Custom Home & Commercial Wine Cellar Construction Guidelines
Custom Wine Cellars – Insulation:
Wine Cellar Refrigeration / Cooling Systems are intended to be installed in wine rooms that are constructed with a vapor barrier, the correct insulation, and dry-walls that are moisture proof. All these factors are designed to create an airtight seal from the external environment outside the wine storage room or cellar.
To meet the design requirements of most wine cellar cooling units. Interior flooring and walls must have at least R-11 rated insulation. Exterior walls and ceilings must be at least R-19 rated. Vapor barriers must be installed on the warm side of the walls insulation and be at least 6 ml thick. This will prevent moisture from entering the cellar.
Wine Cellar Doors:
Wine Room Entry Doors must be exterior rated or insulated and tightly sealed with effective weather stripping around the perimeter of the door. All of our wine cellar doors are typically shipped with a special feature called a “an automatic door sweep“. This maintained a good seal at the bottom of the door even after extensive use.
Wine Cellar Lighting:
Surface-mounted wine cellar lighting fixtures are recommended rather than recessed lighting. If recessed ‘can’ lights are used be sure they are thermally fused.
It is critical that all doors, windows, joints and walls as well as any vents, pipes, electrical outlets and/or switches, and light fixtures are completely sealed to prevent any air and moisture entering the wine cellar from the external environment. If there is a seepage into the cellar, the cooling system may build up excess condensation over time. We therefore strongly recommend that the drain overflow line be attached.
Ventilation of the Wine Room:
Adequate ventilation is very important for the proper operation of your cooling unit.
Outside the Wine Cellar:
Condensing units create hot air which should be exhausted into a space which is of an appropriate size in order to allow the heat to dissipate. If the space is constrained and/or too small, the heat will not dissipate. In this situation, the refrigeration unit could be made to re-circulate its own hot air exhaust dramatically reducing efficiency.
If this happens, the cooling unit’s ability to create cold air inside the cellar will be compromised.
The condensers coils require access to cool air in order for the cooling unit to produce cold air. In addition, the cooling unit must be installed so that, after its installation, the condensers coils are easily accessed for regular cleaning.
Inside a Home or Commercial Wine Cellar:
Evaporator Air Intake
When warmer air passes across the evaporator’s coils, heat is extracted from the air, and the subsequent colder air is blown into the cellar. To ensure the needed airflow a minimum clearance of 12″ is essential in front of the cooling unit.
Evaporator Air Exhaust
As wine cellars cooling systems are located at the uppermost location inside wine cellars, the cold air exhaust will eventually fall to the lowest part of the wine room. To guarantee proper airflow and decrease temperature stratification inside the wine room, the area in front of the cold air discharge should be clear of impediments, including wine racking, bottles, or storage containers, etc.
Many manufacturers offer cold air exhaust and returns that can be ducted up to 50 equivalent feet with 8″ diameter ducting, or 100 equivalent feet with an auxiliary fan and 8″ diameter ducting. The ducting options are sold separately with two fittings that attach to the front of the cooling unit. Remote control display/controls are also available.
See an example of a wine cellar construction project in California