Portable AC for wine cellar

Discussion in 'Wine Cellar & Storage Forum' started by kuziwk, Dec 6, 2018 at 10:25 PM.

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  1. Dec 6, 2018 at 10:25 PM #1

    kuziwk

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    Hi guys,.

    I have a location under the stairs that is very small, it's accessible through a large 250 square ft bedroom in the basement I use as a gym. I can build a design to hold around 500 bottles or more, however it would be nice to have it cooled. At any rate I can't vent anything to the outside so if I installed a portable Air conditioner it would vent to the bedroom...essentially a large fridge. I suspect that it would hardly run since the area is 68deg in the summer. Is it safe to vent in the bedroom? And also would I notice the temperature get warmer in the bedroom?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 10:48 PM
  2. Dec 7, 2018 at 12:11 AM #2

    Johnd

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    I don’t know of any safety issues, but it will definitely add heat to the room, and water drainage unless you get a unit that doesn’t discharge condensation. Have you considered a large refrigerated cellar instead?
     
  3. Dec 7, 2018 at 1:42 AM #3

    RadRob

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  4. Dec 7, 2018 at 1:55 AM #4

    kuziwk

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    A stand up unit that you assemble? They are pricy and don't really want to make room for one. The cooling units that are sold are $2000, for that I can get a 500 bottle cooler and not have to do any work. There is one other option...I can get a car radiator or a heat exchanger hooked up to a pump, blow a fan over it and plumb the lines to my 2500 gallon water cistern which is always cool water. Only need to cool a few degrees....the downside is I introduce more potential flood issues in the basement by having a submerisable pump running all the time. It's literally a 5x5 area with a 6ft ceiling to the bottom of the joists.
     
  5. Dec 7, 2018 at 2:20 AM #5

    kuziwk

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    Yeah looks like I'm screwed, the stair landing is above the spot I want to build the cellar in and the rim joists are not exposed...it's all underground. The only way to vent and ac is to vent into the home gym, or run an ugly 4" hose through the gym which I would rather not do.

    Attached two pictures of my current wine solution. It was the original fireplace downstairs which met the chimney which I gutted when I did the renos...all exterior. It's open to the outside but capped with plywood and insulated so it doesn't freeze in winter. Temps are ok always under 70 from what I've seen in the hottest of summer. I'm out of storage room though which is why I'm building more storage under the stairs. The wine closet will be for mid term storage. It only holds 144 bottles, I need room for at least another 90 once I bottles those carboys in the coming months.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 2:39 AM
  6. Dec 7, 2018 at 3:17 AM #6

    Johnd

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    That’s what I was talking about, a refrigerated cellar about the size of a refrigerator. I had two of them prior to building my cellar.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2018 at 3:26 AM #7

    NorCal

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    An area with a high of 68 degrees? If you have well protected wine; decent alcohol, reasonable pH, sanitary winemaking, proper SO2 and you want to age your wine less than 5 years, I wouldn’t do a thing.
     
  8. Dec 7, 2018 at 3:42 AM #8

    sour_grapes

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    Why not install a mini-split AC system?
     
  9. Dec 7, 2018 at 5:28 AM #9

    stickman

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    Why not use part of the gym to build a wine cellar? You might then have more options for discharging the cooling unit. It's not a difficult decision, large gym or small gym and wine cellar, I vote wine cellar.
     
  10. Dec 7, 2018 at 2:30 PM #10

    SethF

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    Where are you located and how cold does it get in the worst of the winter (outside)?

    I have your solution(s).

    Seth
     
  11. Dec 7, 2018 at 7:04 PM #11

    kuziwk

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    Yes that's one option I can get one for $2000 it so...just was hoping not to spend the money right now if I can get something built for cheaper.
     
  12. Dec 7, 2018 at 7:11 PM #12

    kuziwk

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    I'm in Canada, the area in my basement doesn't really get any warmer than this so around 68-70 in the summer. I have The seperate furnace down there so in the winter it can be whatever i want for temps. The wine closet I currently have is 60 degrees right now, the rest of the basement is 67. The outside temp is 3 degrees right now, the only reason the wine closet is not colder is because I have a frosted glass door instead of an insulated door. I don't want it any colder in the winter anyways so that works for me. Its the summer temps I would look at reducing. I will need to monitor the closet closely as this is the first winter since I installed the glass door. The coldest temps we have in winter for about a week in January is -31 degrees....just need to keep an eye to make sure nothing freezes. Realistically the additional space under the stairs that i want to build additional storage should be slightly cooler in the summer than the wine closet is...so maybe 66-68 instead of 70 peaks. Just a guess of course.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 7:19 PM
  13. Dec 7, 2018 at 7:46 PM #13

    SethF

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    Hence my question... :)

    I assume all your temps are in Fahrenheit.

    Split system won't work for you.

    If you are going to bother with this at all, you want to try and maintain 55-56 degrees consistently.

    You prefer NOT to have fluctuations.

    If I read your posts correctly, you should have the ability to put a vent to the outside or thru the old chimney perhaps. If that's the case, you should consider a decent portable air conditioner. Oversize it and know that it seems that most will continue to run the fan in cool mode continuously, which is frustrating. They only go into compressor mode when it needs to cool to the set temp.

    Most will have a lowest temp setting of 61 degrees.

    You can then get a coolbot (overkill in this situation), or I can tell you haw to get around the limitation with a few cheap tricks.

    I am cooling an 9 x 12 wine cellar (just finishing it) with an older (4 years or so) single exhaust/ single pipe portable unit HAEIR, 12000 btu, that I glommed from my kid who isn't using it. When this goes, I will convert to the unit described below, but seems to be working fine.

    Only drawback to the single exhaust unit is the negative pressure.

    If you can, use a dual pipe unit, again, oversized, piping the exhaust OUTSIDE (not to your bedroom) and the intake to or from the bedroom.

    I can also offer some help on the type of vent piping to use.

    Here is the unit I would recommend, but you can get other 14000 btu Whynter's for 40-50 buck less if you don't care for the features. This will offer 3M filtering and heating as well.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Whynter...ehumidifier-and-3M-Filter-ARC-143MX/203356405

    Again not sure of the scope of your new space, insulation, etc. I can offer some assistance on the insulation as well.

    Fun stuff once it's done.

    Seth
     
  14. Dec 7, 2018 at 8:18 PM #14

    kuziwk

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    Yeah so the issue is I can't have a direct vent from under the stairs, as I don't want to core through the concrete for fear of structural issues. It's completely underground under the stairs at around 6-7ft...it's below the rim joist otherwise I would cut a hole and vent it out there. The only way to vent it outside is to have the hose running up the wall of thr gym which would be unsightly. The wine closet I mentioned that I currently have was in the old fireplace downstairs, just as a reference point for current ambient passive temps. Under the stairs I imagine would be 2 degrees cooler than the current wine closet. Since its fully underground and it has the main floor above it for an additional temperature buffer. I'll try and take more pictures to better explain it
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 8:35 PM
  15. Dec 8, 2018 at 12:35 AM #15

    sour_grapes

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    Can you elaborate why not?
     
  16. Dec 8, 2018 at 2:21 AM #16

    kuziwk

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    im actually looking at a split ac system, it will roughly cost the same as the KoolR which I just found for around $800. The split system only needs a 2" hole basically for the hoses, which I can probably core through the concrete easily. Or I can run it up through the gym and maybe drywall around it. I really like the idea of the koolr however I have these issues with it from what I've read:

    -people complain its built cheaply and only lasts a few years
    -it will be direct venting into the home gym/rest of the basement

    Can anyone comment on how much heat the Koolr produces?

    The koolr is definitely much less work to install.

    one thing im not opposed to doing is installing the koolr, than installing a bathroom fan in the ceiling grid directly above it in the gym and vent that to the outside to rid the hot air. I could possibly install it on a relay which would turn on when the koolr runs.

    However the absolute cheapest and easiest option I just thought of would be a portable air conditioner venting close the ceiling of the gym and instead of an unsightly hose I can install the exhaust bathroom fan. I could install a humidifier if its very dry in there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 2:50 AM
  17. Dec 8, 2018 at 2:55 AM #17

    NorCal

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    531C0F21-C628-4654-A8CD-F3C690F51EE6.jpeg You can google the effects of storage temperature on the aging of wine. I read every UCD article I could get my hands on. The conclusion I reached was that temperatures between 55-70 would accelerate the aging, but not damage the wine, given it was going to be consumed within 5 years. This assumes properly made wine. I can’t site a specific study, as there is none that I know of. However, I am going on year 5 and this has been my experience.
     
  18. Dec 8, 2018 at 3:01 AM #18

    kuziwk

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    So thinking at those temps everything should be good? Cant imagine having very many original bottles left after 5 years, lol. I have a 21 bottle wine cooler mounted under the island upstairs when I did the renos, so likely if I really wanted long term aging on a few select bottles I could store in there. Perhaps I should welcome accelerated aging....
     
  19. Dec 8, 2018 at 2:28 PM #19

    SethF

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    Splits generally won't work with an exterior temp of under 15 degrees F. Remember the objective is to consistently maintain 55 degrees, even in the winter.

    They also get covered with snow, have maintenance issues with the winter and weather exposure, etc.

    Trust me, I much would have preferred to use a split.

    It falls to 5 degrees at times here in Syracuse, yet my lower level maintains 68-72 temps all year long. I need something at a reas cost that will do the job all year long.
     

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