Choosing the right climate control system for your wine cellar.
Climate control is an extremely important part of any wine cellar design. Since there are several options to choose from when it comes to wine room cooling systems, it’s important to understand the role a climate control system plays, what the functionalities are, and why someone would choose a cooled vs. passive wine cellar for their home or restaurant. Below are some helpful tips to ensure you’re choosing the right climate control system for your wine cellar.
Cooled or passive wine storage?
To start with, wine rooms have the option of being cooled or passive. So what exactly does that mean? One decision in planning wine storage is deciding if you should invest in a climate-controlled display or rely on the natural environment’s temperature. A passive wine storage environment can include wine walls, rooms, or other storage areas that use ambient temperature rather than conditioned air. This simply means the room’s conditions are not changed to benefit the wine. Passive cellars are often found in basements, closets, and other out of direct light/heat places. Cooled wine storages are those wine cellars and wine rooms that utilize climate control to maintain ideal wine storage temperatures. As you can imagine, if your wine cellar is in an area that has exceedingly cold or warm temperatures, has a great fluctuation in temperature, or very humid or very dry environments, climate control is likely a good choice to consider over passive wine storage.
Why climate control?
Climate control is a critical aspect of any wine cellar. Maintaining the correct temperature in a cellar will preserve your precious investment until it has reached its optimum age for consumption. With some wines taking 10 years or more to reach maturity, the quality and longevity of your wine cellar refrigeration system is very vital. As mentioned previously, varying temperatures is one reason to have climate control. One of the tips for storing wine in hotter climates is to protect it from the heat. Wine is a living, breathing organism, and heat is not ideal for wine, causing it to age more quickly than desired. Temperatures that cause wine heat damage are surprisingly low, starting at 80 degrees. Humidity can also cause harm to wine. The ideal relative humidity in a cellar is 50 to 70 percent. This high humidity helps keep moisture inside the wine bottle, rather than allowing it to eventually travel into the cork and ultimately evaporate. Temperatures too hot, too cold (or fluctuating greatly) are reasons for climate control, as well as too much, or a lack of, humidity.
Your choices in wine cellar refrigeration.
Commercial grade refrigeration equipment should be used for your wine cellar or wine room. Now is not the time to go cheap and risk losing your wine investment! There are several climate control options based on needs and wine cellar designs. A ducted system is completely self-contained and quite flexible, and are among the most versatile cooling systems around. Their design allows for easy installation and maintenance while providing optimal temperature and humidity control. This is a very popular choice for both commercial and residential wine storage options.
A split system provides outstanding air distribution and temperature control for the ideal conditioning of your wine collection. They are extremely quiet and virtually vibration-free, offering maximum flexibility in system location and cellar designs. This is a great option for wine rooms in otherwise quiet locations, as noise is minimal.
If you really desire quiet, through the wall cooling systems may be the option to consider. Perfect for small to mid-sized cellars, these system offers exceptional airflow and maintains optimal temperature and humidity — all with the quietest operation in its class.
Humidifiers control the moisture in the air. They are available for ducted and ducted split systems as either integrated or freestanding units. They can be used with any wine cellar air conditioning system, based on the model you choose. They’re designed to increase humidity levels in commercial or residential wine cellars of all types and sizes.
Climate control is a critical part of any wine cellar or wine room, so work with a wine cellar design specialist to choose the option right for you.