Larder under construction showing vents and granite lining
Build your own eco larder
Fridges are an often forgotten 'base load' on your electricity supply. So why not trade yours in for a smaller, more efficient model, and move foodstuffs that need only light chilling to your very own eco larder...
Our traditional larder style cupboard was totally designed and built from scratch. The walls are built from plasterboard and fully insulated from the inside of the house. This means that the airflow from the two vents (one at the top, one at the bottom), keep it cool.
The inside is fully lined with 25mm (1in) granite on the top, bottom, sides and back. This is a vast improvement on old style larders, which had only one granite shelf usually. If we require a cooler temperature within the larder we put a frozen two-litre bottle of water on the top shelf and because cold air drops, it cools the whole space sufficiently to keep our food safe.
Although we achieve good cool temperatures, it is no match for a conventional fridge and therefore we have changed our shopping and storing habits to suit. Foods such as cheese stores well if you remove it from its plastic packing and wrap in paper. Salad keeps surprisingly well – largely due to the airflow that keeps food in a more natural state, rather than in a closed plastic box!
I've been lucky enough to have lived in three houses that still had their original passive fridges and they where excellent.
if you want this to work in summer you need to ensure that vents open out into somewhere that is in shade at midday.
These systems work great for veg , cheese and even meats (if you have a fine mesh across the vents) for a short time.
one of these and camping fridge that can run from 12v (i.e local renewables) can be all you need.