Do you need ventilation in a cold storage pantry in a high performance house?

Brad Sullivan April 12, 2021Updated: June 29, 2021

Hi, we are currently building a high performance net-zero home in Canada, and we are installing a cold-room for food storage. This room is on the north side of the basement, underneath our front porch. The cold room is inside the foundation, with rigid foam insulation external to the foundation and vapour barrier. It is insulated and airtight from the remainder of the basement.

My question is regarding ventilation to the room. Most how-to guides describe dual 4 inch vents to the exterior for air circulation, but my builder assures me condensation will not be an issue and that we don't need any ventilation. Presumably airflow is still important for food preservation? Alternatively, our utility room with HRV is in the adjacent room, so ducting would be simple.

I appreciate your input regarding the need for cold room ventilation, since the internet does not touch on the concept of cold-rooms in high performance homes.



Responses (1)

JC Wong 1 year ago

I am also curious to see the response from EcoHome, because there are some similarities between cold food storage rooms and the wine cellar I want to build.

As a layperson, I would suppose that it is not stale air that causes food spoilage, but high humidity. By introducing outside air, there is the risk of greater temperature fluctations because the above ground air temperature will vary a lot more than the basement or ground temperatures.

Good luck with your project.