Single Wall Passive Wine Cellar?

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AZMDTed

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Hi all,
I'm thinking of converting part of my basement to a passive Wine Cellar. I would love to be able to use a corner, but that's not possible. Only one side of the cellar would be against a foundation wall. I live near Baltimore in a small house with a basement. Since I live on a slope, the East side of the basement is my garage. The west half is underground, half finished and half storage/utilities.
I'm thinking of using the north wall of the storage area to build maybe an 8'x5' wine storage room (8' along the wall). I've got the book on "How and why to build a wine cellar" on order, but while I await that I'm wondering if anyone else has a single wall passive cellar and how well it's working for you.
Wintertime basement temps are about 63, summertime 73. No windows. I will be happy if I can keep the room between 63-67 over the course of a year.

Any similar experiences?

Ted
 

ibglowin

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Insulate the wall(s) as the best you can as well as the ceiling. If you could add a small room AC somewhere on one of the walls that would pull the temps down nicely in the Summertime and your wines will last MUCH longer.
 

TonyR

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I was in almost the same situation, the only diference was i built mine in the NE corner of my basement. I put up 2x4 stud walls, insulated good the walls and ceiling, then put in wine shelves. Mine stays on the 60's range all summer. I also use it to store some of the things from my garden:h
 

AZMDTed

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Thanks all. I think I will start the design for a passive but frame in a space for a window mounted AC unit just in case I don't get the conditions I want. That way if I want to change to AC all I have to do is knock out the foam insulation and wall board in that location and set it up. Then I would need to find one of those controller gizmos for the unit. But first I'll give passive a try. Take care.
 

AZMDTed

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Insulate the wall(s) as the best you can as well as the ceiling. If you could add a small room AC somewhere on one of the walls that would pull the temps down nicely in the Summertime and your wines will last MUCH longer.
Mike,
Do you have a set up like you describe? If so, do you use a controller to cycle the AC or just use the built in thermostat? After looking at other threads, it seems like a small energy star compliant 5K BTU window unit with a controller would be a cost effective and quite temp stable solution. Then my only concern would be that the AC is venting into the rest of the storage room rather than outside, but with a super insulated wine room and a controller to cycle the AC I wouldn't expect it to be on for very long at a time. Hopefully it wouldn't overheat the rest of the room. Thoughts?
 

Johnd

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@AZMDTed:

For wine cellar cooling units mounted through the wall, manufacturers recommend that the exhaust space be at least the same cubic footage as the space being conditioned. So for your space, assuming 8' ceilings, the cubic footage would be 320 cf of cellar, you'd need at least that much on the exhaust side.

That said, since you're getting an A/C, not a refrigeration unit, you should see what size room the units handle. If you get one too small, it may not handle the heat load, too large and it will cycle on and off too quickly to control humidity.

Since it sounds like it's for rare occasions when your area may get warm, and your room is small, and they may be hard to find under 5000 BTU, that's the one you might have to default to.............

Consider just use the built in thermostat and keep another thermometer in there to see that it's staying on track.
 

ibglowin

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I did purchase a small window unit (5K) and luckily I had one window so I was able to vent it to outside and then install a cellular blind as well as some blackout board to keep all light out of the room. I also added 12" of attic insulation above the room. Most/many of the small window units have full blown thermostats that shut down the whole unit when it reaches the set temp, not just the compressor so the fan does not run non stop. My little unit keeps my ~200 sq/ft room 64 degrees during our short but sometimes warm Summer months.

If the unit didn't have to work very much it may not put out an excessive amount of heat into the rest of the basement. The other possibility is to buy one of those ducted stand AC units that you could run the duct somewhere to the out side but the intake is from the room air. They are not as efficient, usually kind of noisy but if doesn't need to work too much might be an option.

 

AZMDTed

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Mike, John,
Thanks. No problem with having greater space outside of the wine cellar for me. I appreciate the input. I do love planning, maybe just a bit more than doing. I see a couple weekend project coming up soon.

Ted
 

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