How to Decide on the Best Wine Cellar Cooling Units & Systems

After making sure your wine cellar is properly insulated and sealed there are three main types of wine cellar refrigeration systems to choose from. Each has its unique benefits, to help you understand the fundamental nature, benefits and differences between these systems we have described and illustrated them below.

Remember, the objective is to maintain a constant, stable and ideal environment in your custom wine cellar. Factors to balance in doing this are the location, the constraints and the size of your wine cellar, along with the initial cost, the running costs and ease of maintenance of the system.

The Three Primary Wine Cellar Cooling System Types

  • 1. Self-contained through-the-wall Wine Cellar Cooling Units
  • 2. Ductless-Split Wine Cellar Refrigeration Systems
  • 3. Ducted-split air handler Wine Cellar Climate Control Systems

Self-Contained through-the-wall Wine Cellar Cooling Units

These units are the simplest and generally the least expensive to install. They come in one piece, mount on the wall and vent through-the-wall.

When considering a self-contained wine cellar cooling unit, decide the best wall for placement and exhaust. Many self-contained systems need to mount on an interior wall and exhaust the hot air and fan noise they create into an adjacent room. This room will need to be well ventilated in order to accommodate the heat vented from the unit.

A good rule of thumb is that the adjoining room should be at least the same size as your wine cellar and not typically exceed 80F degrees. Rooms that are ideal for this heat and noise can be furnace rooms, mechanical rooms, unfinished portions of a basement, and possibly even a garage.

Some self-contained wine cellar cooling unit can be installed on an exterior wall. In this scenario it’s important to be sure that the manufacturer offers a model that will operate effectively and efficiently in temperatures up to 105F degrees.

With only a few exceptions, self-contained systems are sealed by the manufacturer and will have to be removed from the wine cellar wall and shipped to the manufacturer for service or repair. This can be a pain and inconvenient, at best.

Wine Cellar Cooling Units – Part One – Self Contained Systems

Ductless-Split Wine Cellar Refrigeration Systems

Get Help to select Ductless Split Refrigeration Systems
Ductless Split Refrigeration Systems – Functional Diagram

An alternative is to consider Ductless Split Wine Cellar Refrigeration Systems, these require no venting into an adjoining room as the units condenser, the part of the system that produces heat, can be located somewhere completely different. The units are connected by a line set, this is just small copper tubing and electrical wiring and hence there is no ducting. Also the units can be serviced in situ and on site making maintenance much more convenient.

As a consequence these systems can be a little more expensive but the advantages are generally more than justified by a longer life expectancy, elimination of fan noise and heat exhaust to other rooms and the ability of the system to be serviced on site.

Ducted-split air handler Wine Cellar Climate Control Systems

Get Help to select Ducted-split air handler Wine Cellar Climate Control Systems
Ducted-split air handler Wine Cellar Climate Control Systems – Functional Diagram

Another alternative to consider is a Wine Cellar Cooling Split Air Handler. The benefits of this type of system are similar to the ductless systems, but in this case there is no visible equipment in the wine cellar at all. The cooled air is simply ducted to and from the wine cellar. So in this type of system there is ducting but no evaporator in the wine cellar at all.

There are two types of these systems the first as depicted in the illustration above the evaporator and the condenser are separate and can be located in different locations. This allows the condenser unit outside of the home or business. The second, Self-Contained air handlers (not to be confused with Self-Contained Wine Cellar Cooling Units depicted in the first image) have both the evaporator and the condenser housed in one unit.

Get Help to select Self-Contained air handler Wine Cellar Climate Control Systems
Self-Contained air handler Wine Cellar Climate Control Systems – Functional Diagram

How do Wine Cellars by Coastal help you to negotiate these options?

Once one of our experienced wine cellar designers consult with you to understand your specific preferences and constraints, taking those into account they will then perform a heat load calculation to determine the proper BTU’s needed for the location.

Factors such as room size, R-factors, presence of glass, ambient conditions, and location of the wine cellar are all taken into account to provide you a much more specific set of options for the type of systems and the specific models that will suit your conditions best.

Want to learn more about Wine Cellar Designs & Wine Cellar Cooling?

At Wine Cellars by Coastal we have a gallery of beautiful wine cellars and an extensive selection of full wine cellar builders project stories for you to view. The individual projects include details of specific wine cellar cooling systems, and why and how they were installed.

Take your time and check out projects such as:
Custom Wine Cellars Maryland
Custom Wine Cellars Los Angeles
Custom Wine Cellars Orange County
Commercial Wine Cellars California
Custom Wine Cellars Pennsylvania

Wine Cellar Cooling Questions?

Call us at +1 (888) 735-888 today! Or complete a simple Wine Cellar Design Request

One of our experienced wine cellar design consultants will create for you the custom wine cellar design of your dreams and all at no obligation to you. At Coastal Custom Wine Cellars we will go out of our way to make the whole process as easy and as hassle free for you as possible.