Just started a project to build a cellar in an exicting storage room. Lots of books and advice on building from scratch out there. The room itself is well insulated already and has a nice tile floor. Any experence on what I should do to make the room more temp/humidity tolerant (aside from adding a cooling unit). Was thinking of adding a vapor barrier to the existing walls and then redrywalling with a moisture resistant drywall.
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I've read through most of the recent forum postings, and this seemed like the logical place to ask my question:

We have a passive cellar -- temp is a very stable 55, and with vapor barrier, insulation, and a small humidifier, the humidity was relatively stable around 60. Lower than desired, of course, but it seems to have stabilized fairly well and we've been very pleased with it.

Then we added redwood racking (we had metal racks before). Humidity dropped well below 50 and has been sort of bouncing around between 50 and 65. I assume it's because the wood was dry and we just can't get enough moisture into the room. How long until the cellar reaches equilibirium again? Or will it? Will we have to find some other method than a good hygrometer controlling a regular humidifier?

The room is about 6' x 20' and we added about 30' of standard-bottle racking and bin racks, if that helps any.
Is it necessary to have a humidifier and cooling unit if the room is cellar temp? underground, no heat, will tile floor. will insulate wall/door that partitions it off from rest of the area. would seem to be pretty much what one sees in wine cellars but i can find nothing on it. am i missing an important point?
I'm in the process of buying a new house and I'm looking into building a wine cellar into the bonus room under the house. It's on top of the foundation but underneath the Master bedroom.

I think the dimensions will be about 5 feet wide, by 8 feet long by 8 feet high so not too big and purely functional.

My question is: Can I mount an in-wall cooling unit like the Whisperkool 3000i and vent to the outside via exterior wall in my climate?

Generally they recommend against mounting to an exterior wall since the cooler can only create a 30 degree differential. The hottest day this year reached 87 and on average during the Summer it's about 75.

I don't really want to pony up for an Extreme series, and there's not another room I can vent into, except maybe the crawl space.

Any recs?
Don't vent the wine cooler outside. They don't cover the dif in temps that you'll experience. But don't buy the wine cooler just yet either.

Insulate the room and see what the temp is. You may not need any cooling. Or you may be able to simply use a room air conditioner and save a lot of money.

The cooling principle for a fridge, a Whisperkool, and an AC unit is exactly the same. The only thing that differs is the ratio of the parts to each other. But basically you compress a gas, send it into a larger space, let it expand and suck up some heat energy, transfer that heat to another place, and repeat. So when they talk about "sizing" a unit, it's based on the amount of cooling you want for some cubic feet assuming a set configuration.

A fridge assumes a completely sealed and insulated environment and it can drop the temp within that space quite a bit relative to the outside. But if you leave the door open, it won't cool off your entire room - it's just not big enough.

An AC assumes a human comfort level in the 70s and an outside temp somewhere in the 90s, so you have about a 25 degree dif. And when you get the right size for you room, the AC also dehumidifies because cool air holds less humidity than warm air.

Even the smallest AC unit you buy will be oversized for your wine room. That means it won't work well as an AC unit - it will cycle on and off and won't dehumidify. But that's actually a good thing for your wine room. And because the unit will be oversize, the evaporator coil will be larger than needed so you don't have to worry about freezing up. I've used a home AC unit for years and it's been fine. You can modify it - tape a resistor to the thermostat wire, or replace the thermostat, or just pull the wire out thru the grill and you'll gain a few degrees that way. If you buy a unit that will on its own go down to 61 and pull the wire through or otherwise modify it to get down a couple degree more, you'll have a perfect cooling system for your wine at a fraction of the cost of a WhisperKool. And buy a backup at Lowes just in case. $100 each.

But vent the AC unit into the basement, not the outdoors.

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