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Why US Cellar Systems Doesn’t Build and Sell Through-the-Wall Cooling Units for Wine Cellars
By trying to keep self-contained units as small as they can, manufacturers face inherent design constraints on most of the little through-the-wall self-contained systems. If we try to build one the same size as everybody else’s, we would have the exact same problems they do.
It’s basic physics. You can’t get around physics when you’re doing refrigeration.
The Problems of Through-the-Wall Systems
The only way you could really make these systems work better is to make them bigger. And if you make them bigger people don’t want them because they take up too much room in the wine cellar.
Through-the-Wall Units Only Work in Cooler Climates or Vented into an Air-Conditioned Room
Because self-contained walk-in cooler units are small, they’re limited in how warm the air entering the condenser side can be. That’s what the biggest problem is. Those systems are designed to vent into an air-conditioned house and not outdoors. And most people don’t want to have that noise and heat blowing into a room adjacent to their wine cellar.
Maximum of 30-Degree Difference
There’s only a certain amount of temperature difference that they can handle between the room that you’re cooling and the air that you’re taking in. So, if there’s a 20 or 30-degrees’ difference and say it’s 80 degrees outside. You can only have a 50 or 60-degree room. But if it’s 95-degrees outside, you’re not going to reach 50 or 60 degrees in your wine cellar.
Split System Wine Cellar Cooling Units Designed for Hot Weather Conditions Outside
Through-the-wall units are only capable of doing a 30-degree difference in temperature. When you choose a split system like we sell, with a commercial grade condensing unit, that’s not a factor. Our systems are designed for an average of a 95-degree ambient and will continue working upwards to 115 and 120 degrees.
What Happens in a Hot Summer with Through-the-Wall Units?
If it’s 85 degrees or less outside, you can hold a 55-degree wine cellar. But as soon as you go from 85 to 90 degrees outside, now you’re looking at a 60-degree wine cellar. If you hit 100-degrees outside, now you have a 65-degree wine cellar. And a cellar like that just isn’t cold enough for storing wine.
Your wine cellar isn’t going to stay down in the 55 to 60-degree range where you want it. You’re going to be running somewhere between the 60 and 70-degrees. And once your temperature goes above 65 you can start losing expensive well-aged wines pretty quickly.
Do High-Temperature Conditions Outside Hurt Through-the Wall Units?
It’s going to make the cooling unit run constantly so it never shuts down. This will cause the refrigeration system to break faster because it’s overworking itself. It doesn’t ever get to turn off.
The Design of Self-Contained Units Causes Immediate Problems
A through-the-wall unit is designed to blow cold air one way, and hot air the other way. You’ve got noise going in both directions, and you’ve got to deal with that hot air going somewhere. These are immediate problems to a wine cellar owner.
Running Air into an Adjacent Room
They recommend that you run the air from your cellar into another room inside your house in a conditioned space. So, consider what’s on the opposite wall of wherever your wine cellar is. Do you want hot air blowing into that space all the time?
Circulating the Air to the Outside of the Home or Building
If you vent it outside, you’re running the risk of it not running properly, so that is a consideration.
You as a wine cellar owner are looking at immediate serious obstacles right from the beginning when owning a brand-new through-the-wall unit before it ever has any functionality problems.
What Is the Best Refrigeration System Option for a Low-Priced Wine Cellar?
The issue is: Determine the difference between your wants and your needs. Because they’re very rarely the same thing. There’s a lot of times that you can cover every single one of your required needs, but it may not match all your wants—and that might be the deal-breaker.
Through-the-Wall Systems Must be Repaired in the Factory
If you buy a very inexpensive through-the-wall unit, chances are next summer we’re going to have a heat wave and it’s going to stop working and those cannot be repaired in place. Most of the manufacturers require that you send it back to the factory to either be repaired or replaced.
That process could take anywhere from days to weeks—during the summertime when it’s the hottest when you’re already having a heat wave.
If Buying Self-Contained Walk-in Cooler Units, Buy Two!
One alternative to consider, if you want to go with the through-the-wall unit, is to purchase two, right at the same time, so that you always have a backup unit.
If you have the cost of two (through-the-wall units) versus the cost of one functioning cellar with our (split system) equipment, those budgets come a lot closer than you realize.
If You’re a Collector, You Must Buy a Split System Wine Cellar Cooling Unit
If you or someone that you’re building for is really concerned about their wine, you shouldn’t be going the cheap way anyway. If you’re just the casual collector, someone that rotates their wine really quickly, who just has a lot of big parties, and it’s not really any sort of investment, then sure, use a through-the-wall system—no big deal.
But if you’re a legitimate collector that’s buying wine the day your child’s born to give them when they turn twenty-one; you’re in the market for a split cooling system like we offer.