Wine Room Cooling Units
The Best Wine Cellar Cooling System Brands
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Selecting The Right Cooling Unit
Be Size Wise
To ensure optimal performance of your cooling unit, it is essential to carefully evaluate factors like insulation efficiency, door closure efficacy, and the level of foot traffic in your environment. Consulting a cellar specialist can offer invaluable assistance in selecting the most efficient cooling unit for your space and budget.
What is the Best Wine Cellar Cooling Unit?
The best wine cellar cooling unit is going to be the one that cools your space correctly, neither oversized or undersized, while putting off as little heat and noise as possible. There is such a large variety of cooling systems on the market that labeling one ‘best’ is a challenge since each type of cooling system has pros and cons. If what you mean by ‘best’ is which brand of wine cooling systems are the most popular, best reviewed, and most reputable, then you are always best served to purchase systems made by only the best manufacturers, which include WhisperKOOL, Wine Guardian and CellarPro.
Within each of these manufacturers are comprehensive lines of the most functional system types, including through the wall wine cooling systems, split systems, ducted cooling systems, and ceiling mounted systems. Self-contained cooling units are best for smaller cellars, since they have a limited cooling capacity. Wine Racks America only sells and advises on the best wine cellar cooling units the industry has to offer.
How Do Wine Cellar Cooling Units Work?
Wine cellar cooling units work by introducing cool air into your cellar while at the same time removing warm air and cycling it through a compressor, which condenses it. Condensing both cools the air and removes humidity from it. Excess humidity (water) is then removed from the wine room via drain line or active evaporation within the cooling unit. In effect, a wine cellar refrigeration system keeps wine cellar cooling and humidity at optimal levels. Most wine cellar cooling systems are calibrated to keep the cellar at a constant temperature and humidity level – 55 degrees Fahrenheit with relative humidity of about 70%. In addition to these functions, many advanced wine cellar cooling units can be made to work in extremely hot or cold environments with the use of core heaters, beefier components and oversized starters, compressors, and fan motors. At the end of the day, all cooling systems (regardless of type, size, or style) exchange cool air for warm, remove or introduce humidity, and keep the room at ideal aging temperatures for wine.
Does a Wine Cellar Need to Be Cooled?
Collectible wine ages optimally under extremely specific temperature conditions. If you happen to live above a limestone cave like the ones in France where the art of aging wine was invented and mastered before the advent of modern environmental control solutions, then the answer to your question is no, your wine cellar is already cooled. Otherwise, the answer is generally yes, unless your wine cellar is strictly for show or you are not stocking wine that you intend to age over time. For short-term wine storage or buyers who simply “drink what they buy,” often an economical wine fridge or decorative wall-mounted wine rack will suffice for most wines. When you are ready to enjoy it, just chill to serving temperature and enjoy.
How Can I Keep My Wine Cellar Cool?
How involved the process will be to keep your wine cellar cool depends on the location of the wine cellar. If your wine cellar is below grade, protected from direct sunlight, and located in a geographic region without temperature or humidity extremes, keeping your cellar cool will be much easier than if it is located above grade, near direct sunlight or exterior walls, or located in a region prone to very high and/or low temperatures. How easy it is to keep your wine cellar cool can generally be measured by:
- Whether proper insulation and vapor barrier is present
- Whether your cooling system is sized appropriately for room construction quality (airtightness)
- If there is a lot of foot traffic to the wine room
- The physical location of the wine cellar
At What Temperature Should I Store Red Wine?
Traditionally, red wine is stored between 55℉-60℉ with a relative humidity level of 65%-75% – you are basically trying to mimic a natural limestone cave. When red wine is stored at temperatures too high, the maturation process is turbo-charged and speeds up too quickly. In extreme conditions this can “cook” the wine, upsetting the chemical reactions happening in the bottle and ruining the delicate balance of flavors and aromas that proper aging reveals.
How Do I Choose a Wine Cellar Cooling Unit?
Choosing the right wine cellar cooling unit is a matter of knowing four things:
- How many cubic feet will you be cooling—that is, how big is your space?
- Is the space constructed properly for housing a wine collection? Are walls, floors, and ceiling insulated? Is there a vapor barrier? Is the door exterior grade and sealed tightly?
- Will there be high or low foot traffic in and out of the wine room?
- Where will you be exhausting the warm air?
This last question is important to answer ahead of time because it will help you decide between the three main cooling system types: through-wall (warm air exhausts into an adjacent space), split (cold air fan unit inside the cellar, condenser outside up to 50ft away) or ducted (unit is above or adjacent to the wine cellar and ducts air to and from it).
How Do I Install a Wine Cellar Cooling Unit?
Some wine cellar cooling units require professional installation, while others can safely be installed by any semi-industrious DIYer or homeowner. How each wine cooling unit is installed depends on the type of system in question. For through-wall systems, a hole is cut or created between the wine cellar and adjacent space. A 2×4 frame is generally built around the hole to support the system’s weight and provide rigidity. Hanging the wine refrigeration cooling unit involves adding a finished frame around the vent in the cellar and may involve building a shelf or other support structure in the adjacent room to help bear the weight and keep the unit balanced. Last, users connect a condensation drain line to clear away excess moisture that can build up inside the unit. For split systems, the cooling unit is broken into two pieces – an internal blower that is low profile and utterly silent, and an external condenser that can be located up to 50ft from the wine cellar.
The two are connected by pressurized lines that are set up by the installer. Split wine cellar cooling systems require professional installation. For ducted cellar cooling systems, you “handle” the air from an all-in-one unit that can be installed anywhere adjacent to (including above or below) the wine cellar, then use flexible ducting to direct cold air from the unit to the wine cellar, while warm air is pulled back to the unit and ducted to the outdoors or other space. Most ducted wine cellar cooling units can be installed by homeowners or qualified DIYers, although due to the expense of the systems and their size, we recommend installation be handled by a qualified HVAC contractor.
How Many Types of Wine Cellar Cooling Units Are There?
Over the years there have been many dozens of wine cellar cooler styles introduced, tweaked, and improved upon. In the United States there are less than a dozen different companies producing commercial and residential wine cellar cooler systems specifically built for long-term wine storage. While each manufacturer has their own particular blend of features and benefits, all of them build cooling systems for wine cellars in one of three varieties – through-wall, split, and ducted. After over 30 years of refinement, wine cellar cooling manufacturers offer an integrated solution to all or nearly all types of tricky, odd, or unusual installation applications.