How to Choose the Right Wine Cooling Unit for Your Business

How to Choose the Right Wine Cooling Unit for Your Business

As a wine retailer, restaurant, or wine-tasting venue, storing your wine collection in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment is critical to maintaining the quality and integrity of your product.

Across the wine sales and production industry, it’s common knowledge that in order for wine to age and keep well, it needs to be stored at the right temperature, humidity, and angle. While securing your wine collection is relatively simple when using high-quality wine racks like those from Wine Racks America, choosing the perfect refrigeration system for your storage area can be much harder.

Whether your business has a dedicated wine cellar, wine wall, or wine closet, this guide goes over everything you need to know to choose the right cooling unit to keep your wine collection safe.

How Do Wine Cooling Systems Work?

Wine Cooling Unit

Most wine cooling systems are based on the same basic principles. They operate similarly to a highly specialized air conditioner that draws in air, where it is cooled by an evaporator, while a condenser works to remove heat from the room.

Each cooling system comes with programmable temperature controls, so you can ensure your wine room, cellar, or cabinet always stays at the perfect temperature for wine aging and storage.

Types of Cooling Units

Not all wine storage solutions are built equal, and neither are all wine cooling systems. Depending on a range of factors like the size of the space you want to cool, the number of bottles in your collection, and the layout of your business premises, certain cooling systems will work better than others.

Self-Contained Cooling System

With the self-contained option, the unit is installed onto a wall in the wine room or cabinet. Easy setup and maintenance make self-contained systems like this the best for smaller wine collections or new businesses still assessing their cooling and expansion needs.

While self-contained through-the-wall units are convenient and easily maintained, they typically offer you less control over their settings and can be noisier than their alternatives. As such, self-contained units may not be the best choice for restaurant or wine-tasting environments.

Ducted Cooling System

Ducted cooling units are some of the most robust and effective choices for long-term wine storage and temperature control. Unlike self-contained units, ducted cooling systems use ventilation ducts to draw air out of the storage area and into the cooling system, which can be installed outside.

Because the actual cooling unit is located outside the storage area, ducted systems are some of the quietest, most inconspicuous options available, making them great for any and all wine businesses. Many of these systems can also be adjusted to accommodate a large amount of bottles and storage space, making it easy to expand your collection over time if need be.

Split Cooling System

As the name suggests, split cooling systems are a hybrid of self-contained and ducted units. Split systems were initially designed for wine rooms and storage areas where adequate ventilation isn’t available for a ducted or self-contained option. As a result, the system’s evaporator is typically installed inside the storage area, while the condensing unit can be placed up to 75 feet away.

The evaporator cools the air as a self-contained unit would, while the condenser draws out heat and excess moisture and exhausts outside the storage area. As a result, split systems are just as quiet and vibration-free as ducted systems.

What Size Wine Cooling System Does Your Business Need?

A lot goes into deciding what size of wine cooling system your business needs.

Size of Storage

The system you choose for your wine cellar refrigeration will first and foremost depend on the size of the cellar or storage area you are using. While self-contained units are great for smaller collections, wine rooms, and wine cabinets, extensive collections and large wine cellars will be better served by a ducted or split cooling system.

Not only are ducted and split systems more robust, but they also result in less vibration and noise, which can negatively affect your wine collection over time.

Installation Specifics

It goes without saying that ducted and split systems are more time- and labor-consuming to install. You may need to make structural changes to walls and the layout of your business with these options, while a self-contained unit can be set up virtually anywhere. This makes the installation of self-contained units not just easier, but also cheaper. So if you’re looking to stay below budget or have a wine cellar where a complex installation may require too much time or structural changes, a self-contained option will be your best bet.

Energy Efficiency

Beyond the initial cost of your cooling system, you should consider the system’s overall energy efficiency and how that may affect your business’s utility expenses over time. While self-contained units are certainly more affordable to buy and install, split systems are usually more energy efficient, as they are able to adjust their power output based on the conditions inside the cellar while self-contained units are not.

The Best Wine Cellar Cooling Units from Wine Racks America

Best Wine Cellar Cooling UnitsWine Racks America is best known for its stunning selection of high-quality metal and wooden wine racks, as well as our wine cellar design experts who have helped bring to life the visions of countless wine business owners and wine enthusiasts.

However, as a full-service wine storage business, we also pride ourselves on the range of wine cellar cooling systems we offer our clients

Some of our top wine cellar cooling systems include:


WhisperKOOL wine cellar cooling units are best known for their whisper-quiet operating systems. From self-contained units to industrial-level cooling systems, all WhisperKOOL systems are ultra-quiet while offering advanced temperature controls for spaces of up to 10,000 cubic feet.


The no-frills alternative to WhisperKOOL, CellarCool offers budget-friendly self-contained units that are easy to install while still giving you ample control over the temperature in your cellar.


Designed for versatility and high performance, CellarPro is the ultimate cooling system for both residential and commercial wine storage spaces. The brand offers ducted, split, and self-contained units, all featuring noise-reducing fans to keep sound and vibrations to a minimum.

Wine Guardian

Offering both temperature and humidity control, Wine Guardian offers split, ducted, and through-the-wall systems to match the needs of any business, no matter your needs or available storage space.

Want to learn more about our cooling systems and help find the best option for your business? Get in touch with our team today!