Wine Cellar Build Questions

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KevinP
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Wine Cellar Build Questions

#1 Post by KevinP » December 2nd, 2018, 11:13 am

Hi All,
i'm in the process of building my wine cellar in the back corner of a daylight basement, and have a couple of questions for those that have built their own:
1) For my vapor barrier, I have to wrap the studs on two of the walls, and the overhead floor joists. How compulsive do I need to be about taping seams, or am I okay if I have a few inches of overlap? It gets pretty tedious where the walls and ceiling come together, going around joists, etc.
2) I'm planning on using a through-the-wall cooler. I've read that the higher up on the wall, the better, but I haven't seen anything about how close to the ceiling is okay to go. Any recommendations on this?

Thanks!
Kevin
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GregT
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Re: Wine Cellar Build Questions

#2 Post by GregT » December 2nd, 2018, 1:09 pm

I think people get overly worried about some of these things. The key is to find out what the dew point is and whether you'll end up with condensation. If you do, and you get black mold, you will be unhappy. But if your basement is relatively cool to start with and you don't cool the cellar down too much, you may not need to worry at all. I haven't seen it but from what I've heard from the people who have, Parker's own cellar isn't sealed shut like people talk about.

Also, heat rises, so the warmest part of the cellar in theory should be the ceiling. Depending on how hot that is you'll want more or less insulation. I put batts of fiberglass between the joists and then a few inches of polystyrene, but didn't bother sealing at all and the temp was steady for years. My cooler was pretty close to the ceiling mostly because I wanted to use the space under it for storage. I never took any measurements, but I think the fan distributed the air fairly well and I was in the cellar every couple of days, if not every day. Good luck.
G . T a t a r

KevinP
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Re: Wine Cellar Build Questions

#3 Post by KevinP » December 2nd, 2018, 7:21 pm

Thanks I appreciate it. Im probably not totally sealed shut, but I think I’m pretty well covered. I just have the tendency to go a little overboard, so I’m happy to hear your opinion!
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Oliver V
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Re: Wine Cellar Build Questions

#4 Post by Oliver V » December 2nd, 2018, 9:49 pm

I am sure I have the odd tiny air hole in my seams, but it hasn't been an issue for me. I had the same issue as you, having to go around joists, and I just basically slapped as much tape on there as I could. I recently had to re-do the sheetrock in my cellar (for unrelated reasons) and I saw no evidence of mold in there. Just do the best you can- a few small gaps won't be the end of the world.

As for the cooling unit, it depends on a lot of factors. My cooling unit is on the floor, but it's overpowered for the room it's in. I have measured high and low in the room and the temperature is similar.

Insulation is the key. Make sure you do a good job with that, and the cooling unit won't have to be on much.
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z_hart
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Re: Wine Cellar Build Questions

#5 Post by z_hart » December 3rd, 2018, 12:29 pm

I recently had my cellar built out but used closed cell spray foam. Then I touched up a few places/crevices with bottled spray foam in an effort to get as much insulation/foam between the walls.

As far as a cooling unit goes, my advice would be to get it as high as possible. I have a thru-wall cooler that is mounted higher than any bottles, near the ceiling. The temperature reading is on the unit itself so I don't run the risk of warmer than desired temperature gradient (example: 55 degrees at the floor and 70 degrees at the top); not sure if it would happen, but my placement ensured that it wouldn't.

Agree with Oliver V, get the insulation right else the cooling unit placement won't matter.
z a c h

KevinP
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Joined: December 12th, 2012, 7:17 pm
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Re: Wine Cellar Build Questions

#6 Post by KevinP » December 6th, 2018, 12:42 pm

Thanks for the advice. I have r-31 insulation in the ceiling and r-19 for the walls and a solid core door. The flooring is sealed concrete.
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David Glasser
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Re: Wine Cellar Build Questions

#7 Post by David Glasser » December 7th, 2018, 6:20 pm

Ceiling to floor temp differential was never more than 3 degrees in my cellar. Usually 2. It was warmer near the ceiling, which was not very well insulated and was just below our kitchen. The cellar floor was below grade on slab. The cooling unit was near the ceiling which probably did reduce the gradient somewhat. I doubt it matters much once things reach steady state with a large number of bottles and free airflow in front of the cool air outlet.

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