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Why US Cellar Systems Doesn’t Build and Sell Through-the-Wall Cooling Units for Wine Cellars
In the effort to keep self-contained units as small as they can be, manufacturers face inherent design constraints on most through-the-wall self-contained systems. If we at US Cellar Systems were to 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. Which is why we’ve chosen not build through-the-wall units. You can’t build self-contained units without sacrificing considerable refrigeration system quality.
The Problems of Through-the-Wall Systems
The only way you could make self-contained 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 the biggest problem. Through-the-wall systems are designed to vent into an air-conditioned house and not outdoors. And most people don’t want to have the noise and heat blowing into a room adjacent to their wine cellar.
Maximum of 30-Degree Difference
There’s a certain amount of temperature difference that self-contained units can handle between the room being cooled and the air being taken in. So, if there’s a 20 or 30-degrees’ difference, and say it’s 80 degrees outside–you can have a 50 or 60-degree room like wine storage experts suggest. But if it’s 95-degrees outside, you’re not going to reach 50 or 60 degrees in your wine cellar. There’s too much of a temperature variation, which self-contained units are not capable of refrigerating.
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, you now 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?
Extremely high-temperatures, which occur almost everywhere at some point in the year, are going to make a self-contained cooling unit run constantly so it never shuts down. The refrigeration system will overwork itself, causing it to break down.
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. Noise goes in both directions. And that hot air must go somewhere. These are immediate problems to a wine cellar owner. Self-contained units just don’t solve these problems.
Running Air into an Adjacent Room
With self-contained units, engineers recommend that you run the air from your cellar into another room inside your house in a conditioned space. So, consider that room on the opposite wall of wherever your wine cellar is. Do you want hot air blowing into that space all the time? Many owners of home or commercial wine cellars do not.
Circulating the Air to the Outside of the Home or Building
Venting the air from your wine cellar using a through-the-wall cooling unit isn’t always a great option either unless you live in a very temperate climate. In doing so, you’re running the risk of the unit not running properly.
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 even has any functionality problems.
What Is the Best Refrigeration System Option for a Low-Priced Wine Cellar?
THE ISSUE: 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 you’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 the system 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.
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 compare the cost of two through-the-wall units with the cost of one functioning split system, 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. If you’re just a casual collector, someone that rotates their wine really quickly, who has a lot of big parties, and your wine isn’t 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.