The Importance of Cooling Units in Wine Cellars

wine cabinetWine cellars have become a must-have for homeowners who have the means to install one. From collectors with thousands of bottles to those who simply have an appreciation for wine, many oenophiles are having wine cellars included in their new homes or going through the process of having one installed in their current home.

The most important requirement for proper wine storage is to install the right wine cellar cooling unit for the designated space. Maintaining your cellar at a consistent temperature plays a crucial role in determining how long your wine will last and how well it will be preserved. This is why selecting the proper cooling unit can and will make all difference in how well your wine cellar will perform over time.

What Are Cooling Units?

Cooling units are refrigeration systems that are required to create temperature-controlled environments. Wine cellar cooling units are specifically designed to manage the conditions ideal for proper wine storage, which includes exchanging the warm air present in the cellar for cooler air as necessary. Since temperatures can fluctuate under certain circumstances, having a wine cellar cooling unit that maintains temperatures between 12 to 14 degrees Celsius (55 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit) is essential.

In addition, wine cellar cooling units also control the humidity levels in a wine cellar. Humidity levels can range depending on the time of year or season, so it’s important that your wine cellar cooling unit keeps the humidity levels between 65% and 75%. Anything higher or lower than these optimal temperature and humidity levels could potentially spoil your wine or negatively affect its quality and taste.

A Good Wine Cooling Unit:

When choosing the right cooling unit for your wine storage area, it is important to know what to look for.


Some wines will need to be stored for an extended period of time, which is why it’s important to understand how long your wine cooling unit is capable of lasting. Typically, the lifespan for most units is five to seven years, but there are some that can last even longer with proper maintenance and service.


Many factors, such as the location, room construction, size and layout of a wine cellar can adversely affect the efficiency of a wine cellar cooling unit. Some cooling units even have heaters integrated in them to correct temperatures if the environment becomes colder than optimal temperatures.

Types of Cooling Systems:

There are a variety of cooling systems available, each with distinct qualities to better suit your needs.

Self-contained ducted: A cooling system that is ducted into the wine cellar can improve the overall appearance of your cellar. It eliminates the need for a stand-up unit and also significantly reduces any noise that might be heard from the cooling unit.

Self-contained non-ducted: A less expensive option is a ductless cooling unit, which is installed through the wall of your wine cellar. This option may be easiest to set up, however, it produces the most noise and takes up more space in your wine cellar.

Non-ducted split system: With this system the condenser and the evaporator are separated into two units. This allows for the evaporator to remain inside while the noisier condenser can be placed outside of the wine cellar. This is ideal for homeowners who may have limited space.

Ducted split system: Similar to a non-ducted split system, the condenser and the evaporator are located in two compartments. This allows for noise to be reduced, as well as offers the greatest flexibility when it comes to installation.

Water cooled system: Rather than using air like the other cooling systems, this system uses water to dissipate the heat from the condenser. Although you should contact a plumber to install this unit, it is an ideal solution if ventilation or noise is an issue.

Papro Wine Cellars and Consulting knows how to identify the right location for a wine cellar within your home and can create an environment conducive to storing quality wine. We have 30 years of experience in construction, with nearly a decade specifically dedicated to building custom wine cellars. For more information on how we can convert ordinary spaces into extraordinary wine cellars, contact us today.

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