Wine coolers

The Ultimate Wine Cellar Cooling Guide

The History of Wine Cellar Cooling Units

The history of wine cellar cooling units dates back to the early days of wine storage where wine was stored in caves or cellars that were naturally cool and had high humidity. Ancient Greeks and Romans stored wine and other beverages by digging ice pits into the ground to retain ice, with Ancient China and Mesopotamia being the first to build ice pits and ice houses specifically to store wine.1 Cool temperatures were ideal for wine storage, as they prevented the wine from drying out and prevented the growth of mold and bacteria.

As wine production increased and storage methods evolved, the need for wine cellar cooling units became more apparent. Today, units use refrigeration to maintain the perfect temperature and humidity level for wine storage. Far from simply being a place to store wine, wine cellars have become integral design elements in many wine lovers’ homes. Providing the perfect cooling system is crucial to these wine cellar designs to ensure they keep dozens of different types of wines at optimal temperature and humidity.

The Modern Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

whisperkool slimline cooling unit
A wine cellar cooling unit is a must-have for any serious wine lover and collector to create the perfect storage environment for their wine collection. There are a lot of different wine cellar cooling units on the market, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

In this guide, we cover the different types of cooling units for wine cellars, along with their features, so that you can find the best wine cellar cooling unit for your needs.

Through-Wall Cooling Systems

With the through-wall cooling system, cool air is circulated throughout the wine cellar. The cooling units are integrated, self-contained flexible systems for 100-2,000 cubic feet. They have a powerful operation that exhausts heat from the back. As a result, most through-wall systems tend to be on the noisier side.

These cooling units are the most economical choice because they require less space than split systems, as they are simply mounted onto the wall. Most all-in-one cooling units require a power source and a drain for condensation. Exterior grade units let you vent outside, with ducting options available on many models.

Split Systems

The condenser of a split wine cellar cooling system is located outside, where warm air can dissipate fastest. Because of this, split system cooling units are most suitable for larger areas where you do not want a lot of noise. Split system fans can be mounted to any wall, as well as the ceiling, with the ceiling-mounted cooling units being the most popular choice due to the air circulation being the most effective for cooling wine.

Ducted Systems

For the wine collector who prefers a quiet, vibration-free wine cellar, the ducted all-in-one system is the solution. Air can be ducted up to 100 feet to or from the cellar through the insulated ductwork of the wine coolers, which are located in an adjacent room. Due to their powerful yet quiet motor, and no need of having to run refrigerated line sets to a second unit, these systems have become extremely popular among collectors who store their wine at home.

Extreme Temperature Units

These are the perfect wine cellar climate control cooling units for commercial use. Designed for areas that experience extreme heat or cold, these extreme temperature cooling units can withstand both. Each unit is constructed with sturdy materials and oversized components that are appropriate for long-term wine storage in extreme weather environments.

Important Wine Cellar Cooling Terms

wine cellar cooling units
If you have a wine cellar, then cooling and humidity are terms you will be very familiar with. However, if you’re a wine enthusiast, there are some important terms or factors you need to be familiar with when searching for a wine cellar cooling system.


Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air and is an important factor when preserving wine. A humidity level of between 50% and 70% is required for wine preservation, ideal humidity to be 60% with little fluctuation.


Insulation helps regulate the temperature within a wine cellar and is particularly important in hot, humid climates.


Temperature is vital when it comes to wine storage and should be maintained at a constant level between 45° - 65°, with an ideal temp of 55°.

Temperature Differential

Temperature differential refers to the difference between the temperature outside the cellar and that inside the cellar. It’s an important metric to track, as large fluctuations in temperature could be damaging to wine.

Thermoelectric Cooling

Thermoelectric cooling is an energy-efficient method of temperature and humidity control that is quieter than other types of cooling systems, making it ideal for wine cellars.

Vapor Barrier

A vapor barrier is a protective layer that helps to maintain the desired temperature and humidity within the wine cellar by limiting air exchange between the room and its environment to avoid moisture damage.

Vapor Compression Cooling

Vapor compression cooling is a type of air conditioning system that uses the principles of evaporation and condensation to cool a space.

Choosing a Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

There are a few crucial factors to consider when choosing a cooling unit for your wine cellar, such as:

  • The size of the wine cellar: This includes how much space you have for the unit itself.
  • Wine cellar construction: Before choosing a cooling unit, you’ll need to determine if the environment in which you’re housing your wine collection has been built correctly and includes insulation, a vapor barrier, and an exterior grade door that is tightly sealed.
  • The area you live: Extreme temperature units may be needed for areas with severe fluctuation of temperatures.
  • The volume of foot traffic or visitors to the wine room: More visitors means a more powerful cooling system will be necessary to maintain stable temperatures despite doors being opened often.
  • Your budget will determine your purchase.
  • Where you will be exhausting the warm air to: This is important to decide ahead of time as it will influence which type of cooling unit you can install for your wine cellar.


Wine Cellar Cooling Unit Brands

Once you know what type of cooling unit would be best suited for your wine cellar, it is important to consider the different brands available on the market. We have identified some of the top brands that you should consider when choosing a wine cellar cooling system. All these brands include a range of different wine cellar cooling unit types that offer a variety of additional features.


WhisperKOOL’s award-winning all-in-one units and industrial air handlers are specifically made for maintaining the ideal environment for wine storage while providing ultra-quiet cellar cooling.

Wine Guardian

Creating systems that can be customized to fit any need for wine storage, Wine Guardian’s high-quality through-wall, ducted, or split systems are made to the strictest industry standards and come with many features and options.

Cellar Pro

Cellar Pro’s cooling units’ adaptable designs fit into any residential or commercial environment. Offering a wide range of applications, their systems operate effectively in any climate, thanks to their advanced features and add-ons.


CellarCool’s systems are quiet, effective, simple, and affordable and known as the “no frills” little brother to WhisperKOOL’s potent SC series. These cooling units are excellent for pantry cellars, closet conversions, or under-stair cooling.

Why Choose Wine Racks America?

A wine cellar cooling unit is a major investment but also plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality of your wine collection. At Wine Racks America, we supply state-of-the-art wine storage solutions including modern wine racks and powerful wine cooling systems. To learn more about our wine racks, storage, and cooling options, look through our website today.