Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my unit is the right size?
Fill out the heat load calculator on our website for an initial list of units that typically match your conditions. However, while square footage is a basic guide for determining size, it does not capture all the heat factors for a cellar such as these:
- Windows, Glass walls and lighting – The amount of glass walls or windows in the wine cellar and lighting in your wine cellar may necessitate a unit with higher cooling capacity.
- Traffic – If your wine cellar gets high traffic – thus frequently allowing outside air into the cellar (such as in commercial cellars) – you will need a higher capacity unit than square footage would suggest.
- Bottle rotation – If you rotate the bottles in your cellar often, your heat load will be higher, increasing the need for a higher capacity unit. (Initially, most cellars take longer to cool to desired temperature, since all bottles in the cellar must be cooled simultaneously).
- Climate – Areas with high ambient temperatures or cellars with poor insulation may require higher capacity units.
Should I buy a humidifier?
Humidification is critical and often an overlooked factor in a cellar design. RH% between 50 and 70 is adequate with 60% being ideal. Low humidity will dry out corks and can degrade the wine. When constructing the wine cellar, a vapor barrier around the room (on the outside/warm side of the cellar insulation) is critical to maintain the desired cellar environment and to prevent condensation and potential mold. A cooling unit alone cannot add moisture or humidity to cellar air.
How often should I perform maintenance on my humidifier?
Frequency of cleaning and replacement of the drip pad depends on the inlet water conditions and the cleanliness of the cellar air. We recommend you check your humidifier monthly to be sure there’s not a mineral build up on the drip pad, which may reduce airflow. Also check for vibration or unusual noises which may indicate trapped debris. Click here for further instructions on cleaning and replacing the drip pad or refer to your Wine Guardian Operations and Maintenance Manual.
How do I know whether I need a water-cooled or an air-cooled unit?
Air cooled systems use ambient air to remove heat from the condenser, whereas water-cooled systems use liquid drawn from a water source to cool the condenser. With their ability to duct the condenser air, air-cooled systems are more flexible, as they offer the flexibility to take in air from another part of the structure or from outside if it falls within the max/min temperature range. A water-cooled unit is often used in locations near a lake, cooling tower or well, where water is plentiful. Read more.
Should I heat my cellar?
If your cellar is subject to ambient temperatures below 55°F (13°C), we recommend you purchase a wine cooling system with a heater. A cooling system can do nothing if the cellar temperature falls below the control set point. The best wine cellar cooling system is one with an integral heating coil that works off the same thermostat.
Where should I put my supply and return grilles?
Supply and return grille locations within a wine cellar are crucial to the proper performance of your wine cellar cooling system. Improperly placed grilles can be one of the major causes of airflow short cycling. Short cycling will occur when the grilles are too close together. The supply and return grilles should be placed at opposite sides of the wine cellar, ideally with the supply grille located in the ceiling and the return down low along the wall. Cold air at the ceiling will mix with the warm air from the cellar that rises, creating an even mix of temperature from top to bottom within the cellar. Properly sized grilles are also important to provide for quiet operation and reduced system static pressure losses. Read more.
What do I do if my duct requirements are longer than the Wine Guardian recommendation?
The general length of flexible ductwork should be no more than 25′. However, you can use our basic ductwork calculator to get a good idea whether a specific cooling unit will work in your application. If your cellar design requires longer runs it is recommended that you use rigid ductwork and a booster fan. Booster fans can be purchased from big box stores and any HVAC / hardware stores. They are designed to “boost” the air flow through ductwork with long runs, twists and turns.
Can I install the remote interface controller outside of the room cellar/room?
Yes, a Wine Guardian remote interface controller can be placed outside the wine room with the use of a remote sensor. Up to three remote sensors can be placed anywhere within the wine cellar for optimal temperature and humidity control. The remote interface controller will continuously display the wine room conditions and show an alarm if your cellar is out of optimal range.
Do you build for my country?
Wine Guardian manufacturers both 50Hz and 60Hz wine cellar cooling units and ships them worldwide, unless prohibited by U.S. law. Be sure to know your country’s voltage frequency when ordering a wine cellar cooling system. For a list of voltage frequencies in most countries, see our frequency list. You may also visit our distributor page to locate a distributor or contact us if you are unable to locate a distributor in your country.
Troubleshooting – Service
Typical Start-up problems:
- Check power, and thermostat or humidistat cable
- A common cause of start-up problems is not waiting long enough for the internal timers to complete their timed delay. Allow 5 minutes for compressor to start.
Unit won’t start
- Voltage switch not in correct position
- No power to outlet
- Unit not plugged in
- LCDI tripped
Unit is operating and blows evaporator air, but the supply air is not colder than the return air from the cellar
- Thermostat not set up properly.
- Compressor not operating. High pressure switch open – button up.
- Condenser airflow is blocked. Remove blockage and clean filter and coil if needed.
- Head Pressure (HP) switch is open. See reset instructions in Wine Guardian Ducted or Through-the-Wall Owner’s Manual.