Certain climates challenge conventional long-term storing and aging of wine. Wine cellars in warm climates have unique requirements that should be considered before plans for a wine cellar or room are even drawn up. For collections large and small, the more extreme the environment, the greater the need for a properly engineered wine cooling system.
However, the highest quality wine cellar cooler will not protect wine from the elements without a well-constructed space. As a top priority, qualified contractors will understand the importance of proper insulation in maintaining a pristine wine room environment. Wine cellar walls should have at least 3½ inches (9 cm) of insulation and 6 inches (15 cm) in the ceiling. If there is space beneath the floor, that should be insulated as well. If the floor is made of concrete and is without a vapor barrier, a waterproof sealer is recommended to maintain a proper wine cellar temperature.
Equally important to keep heat out of your wine cellar are the glass and doors. Any glass within a wine display should be insulated, particularly when dealing with elevated ambient temperatures, and double paned and insulated glass is even better. The door to access the space should be commercial and exterior-grade quality, with a properly sealed threshold to maintain an air-tight wine room. Direct sunlight also jeopardizes the stability of wine and should be considered when placing and constructing a wine room.
The best cooling unit for you
It is as important to select a complementary wine cooling system as it is to create a closed environment. High ambient control options are required when the condenser—or outside portion of the unit—will be exposed to outdoor temperatures exceeding 95°F during parts of the year or higher if the condenser unit is located in a garage or attic. These systems are also required when the intake air from a hot climate is ducted to the condenser of a self-contained unit (either through-the-wall or ducted).
Wine Guardian has a number of solutions specifically engineered for high ambient environments. For smaller wine rooms and cellars—either residential or commercial applications—the quarter-ton ducted units come in a high ambient option manufactured to protect wine collections from temperatures up to 115°F (46°C). These self-contained, versatile units are fully ductable with a maximum capacity of 3,300 BTUs/hour. The half-ton ducted units are ideal for medium-sized applications with a maximum capacity of 5,600 BTUs and also come in a high ambient option.
Wine Guardian’s ducted split wine storage cooling units are excellent options for cellars that have little or no extra space to install self-contained systems or applications where condenser air is difficult to exhaust. All of these units operate between 0°F and 115°F (-18°C and 46°C) and produce between 3,400 to 14,900 BTUs/hour, making them durable enough to operate in hot climate wine rooms and cellars of any size.
All Wine Guardian high ambient systems include special coils, customized condenser fan and refrigeration controls to withstand hot temperatures. The condenser, in particular, is very sensitive to extreme environmental temperatures. Sustained high temperatures over time may cause the oil in the compressor to become more viscous and less able to reduce friction within the system. This may cause the unit to shut down. While the condenser fan is effective at keeping the compressor oil cool, system failures do occur. One of the benefits of having a separate condenser is that it is easily accessible by any HVAC technician. Some Wine Guardian customers—particularly those with split systems that feature an outside condensing unit—choose to purchase a second, back-up unit in case of system damage, which can be caused by weather patterns more common in some hot climates.
With the highest quality components and commercial-grade engineering, Wine Guardian products will protect your prized wine collection in any hot-weather application. We are especially proud to be the only major manufacturer to offer this level of protection in ducted wine cooling systems.
Note: Wine Guardian is the only major manufacturer that offers this feature in its ducted systems.