. This was also one of those rare occasions where my keezer was not in use (a sin) and unplugged. So hell, why not.
Overall it was an easy project. I'll be the first to admit it's not the cleanest of jobs, but like I said above – “good enough”.
The foam board cuts very easily with a box cutter. It would have been a much easier process it not for all of the “stuff” attached to the collar. That's the blessing and the curse of the collar – great for attaching things, bad if you want to insulate.
I cut holes for the shanks on the front of the collar. The back of the collar is where the manifold and fan are attached. There are some gaps because of those items. The sides are clean except for a few bolts. Right now the board is just pressed up against the collar. I may add some glue later but it's a pretty tight fit.
Is this the last chapter in the keezer saga? Doubtful! There is always more tinkering to do. First things first though, time to get some beer in there.
Question: If you have a keezer, did you insulate the collar?