Which compressor to buy for Wine Cellar - Converted Bathroom

Thank you for your response, I have a couple of questions

  1. When I spoke to WG they mentioned the reason the split system would be the best option is due to the existing ductwork, the vent from the bathroom, your opinion is that we cannot use this? It seems quite large the duct, what would be your concern?
  2. I live in Quebec so temperatures can be quite low in the winter, why do you recommend the low ambient option if the surrounding temperatures of the room are 65F? Is it due to the cool air being brought in during the winter?
  3. How ‘complicated’ is it for a technician to install these ducts? Is it worth ordering them with the system? I am 0 manual so just trying to understand the extent of the work involved

Thank you!

  1. the existing ductwork is unlikely insulated, you need two ducts (supply & return).
  2. the low ambient is if you put the compressor outside with a split system, if you use a self contained system that has a supply or vent connected to the outside (it can’t vent into the small closet) it will need the low ambient control because of the temp of the entering air.
  3. installing ducts is pretty simple, especially if you use flex ducts. I wouldn’t buy them from the manufacturer it will just add to the cost and should be available locally.
    3A. the complicated part is finding an installer with experience or getting them to read the installation instructions and following them.

Not having access to a crawl space, or above the ceiling when retro-fitting utilities makes it pretty difficult. All the sheet rock, insulation, etc, will all need to come out. Or - build a chase if you have the space for it.

Something else to consider is humidity. If you pull from the home’s exterior, and ambient temps range from +80(F) to -30(F), what’s the humidity in the cellar going to look like? Seems to me it might fluctuate quite a bit. A cellar needs to have minimal temp swings, as well as maintain a pretty consistent humidity.

Considering the above, do these split systems have a means to control humidity?

Thank you both for your responses, the duct is connected to the outside which sees sub 0 temperature in the winter, heck it snowed here this morning. I will find a local expert to install this, however I feel at this point I will reach out to them in advance asking for their help in determining which one is right, I will let you know which one we will go with so others can benefit. Thanks!

I live in Alaska, so I get your geographical/climate related concerns…It’s snowing now. That was one of the drivers for me to go with a through the wall cooling unit. I could have duct work, but decided against it. My next home will incorporate a ‘real’ cellar, not an after thought.

So just to provide a quick update on the above I finally decided to go for a split system and run the condensing unit outside of the house, we went with Wine Guardian and even though we had a few hiccups everything is looking good.

One other question I have for those in the know. We will be having someone come to spray the insulation between the 2x4 studs in the wall. This of course will act as a vapor barrier along with R20. However, that will be in between the studs, but do people also put anything on top of the studs to help insulate the wooden studs themselves? The reason I ask is I know the drywall will be fixed to the studs, so is there any point of putting additional insulation of any kind (including a plastic vapour barrier) on top of the wooden studs?

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If the studs are exposed, yes, throw up a simple plastic barrier. Even though the insulation acts as a barrier, the wood is where the moisture can do mold damage. If the drywall is already up, it’s a tougher call on whether to remove, sheet and re-drywall.

Thanks for the reply, no the drywall is not up yet. Could you give me an example of what you mean by simple plastic barrier? Thanks

4 mil plastic sheeting, available at any hardware or big box store, Lowe’s/Home Depot. It comes in various sizes, clear or black, but 10-foot width by however long for your room should allow a single piece installation. After the insulation, use staples to attach the sheeting to the studs full height and length of wall. I use the stuff a lot around the house for painting or other projects and buy a roll of 100’ for around $50. Smaller sizes are available in the paint department where tarps are located.

So after many months, we went with Wine Guardian…walls are insulated bottles inside (200/1000 capacity), I purchased two sensors to understand the variation, however it seems the official Wine Guardian sensor which is situated on the machine will read anywhere from 11C-14C and 55%-71% RH, whereby the sensors which I purchased are showing a reasonable consistent 48% RH and 14*C. Has anyone else experienced this sort of large variation? Is this normal?