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Wine Cellar - A Fun Question

We will be building a 150 sqft wine cellar in our new house. I will make sure the in slab hot water radiant heat does not have any tubes under the cellar. The room will be in the middle of our living space so no walls exposed to the exterior of the building. There will not be a need to heat the space as it is surrounded by the people space which will obviously be warmer than the cellar at all times. I need to figure out an inexpensive design to keep it cool to about 56-58f. I will be using chilled water air handlers for the comfort ac in the residence (I have a different discussion on why that is) which will have ducted registers in the small rooms and exposed spiral ducting dumping in to the main great room. I could use a small 5000btu window ac with the "outside' portion in a closet or I could get a tiny air handler/fan coil for this room. Any thoughts?

Comments

  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 4,835Member
    Reds or whites?
  • GordyGordy Posts: 8,216Member
    edited January 8
    Making it, or storing it? I had my fill of making wine early in life.....

    I’d rule out the window air idea.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed_9EBEBRATT-Ed_9 Posts: 4,373Member
    window units and ductless splits will ice up at those temps. There made for 70deg+ cooling.

    Go with chilled water. You will need 35 supply 45 return to make it work
  • unclejohnunclejohn Posts: 1,309Member
    Go with the chilled water and small air handler. You can keep the cheese in there as well.

    People asked me if I was a alcoholic, I said why-no.
  • ratioratio Posts: 1,621Member
    I'm in the middle of (re)installing a used wine cooler at a customer's house. It's a medium temp air cooled refrigeration condenser and a small air handler with a humidifier. The controls are built up from Johnson system 350 modules. Has provisions for reheat/dehumidification as well.

    It's not at all like comfort air conditioning, you need a refrigeration guy to work on it.

  • EBEBRATT-Ed_9EBEBRATT-Ed_9 Posts: 4,373Member
    @ratio, I like the Johnson 350s. Pretty reasonable and you can do some decent stuff with them
  • ZmanZman Posts: 4,358Member
    If you want to do the whole room I would suggest a small mini split. You can put the compressor in another room like mechanical or garage so you wont loose the heat.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • hvacfreak2hvacfreak2 Posts: 452Member
    The systems that I have worked on for this used evaporator coils designed for light moisture removal. The room setpoint was somewhere in the mid -high 50's with a higher than normal humidity setpoint ( the number escapes me now ). The reason was for cork and label preservation over long periods and not so much for the wine itself. Reminds me of the Comcast commercial with the bartender ( that's how I felt at the time of the project at least ).
    hvacfreak

    Mechanical Enthusiast

    Burnham MST 396 , 60 oz gauge , Tigerloop , Firomatic Check Valve , Mcdonnell Miller 67 lwco , Danfoss RA2k TRV's

    Easyio FG20 Controller

  • mikeg2015mikeg2015 Posts: 396Member
    Humidity is as important as temperature for a proper wine cellar. I’d just bite the bullet and get a unit designed for this.

    Other option is a very small chiller and air handler with humidistat to manage latent capacity.
  • GordyGordy Posts: 8,216Member
    Humidity for storing bottled wine is mainly so corks don’t dry out, allowing air into the bottle. If bottles are stored so the cork is covered by the wine tipped downward when laid down on side shouldn’t have to worry about humidity.
  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member
    Any recommendations on a very small chilled water air handler?
  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member
    JUGHNE said:

    Reds or whites?

    We are a commercial winery so both.
  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member
    Gordy said:

    Making it, or storing it? I had my fill of making wine early in life.....

    I’d rule out the window air idea.

    We are a commercial winery which is why we have the chilled water system. However, this question relates to a wine storage cellar in our residence that happens to be in the same building.
  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member
    unclejohn said:

    Go with the chilled water and small air handler. You can keep the cheese in there as well.

    People asked me if I was a alcoholic, I said why-no.

    Any leads on a small air handler?
  • hvacfreak2hvacfreak2 Posts: 452Member
    I can't remember this fellow's name but he may have something to offer ( link below ).
    winecellarrefrigerationsystems.com/
    hvacfreak

    Mechanical Enthusiast

    Burnham MST 396 , 60 oz gauge , Tigerloop , Firomatic Check Valve , Mcdonnell Miller 67 lwco , Danfoss RA2k TRV's

    Easyio FG20 Controller

  • hvacfreak2hvacfreak2 Posts: 452Member
    hvacfreak

    Mechanical Enthusiast

    Burnham MST 396 , 60 oz gauge , Tigerloop , Firomatic Check Valve , Mcdonnell Miller 67 lwco , Danfoss RA2k TRV's

    Easyio FG20 Controller

  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member
    Any leads on a small air handler?
  • ratioratio Posts: 1,621Member
    The one I installed was ≈800 CFM, so about a 2 ton air handler as can be found at any supply house. No guarantee that it's the correct size for your application though. There are a number of special controls that are necessary for the system to operate. Maybe check into mfgr's websites, like the one above?
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 327Member
    Heatcraft has an entire line of chilled water blowers.

    Where is this project located?
  • giceman1337giceman1337 Posts: 41Member
    edited January 11
    I would insulate the walls and ceiling of the wine cellar. I would start with just that and see what the temp of the room is. Is this a concrete or suspended floor? One thing I'm debating in my wine cellar is using the radiant tubing, but connecting it to cold water. It would take extra pumps and thermostat, but should provide my desired temps.
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Posts: 477Member
    I would drink the wine before it goes bad!
  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member
    pecmsg said:

    Heatcraft has an entire line of chilled water blowers.

    Where is this project located?

    Lake Chelan Valley, WA
  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member

    I would insulate the walls and ceiling of the wine cellar. I would start with just that and see what the temp of the room is. Is this a concrete or suspended floor? One thing I'm debating in my wine cellar is using the radiant tubing, but connecting it to cold water. It would take extra pumps and thermostat, but should provide my desired temps.

    The wall and ceiling will be insulated but they are all exposed to indoor comfort temperatures so around 70f. The floor will be concrete slab on grade with 2" of hardboard insulation under it. The building will have in slab radiant heat but we will not put any tubes under the cellar.

    I will only cool this to 55f with ambient around the room normally not exceeding 70-72f.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 4,835Member
    Would you run the water chiller in the heating season, when you need the cooling to 55 while warming up the area around the cellar?
  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member

    I would drink the wine before it goes bad!

    We have A LOT of wine!!! LOL
  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member
    JUGHNE said:

    Would you run the water chiller in the heating season, when you need the cooling to 55 while warming up the area around the cellar?

    Good point. There will probably be several months that we would turn the chiller off but still need to cool the cellar.

    I am thinking about getting a small window ac using with mechanical controls (no digital display) and wiring a Johnson Controls thermostat in place of the stock thermostat. I get that it will have the potential to freeze up but since I am only cooling 15 degrees below ambiant and there won't be big temperature swings as the thermal mass will always be at cellar temps. This is a very inexpensive solution and not many dollars lost if it doesn't work.

    When we first started our winery as a hobby in the garage I bought a free standing walk in freezer with no refrigeration. I was able to use the window ac unit in that setup. The ac unit did freeze up a few times but that garage was SW facing and got very hot in the summer.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 4,835Member
    I would go for the dedicated wine cellar refer system.
    Put the condensing unit outside unless you have a room you want to overheat year a round. The condensing unit will have to be built for outside cold weather use. OR with some planning it could go inside perhaps a garage, louvers to vent outside in the summer or keep waste heat inside in the winter time. I have done this with an entire row of 8 grocery store fair sized outdoor compressors that would heat the entire building.

    You probably do not want to run the chiller year around. It would short cycle itself to death in January.
    A window ac would not only freeze up as you know but as mentioned above remove to much humidity. (I would guess you do not have any screw top bottles in your collection ;) )
    Someone makes what you need and you just have to get it.
    It cannot require much btuh in cooling needs as all your product goes in cooled down to at least room temp. (not like a fresh kill beef processing cooler.)
    A flower cooler has minor cooling but deliberately retains the moisture from the evap to keep the humidity up.

    I would guess there are even 2 temp systems. Even my 30 bottle wine fridge has 2 temps....both which I thing are too cold. To me a red is best at room temp, if cold it numbs the taste buds, you may as well brought cheaper wine.
    Cheap wine (most screw top) and American beer have to be damn cold so one does not experience the real taste, in my opinion. (I know, someone will throw rocks/bottles at me.) :|
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 4,835Member
    Where are you located and do you have a tasting room? o:)
  • winesalotwinesalot Posts: 24Member
    JUGHNE said:

    Where are you located and do you have a tasting room? o:)

    We are in Lake Chelan. We opened our winery in 2010 with a tasting room in La Conner. We closed that tasting room a year ago because I was able to get a day job near Chelan where we already owned our future winery/retirement property. We didn't expect to move so soon so we are way behind on the building design. All that is to say, no. We do not have a tasting room open right now but we will later this year.
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 327Member
    For construction remember your building a "Cold Room" the vapor barrier goes on the outside. I prefer Polyurethane insulation over fiber glass, less chance of moisture condensing in the wall.

    Search G&D Chillers or your chiller manufacture for chilled water coils.
  • KoanKoan Posts: 415Member
    There are some cooling products made for this specific purpose., but they tend to be pricey.
    whisperkool.com/all-products/

    Window AC is not a good choice, they are really inefficient. The portable split duct units are also very inefficient. My understanding is that wine likes a constant temperature of about 58 deg f, so what ever system make sure it will maintain a constant temperature. it looks line you need about 1/2 ton for 1000 cu ft. At 150 sq ft with an 8 foot ceiling this is 1200cu ft, so you may need a bit more or a lower ceiling.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 4,835Member
    edited January 12
    I wonder about the construction of the cellar.
    As stated above you are building a cold room.
    But are you are wanting a cold room to maintain higher humidity the surrounding area of the house.

    So would the vapor barrier go on the inside to retain that and the house ambient air would keep the insulation dry??

    People who have the refer equipment usually would have recommendations for the room construction.

    How many tons is your water chiller for the house and is it staged?
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