How Does A Wine Cellar Cooling Unit Work?

Elegant expirienced wine sommelier is choosing right wine for tasting at wine cellar.

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, a wine collector, or a budding entrepreneur looking to join the bar and liquor industry, installing a wine cellar in your home or store is a great idea. Considering how hefty the total of your entire wine collection is, it’s crucial to keep them stored in the best way possible. 

This is where a wine cellar comes in handy. And to further improve and retain its temperature requirements, it’s wise to install a cooling system in your wine cellar.   

Sommelier male pouring red wine from bottle having label into glass on angle, alcoholic beverage degustation, cellar with containers and drinks set.

How A Wine Cellar Cooling Unit Works 

Wines need to have an ideal humidity level of 60%. To create a perfect environment for your cellar, your cellar cooling unit can help maintain a consistent humidity level.

The purpose of this requirement is focused on the condition of the wine cork. Cork can become dry if your wine cellar is too dry. However, if it’s too humid, the corks can attract molds that may contaminate or spoil the wine content. Cork stoppers are crucial in a wine bottle as they ensure that the wine develops appropriately in the bottle over time and keeps the wine’s properties. Additionally, corks serve as a barrier against bacteria and mold, preventing large amounts of oxygen from entering your wine

No matter what geography you live in, humidity and temperature vary from time to time. While it’s generally more humid during nighttime and early morning, it can drop during sunrise and midday. However, it’s challenging to forecast the changes, so it’s best to have a cooling system that allows a consistent temperature-controlled environment for your wines. When using your cooling system, ensure that you’ve set it at the most appropriate storage temperature with the most precise humidity level. The key is to install your cooling system in a properly insulated space. 

And aside from humidity, you should also factor in light and vibration in your wine cellar. Their aging process can be improved when sunlight can’t penetrate your wine storage. 

Storing bottles of wine in fridge. Alcoholic card in restaurant. Cooling and preserving wine.

Types Of Wine Cellar Cooling Units 

Now that you’ve decided to invest in the best wine cellar cooling unit, knowing their different types is essential. In choosing a suitable wine cellar cooling unit, you should consider a few factors. It’s best to match your wine cellar with the best cooling unit, so check out their differences below:

  • Split System Cooling Units 

A split system wine cellar cooling unit is best if you want to have a remote condenser, giving you flexibility in how you install the cooling unit. A split system has a separate condenser and evaporator unit, which has the benefit of reducing the noise and vibration present in the wine cellar, which will keep your wine collection safer. 

Cooling systems can range in price depending on the size of wine cellar you wish to cool, and the insulation quality you have installed in the cellar design. Ductwork is likely best installed by an HVAC professional, and so it tends to be more expensive than other options, due to the construction involved. 

Split systems with separate condenser units and fan coils are designed for cellars with inadequate ventilation. You will still find the evaporator coil inside your wine cellar. But the compressor, coil, and fan will all be found outside to make your wine cellar look tidy and organized. An exterior unit will be connected to an interior with a flexible hose. 

Unlike self-contained units, split systems are highly efficient and tend to last longer. This can be an ideal choice for your wine cellar if you want to ensure no vibrations come from the cooling unit.  

  • Ducted Cooling System 

For those who don’t want an eyesore in their wine cellar, this cooling system can be an ideal choice for them. The unit or equipment won’t be located in the cellar as the duct system will be positioned at a healthy distance from the cellar. Despite this, there will still be access to cool air.

Since ducted systems allow you to place your unit further from your collections, this system is generally the quietest and produces the least amount of vibrations that can potentially disrupt your wine collection. 

Depending on what will work best for your custom wine cellar, you have the option to place your unit outdoors or indoors. The key is to ensure that the cool air can still penetrate your wine cellar. Also, ensure to hire the best HVAC contractor to install a ducted cooling system for your cellar, so you won’t compromise their quality and condition.


  • Self-Contained Cooling System 

Finally, the last option to use for your wine cellar cooling unit is the self-contained option. Contrary to the other two systems, this requires the entire cooling equipment to be in the same place in the cellar.

The evaporator and condenser will be housed together in the self-contained cooling unit. The ultimate advantage of this option is the ease of installation. When you’ve prepared the perfect spot for a self-contained cooling system, you can do the installation yourself and save money on professional labor. Power sources and drain lines are typically required. The unit has a refrigerant installed already, so you don’t need to perform any mechanical tasks. 

An ideal placement for this unit is by venting through a wall to an appropriate space where heat will not accumulate. Ensure that you’re mounting it in a larger space with enough ventilation so the heat won’t build up. 


Wrapping Up

By understanding how does a wine cellar cooling unit work and the technicalities and functions of one, you’ll better understand how it can help your wine cellar. There are different cooling system options to choose from, and the key is to find the one that’s most suitable for your needs and wine cellar layout. 

You can retain the best condition of your fine wines with the help of a wine cellar and an effective cooling system. Considering how high one bottle is priced, it’s essential to protect them at all costs. While you’re at it, it’s also wise to invest in some wine racks and furniture to further optimize your wine collection. 

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