Reposting here since nobody reads the Learn Wine section.

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?
http://www.weather.com/weather.../monthly/graph/94080

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?
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

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.


87 - 30 = 57

75 - 30 = 45

And those are the hottest temps. I don't see the issue, I'd go with the exterior.
quote:
Originally posted by The Cabernet of Doctor Caligari:
We just built a cellar in Chico and our builder does work in San Francisco.

We are very happy.

If you like, I could get you his number to ask questions.


That'd be great!

danhkim at gmail dot com
quote:
Originally posted by Jorgerunfast:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

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.



87 - 30 = 57

75 - 30 = 45

And those are the hottest temps. I don't see the issue, I'd go with the exterior.


I guess my concern would be heat spikes and/or running often at the upper range of what's recommended affecting long-term reliability. Most of installation instructions I've read advise blowing exhaust into a utility room or something.
Btw I forgot who on the forums mentioned it but insulation, you can never have enough

My space is around same size and while my unit keeps temps good it runs nonstop in the summer time

So a few things

Build studs 6in deep. (Put two 3in stud together).
Put the vapor barrier on the side facing away from the cellar

Put as thick as an insulation that'd fit into that 6 in space

Put in yer cooler

Seal up and fill with racks and wine
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
Btw I forgot who on the forums mentioned it but insulation, you can never have enough

My space is around same size and while my unit keeps temps good it runs nonstop in the summer time

So a few things

Build studs 6in deep. (Put two 3in stud together).
Put the vapor barrier on the side facing away from the cellar

Put as thick as an insulation that'd fit into that 6 in space

Put in yer cooler

Seal up and fill with racks and wine


what are your dimensions (internal, after insulation), what kind of racking do you have, and what's your bottle capacity?
I'd vent into the crawl space, but only if you have access to the other side, the vents need to be clean. I'd be worried about environmental things other than temp on the outside, like rain, animals, & pot-smokers. Also I could see a devious person being able to push the unit in & gain entry.

I have a similar sized space that can hold over 1300 bottles. I'm actually not sure of the total, but the highest I ever had was 1100 with room for a couple hundred more. The key is the racking. I use Metro restaurant grade shelving to hold my wine & so far so good (fingers crossed emoji here).
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
Most of installation instructions I've read advise blowing exhaust into a utility room or something.


My only regret is not getting the bigger model that would vent outside. At some point I'm going to swap it out and get the larger unit and vent outside.
quote:
Originally posted by Jorgerunfast:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
Btw I forgot who on the forums mentioned it but insulation, you can never have enough

My space is around same size and while my unit keeps temps good it runs nonstop in the summer time

So a few things

Build studs 6in deep. (Put two 3in stud together).
Put the vapor barrier on the side facing away from the cellar

Put as thick as an insulation that'd fit into that 6 in space

Put in yer cooler

Seal up and fill with racks and wine


what are your dimensions (internal, after insulation), what kind of racking do you have, and what's your bottle capacity?


my space is 6' x 7'

i only had 3in insulation and my unit is on like all the time, which is why if i had to do it again

i'd rather make it 5'x6' and more insulation so the unit doesn't have to come on.
The house is on a slope. So it's on the lower side of the house on top of the foundation. The master suite is above it.

It shares only 1 wall with the house, which would be the North facing wall and it connects to the crawl space, no rooms or anything. It's not underground, but there is a tree on the East wall that provides shade. That was the wall I was planning on putting a wall-through unit on to vent to the outside if possible.

GregT mentioned that a simple AC would work. I have to re-read his post to understand better though.
I am at the very early stages of building an underground cellar beneath my home. It would be a purely functional cellar in the crawl space, which spans the entire floor plan of my home and is accessible by a ladder. In preparation, I have bought a remote thermometer so that I can accurately gauge the temperature fluctuation. I also have two hydrogemeters in separate locations in an attempt to get a grip on the humidity present in the space.

The crawl space is approximately 4 1/2 feet high and is completely unfinished. There is some plumbing for sewage and water running beneath the house, but I should have plenty of room to avoid any of that material. I have a modest background in carpentry and specialized construction, so I am hoping that I can put something together that will protect my wine for years to come.

I am planning to build the cellar toward the centermost portion of the house as to minimize any fluctuation in temperature or humidity. I live in Vail, Colorado, so outside temperatures span from 10F - 90F throughout the year and it tends to be very dry. I have not accurately nailed down the humidity content in the crawl space, but plan to have a good idea soon, since the seasons are changing and there is more movement in the temps we are seeing. I am afraid our steam heat and hot pipes may cause some fluctuation once they start working in the cold weather.

Any helpful advice about this initial planning stage or any pitfalls to avoid in the beginning would be very much appreciated.

I am starting to clear the area of remaining small rocks and debris in order to level the floor area and save my knees.

I am a new member to the community, so I apologize if I should have started a new thread. I don't mean to hijack Danyull's question and I can post elsewhere, if preferred.

Thank you,

Braden
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
The house is on a slope. So it's on the lower side of the house on top of the foundation. The master suite is above it.

It shares only 1 wall with the house, which would be the North facing wall and it connects to the crawl space, no rooms or anything. It's not underground, but there is a tree on the East wall that provides shade. That was the wall I was planning on putting a wall-through unit on to vent to the outside if possible.

GregT mentioned that a simple AC would work. I have to re-read his post to understand better though.


just goto home depot/lowes and pick up any cheapo 99-149$ AC unit

totally works. Just have to keep the wines cool.

the insulation though saves on the ac unit
So when does dehumification become a problem? All the cooler manufacturers say that AC units just take away too much humidity.

GregT, what's the benefit of the steel studs? I wanted to put some vintage view racking in as well, will the steel studs cause problems with that?
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
So when does dehumification become a problem? All the cooler manufacturers say that AC units just take away too much humidity.

GregT, what's the benefit of the steel studs? I wanted to put some vintage view racking in as well, will the steel studs cause problems with that?


i can tell you that my contractor would never let you put in steel studs in a cellar that will have humidity and will create moisture.

but if you must make sure you get Galvanized ones

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Die...-360080010/100318990

Because they're thinner too, you have the situation where you dont really have as much space to shove insulation. Insulation loses it's insulating properties if it's "squished" into a space.

this is the one I personally would use

http://www.homedepot.com/p/2-x...tud-845728/100520193

then shove this insulation in between (6-1/4")
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Owe...ckage-BF42/202585869


your humidity is going to be perfectly fine,
summertime is hot and humid, the ac is going to make that 80% humidity drop to like 55% humidity. it's not a killer

Winter time the thing's not even goign to run so you'll be stuck around that 55-65% relative humidity
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:

just goto home depot/lowes and pick up any cheapo 99-149$ AC unit

totally works. Just have to keep the wines cool.

the insulation though saves on the ac unit


Not sure about that. Never look into home AC, do they even go down to 55-57F?
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
And in addition to what I said in the other forum, don't get studs that you have to nail together. Just get steel studs that are 6". That's what I did and basically I built a walk-in cooler. No fiberglass, no wood studs.


I like to hear more on why steel studs, no wood and no fiberglass.....
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
So when does dehumification become a problem? All the cooler manufacturers say that AC units just take away too much humidity.

GregT, what's the benefit of the steel studs? I wanted to put some vintage view racking in as well, will the steel studs cause problems with that?


There is no cooling unit in the market which take care of humidity. They will draw out the excess humdity, but will not supply any. It has to be a separate humidifier.

If you want to put VintageView in your cellar, you will most likely need to install a backing or some kind of horizontal support for mounting as your studs are usually not in the right place ( spacing ) to mount the VintageView.
aav28,

I have a question for you.

I live in Miami and am about to remodel my house, and will include a walk in cellar about the same size as Danny's.

Temps in Miami range from 70 - 98F, are consistently in the 88 - 93F range throughout the summer, and humidty is 90+% from June - October.

In my remodel, we're redoing all of the AC/Mechanical (new AC closet, new vents, ducts will likely stay the same).

If I keep my cellar to about 600 cubic feet, which cooling unit would you recommend?

The cellar will have an exterior-facing wall, so I can vent through-the-wall, but I'm not sure if that will be a good idea given the high temps in Miami.

I'd appreciate your thoughts.
quote:
Originally posted by aav28:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:

just goto home depot/lowes and pick up any cheapo 99-149$ AC unit

totally works. Just have to keep the wines cool.

the insulation though saves on the ac unit


Not sure about that. Never look into home AC, do they even go down to 55-57F?


why not?

just keep it running

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Fr...9691688#tab=overview

that one works

a 12,000 BTU that is rated to cover 640 sq ft can easily cover a small 300 cu ft wine cellar
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by aav28:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:

just goto home depot/lowes and pick up any cheapo 99-149$ AC unit

totally works. Just have to keep the wines cool.

the insulation though saves on the ac unit


Not sure about that. Never look into home AC, do they even go down to 55-57F?


why not?

just keep it running

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Fr...9691688#tab=overview

that one works

a 12,000 BTU that is rated to cover 640 sq ft can easily cover a small 300 cu ft wine cellar


I didn't see anything about temperatures. Will that get the room down into the 50's?
quote:
Originally posted by Jorgerunfast:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by aav28:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:

just goto home depot/lowes and pick up any cheapo 99-149$ AC unit

totally works. Just have to keep the wines cool.

the insulation though saves on the ac unit


Not sure about that. Never look into home AC, do they even go down to 55-57F?


why not?

just keep it running

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Fr...9691688#tab=overview

that one works

a 12,000 BTU that is rated to cover 640 sq ft can easily cover a small 300 cu ft wine cellar


I didn't see anything about temperatures. Will that get the room down into the 50's?


If you have an AC, turn it on high.

take a thermometer put it where the air gets blown out and take a temperature reading.

let me know what temp it is =)
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
Is there a power consumption value proposition with wine cooler vs AC unit?


same mechanism

same power consumption
and they all suck

my tiny little wine cooler unit Cellarpro 1800 XT uses as much as 1/6 the electricity of my 4 ton central air for my house.
I'd imagine that most A/C units work on a thermostat (which senses the temperature) and I'd imagine that you can't turn that thermostat down to 57. OTOH you might be able to override it or fool it somehow.
Those units still need to be vented (obviously)
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by Jorgerunfast:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by aav28:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:

just goto home depot/lowes and pick up any cheapo 99-149$ AC unit

totally works. Just have to keep the wines cool.

the insulation though saves on the ac unit


Not sure about that. Never look into home AC, do they even go down to 55-57F?


why not?

just keep it running

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Fr...9691688#tab=overview

that one works

a 12,000 BTU that is rated to cover 640 sq ft can easily cover a small 300 cu ft wine cellar


I didn't see anything about temperatures. Will that get the room down into the 50's?


If you have an AC, turn it on high.

take a thermometer put it where the air gets blown out and take a temperature reading.

let me know what temp it is =)


I believe that AAV28's point was not if the A/C unit could create a temperature in the 50's but there would be no way to regulate it as the units settings would not allow you to select say 55 degrees as a temperature, you would have to just turn the thing on and leave it on 24/7/365 and hope it didn't get colder than your desired temperature. I think everyone would agree that the goal is to create a consistent environment with a steady temperature, so not sure this is a good idea
quote:
Originally posted by Bigprovolone:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by Jorgerunfast:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by aav28:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:

just goto home depot/lowes and pick up any cheapo 99-149$ AC unit

totally works. Just have to keep the wines cool.

the insulation though saves on the ac unit


Not sure about that. Never look into home AC, do they even go down to 55-57F?


why not?

just keep it running

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Fr...9691688#tab=overview

that one works

a 12,000 BTU that is rated to cover 640 sq ft can easily cover a small 300 cu ft wine cellar


I didn't see anything about temperatures. Will that get the room down into the 50's?


If you have an AC, turn it on high.

take a thermometer put it where the air gets blown out and take a temperature reading.

let me know what temp it is =)


I believe that AAV28's point was not if the A/C unit could create a temperature in the 50's but there would be no way to regulate it as the units settings would not allow you to select say 55 degrees as a temperature, you would have to just turn the thing on and leave it on 24/7/365 and hope it didn't get colder than your desired temperature. I think everyone would agree that the goal is to create a consistent environment with a steady temperature, so not sure this is a good idea


GregT in another post that got no attention mentioned modifying the thermostat so that it could be set lower.

Reposting his post below:



posted Sep 17, 2013 09:15 PM Hide Post
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.
if your insulation is good enough, you would even have the time to use the remote control these AC units have to turn it on and turn it off at your leasure

and to be fair all of them have a degree setting to 60, which means the air coming out should be lower than 60. and would have the ability to shut off at 60.

would 5 degrees make that much of a difference?
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
if your insulation is good enough, you would even have the time to use the remote control these AC units have to turn it on and turn it off at your leasure

and to be fair all of them have a degree setting to 60, which means the air coming out should be lower than 60. and would have the ability to shut off at 60.

would 5 degrees make that much of a difference?


My cellar right now is at 57 anyways since it doesn't change much out here anyways. I don't think it'll matter.

I'm curious about the steel studs still though. I was talking with eb65 and he recommended that I just add more studs in between normal spacing for the vintage view racks.
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
if your insulation is good enough, you would even have the time to use the remote control these AC units have to turn it on and turn it off at your leasure

and to be fair all of them have a degree setting to 60, which means the air coming out should be lower than 60. and would have the ability to shut off at 60.

would 5 degrees make that much of a difference?


My cellar right now is at 57 anyways since it doesn't change much out here anyways. I don't think it'll matter.

I'm curious about the steel studs still though. I was talking with eb65 and he recommended that I just add more studs in between normal spacing for the vintage view racks.


bottles are typically 13 in tall.

studs are 16in apart mid stud to mid stud.

you're looking to utilize that 2" space between the racks to shove in more is that it?

I would actually recommend not putting in extra vertical studs but instead cut 2 horizontal studs in between the vertical studs then making sure the vintage view racks screw into those two horizontal studs and the other holes for screws to use a drywall anchor

adding more vertical studs means less room for the insulation/getting your hands messy and stuck with fiberglass trying to cut the insulation in slimmer shapes
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
if your insulation is good enough, you would even have the time to use the remote control these AC units have to turn it on and turn it off at your leasure

and to be fair all of them have a degree setting to 60, which means the air coming out should be lower than 60. and would have the ability to shut off at 60.

would 5 degrees make that much of a difference?


My cellar right now is at 57 anyways since it doesn't change much out here anyways. I don't think it'll matter.

I'm curious about the steel studs still though. I was talking with eb65 and he recommended that I just add more studs in between normal spacing for the vintage view racks.


bottles are typically 13 in tall.

studs are 16in apart mid stud to mid stud.

you're looking to utilize that 2" space between the racks to shove in more is that it?

I would actually recommend not putting in extra vertical studs but instead cut 2 horizontal studs in between the vertical studs then making sure the vintage view racks screw into those two horizontal studs and the other holes for screws to use a drywall anchor

adding more vertical studs means less room for the insulation/getting your hands messy and stuck with fiberglass trying to cut the insulation in slimmer shapes


Ahh very good point.

The horizontal studs seems like a good idea.

Or just getting normal racking and not dealing with the headache. It's a functional space, I want alcohol headaches, not building headaches.

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