It’s essential to include a cooling unit in your cellar so that you can balance both temperature and humidity within the cellar. The cooling unit or cooling intake is usually located near the ceiling to cool warm air as it rises.
There are three approaches to cooling a wine cellar:
- Through-the-Wall Design
A self-contained air conditioning unit is mounted literally through the wall. These units are best for smaller cellars as they have a limited cooling capacity. The placement of the unit is important as to not interfere with the wine cabinets and racks. Through-the-wall cooling is often a cost-effective solution, but at the cost of some heat and noise where the condenser leaves the cellar.
- Ducted System
Ducted systems consist of two parts: a self-contained cooling unit external to the cellar and ductwork system that connects the cooling unit to the cellar. These systems can control the temperature and humidity in any size cellar and offer maximum flexibility in design and installation. A ducted solution provides a quiet cellar with no obtrusive equipment to diminish storage space.
- Split System
A split system is comprised of two separate mechanical elements (a condenser and an evaporator) that can be used to link the cooling unit to the cellar. In a split system, the evaporator fan is mounted inside the wine cellar and is linked to an external condenser with refrigerator tubing. This type of system can be sized to cool any cellar. However, due to its added complexity, you will need a licensed electrical and refrigeration technician to install a split system.