Small Wine Room/Cellar Cooler Options

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drikz

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Hey guys, so I want to build a small wine cellar (4'x6') that's visible from my dining room (in the dining room I guess). Currently, my house is under reno so I have flexibility with space. This is the idea I had: rough idea

I ordered a CellarPro 1800XT and they're telling me that even an XTS would not be strong enough for this. For the glass, I'm going to use double pane (and possibly with gas in between for better thermals) and the floor & ceiling are all spray foam insulation (R30 I believe?). What do you guys think? Is the CellarPro 1800 XT or XTS not going to be strong enough for this application? Is there too much glass?
Do y'all have any other recommendations? Thanks in advance!
 
You cold mount multiple cooling units. Perhaps two would be enough. If you have an exterior wall a air conditioner with its thermostat disconnected and controlled by a PID would work too.
I’ve made a fermentation chamber for brewing beer with a small freezer unit I stripped and kinda macguyvered that is controlled by an STC-1000 temperature controller that works very well.
I have a friend who is still deep in deer hunting and he made a walk-in fridge in his garage to hang deer in. He used an air conditioner as I described, it’s about twice as big as what you’re planning and it will chill multiple deer to 35 F in no time.
 
I have a CellarPro able to cool up to 1200 bottles in my insulated walk in wine cooler. Right now it is running at 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 Celsius) which is perfect for wine. I could set it to a lower temperature but it would kick in all night long and wake me and my wife wake up. One CellarPro air conditioner should be all that you need. How man
y bottles, including bottles in carboys are you trying to cool?
 
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Who told you what you bought won’t work? After hazelemere’s post I went to the manufacturer’s website. There I found the CellarPro 1800 XT- is good for up to 250 cu ft.
With a 4x6 foot print you could have an interior height of 10’ and be within the units capabilities it looks like.

“CellarPro 1800XT-ECX cooling units (1/6 Ton Nominal) are suitable for small wine cellars (up to 250 cubic feet), commercial applications and wine cabinets located in garages (in temperatures ranging from 50-95F). “

Not sure if you have the exact same model but I found that at:

https://www.cellarprocoolingsystems.com/1800XT
 
I have a CellarPro able to cool up to 1200 bottles in my insulated walk in wine cooler. Right now it is running at 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 Celsius) which is perfect for wine. I could set it to a lower temperature but it would kick in all night long and wake me and my wife wake up. One CellarPro air conditioner should be all that you need. How man
y bottles, including bottles in carboys are you trying to cool?
Not a lot to be honest. Couple hundred or so max. How is your wine cellar built? Is it all insulated walls?

Who told you what you bought won’t work? After hazelemere’s post I went to the manufacturer’s website. There I found the CellarPro 1800 XT- is good for up to 250 cu ft.
With a 4x6 foot print you could have an interior height of 10’ and be within the units capabilities it looks like.

“CellarPro 1800XT-ECX cooling units (1/6 Ton Nominal) are suitable for small wine cellars (up to 250 cubic feet), commercial applications and wine cabinets located in garages (in temperatures ranging from 50-95F). “

Not sure if you have the exact same model but I found that at:

https://www.cellarprocoolingsystems.com/1800XT

The people at CellarPro. I think their biggest issue was that I was going to go with three walls of glass (although insulated/double-pane).
 
* the first question is how much heat load? What temperature will the house be? How good are the seals? He floor? The ceiling? ,,, Basically what climate is it designed for,, the heat load in a 72 degree conference center isn’t bad.
* argon filled works better, again it cuts the heat load. I would also have concerns about condensation which makes it less pretty.
* from a Realitor point of view, a 4x6 size object in the room wI’ll decrease the value of the house if the dining is small. It will add value if it looks like a closet was converted, ie Sheetrock visible to frame it in. It can add value if the room is large as a restaurant. (The old story is building a greenhouse decreases the value of a property)

@mainshipfred do you want to chime in?
 
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Being in the construction industry for nearing 50 years I've learned not to question peoples design ideas. Everyone has their reasons for choosing their particular design so I kind of stayed out of this. If I were to make observations they would be:
1. @Jim Welch has a very good point in the ambient air would not be an extreme since it is in the interior of a house so the heat load would be reduced.
2. A lot may depend on what the intended cooler temperature is set at. There would be a difference if it's set at 54 or 60. The main consideration should a consistent temperature.
3. I can't respond to the value it may or may not have value of the home.
4. Unless it is ducted outside the temperature in the small closet would be unbearable.
5. Again, not to question the design intent but 1 or 2 of the walls will only be looking at the back of bottles. I would recommend only one of the long walls being glass.
6. I would think the door should be on the long wall opposite the stairs. If on the short wall the door (unless 30" or less) would interfere with the rack.
7. From a visual standpoint if bottles were on both sides of the cooler all you would see is the back of the bottles and a small 2' or less walkway between them.
8. My thoughts are having the bottles on the back wall and maybe returning around the sides would be a classy visual affect from the dining room.
9. Reducing the ceiling height to 7' would reduce the volume and provide a nice space for insulation. Plus it would be easier to reach the top bottles.
10. @sour_grapes mentioned from a previous post if using diamond (which is the most efficient) storage racks use 60° as apposed to 90° for the most efficient storage capacity.
11. Closed cell insulation gives you the best R value per inch. Commercial coolers use 4" walls for refrigeration and 6" for freezers. Though for your application I would thins 2" rigid (which is closed cell) would be sufficient.

Some of these are pertinent to your cooling unit question which I feel should work but please take these recommendations in stride as I'm sure you have reasons for your initial design.
 
Thanks guys! These are some great ideas. I'm going to try to answer as many of these as possible.
* the first question is how much heat load? What temperature will the house be? How good are the seals? He floor? The ceiling? ,,, Basically what climate is it designed for,, the heat load in a 72 degree conference center isn’t bad.
* argon filled works better, again it cuts the heat load. I would also have concerns about condensation which makes it less pretty.
* from a Realitor point of view, a 4x6 size object in the room wI’ll decrease the value of the house if the dining is small. It will add value if it looks like a closet was converted, ie Sheetrock visible to frame it in. It can add value if the room is large as a restaurant. (The old story is building a greenhouse decreases the value of a property)

@mainshipfred do you want to chime in?
- The house should be around 70~ lowest i would say is 67~ to about 72~ (in the summer before AC kicks in). This NYC so we get a lovely 4 seasons.
- Would Argon gas have MORE or LESS condensation than normal insulated glass?
- I do agree if it shrunk the dining space but the idea is it would run the full width (including closet - 9-10' ish) and the full length is about 19' (and i want to take out about 4' from that leaving me around 15' left (give or take)
Being in the construction industry for nearing 50 years I've learned not to question peoples design ideas. Everyone has their reasons for choosing their particular design so I kind of stayed out of this. If I were to make observations they would be:
1. @Jim Welch has a very good point in the ambient air would not be an extreme since it is in the interior of a house so the heat load would be reduced.
2. A lot may depend on what the intended cooler temperature is set at. There would be a difference if it's set at 54 or 60. The main consideration should a consistent temperature.
3. I can't respond to the value it may or may not have value of the home.
4. Unless it is ducted outside the temperature in the small closet would be unbearable.
5. Again, not to question the design intent but 1 or 2 of the walls will only be looking at the back of bottles. I would recommend only one of the long walls being glass.
6. I would think the door should be on the long wall opposite the stairs. If on the short wall the door (unless 30" or less) would interfere with the rack.
7. From a visual standpoint if bottles were on both sides of the cooler all you would see is the back of the bottles and a small 2' or less walkway between them.
8. My thoughts are having the bottles on the back wall and maybe returning around the sides would be a classy visual affect from the dining room.
9. Reducing the ceiling height to 7' would reduce the volume and provide a nice space for insulation. Plus it would be easier to reach the top bottles.
10. @sour_grapes mentioned from a previous post if using diamond (which is the most efficient) storage racks use 60° as apposed to 90° for the most efficient storage capacity.
11. Closed cell insulation gives you the best R value per inch. Commercial coolers use 4" walls for refrigeration and 6" for freezers. Though for your application I would thins 2" rigid (which is closed cell) would be sufficient.

Some of these are pertinent to your cooling unit question which I feel should work but please take these recommendations in stride as I'm sure you have reasons for your initial design.
- I am looking to for 55F for the internal temperature.
- I am also starting to think about going just 1 side having glass (the dining room side) and using insulated walls on the other 3 sides.
- The floor & ceiling is about 6" of spray foam (not sure if open or closed atm)

I don't think I'm going to try to optimize storage capacity but rather aesthetic. I might mix in some shelving with some display "shelving" like this.
I haven't done much research on to shelving yet so I'm not sure what i'd be looking for the moment. but definitely open to ideas.
I've mostly started to think about only using one glass wall from a cooling standpoint. It'd be less costly to cool long term as well as the unit would run less hot (esp if it dumps out into the closet. Although, now I"m considering ducting it.

Any recommendations on coolers?
 
Thanks guys! These are some great ideas. I'm going to try to answer as many of these as possible.

- The house should be around 70~ lowest i would say is 67~ to about 72~ (in the summer before AC kicks in). This NYC so we get a lovely 4 seasons.
- Would Argon gas have MORE or LESS condensation than normal insulated glass?
- I do agree if it shrunk the dining space but the idea is it would run the full width (including closet - 9-10' ish) and the full length is about 19' (and i want to take out about 4' from that leaving me around 15' left (give or take)

- I am looking to for 55F for the internal temperature.
- I am also starting to think about going just 1 side having glass (the dining room side) and using insulated walls on the other 3 sides.
- The floor & ceiling is about 6" of spray foam (not sure if open or closed atm)

I don't think I'm going to try to optimize storage capacity but rather aesthetic. I might mix in some shelving with some display "shelving" like this.
I haven't done much research on to shelving yet so I'm not sure what i'd be looking for the moment. but definitely open to ideas.
I've mostly started to think about only using one glass wall from a cooling standpoint. It'd be less costly to cool long term as well as the unit would run less hot (esp if it dumps out into the closet. Although, now I"m considering ducting it.

Any recommendations on coolers?
Pretty darn classy display idea. I can't give you a recommendations for the unit since I just modify a standard 8000 BTUH window unit. My cellar is strictly used for storing wine so aesthetics is not a concern. What you are proposing is probably the cleanest option. Plus I believe it may have humidity control which I have to provide separately.
 
Yes, argon improves the insulation value.
One thing I do is create mockups. Fred’s note about door pushes me to do math, 48” minus a shelf gives you three feet. if the end has a door this is essentially creating a 36” hallway. One could have a 30 inch hall but that only gives 6” for a shelf. You would get more capacity with a sliding door on the 6’ wall. I could then see two shelves on wheels like the plumbing parts at the hardware store.
If you dump heat into a closet that decreases the efficiency of the cooling unit.
 
Pretty darn classy display idea. I can't give you a recommendations for the unit since I just modify a standard 8000 BTUH window unit. My cellar is strictly used for storing wine so aesthetics is not a concern. What you are proposing is probably the cleanest option. Plus I believe it may have humidity control which I have to provide separately.
how do you do humidity control? how well can your 8000 btuh window a/c regulate temperature fluctuations though? and it can hit 55F?
 
Yes, argon improves the insulation value.
One thing I do is create mockups. Fred’s note about door pushes me to do math, 48” minus a shelf gives you three feet. if the end has a door this is essentially creating a 36” hallway. One could have a 30 inch hall but that only gives 6” for a shelf. You would get more capacity with a sliding door on the 6’ wall. I could then see two shelves on wheels like the plumbing parts at the hardware store.
If you dump heat into a closet that decreases the efficiency of the cooling unit.
do you think the glass doors would prove to be more of an insulation issue? since it'll be such a big hole/exit and door seals aren't really as good as like a glass window just sitting and sealed in place?

Also, Would I not be able to open the door outwards towards the hall (on the left side of the diagram)? Then I would have access to the full back wall (the one that is on the stairs). At this point, I think I've settled on not doing a 3-side glass enclosure, and sticking with just the dining area side.
 
how do you do humidity control? how well can your 8000 btuh window a/c regulate temperature fluctuations though? and it can hit 55F?
I have it set at 55 and it works just fine. My cooler is a commercial walk-in panels and associated door with only a small 12" x 12" vision window. it is 6' x 10' with a 7' ceiling height. You have to relocate the thermocouple to outside the space and use an alternate temperature control. Mine is an Inkbird. For humidity control I use a humidifier. I don't have any means of dehumidification and since it's in my unconditioned warehouse the humidity does get a little high in the summer.
 
I have it set at 55 and it works just fine. My cooler is a commercial walk-in panels and associated door with only a small 12" x 12" vision window. it is 6' x 10' with a 7' ceiling height. You have to relocate the thermocouple to outside the space and use an alternate temperature control. Mine is an Inkbird. For humidity control I use a humidifier. I don't have any means of dehumidification and since it's in my unconditioned warehouse the humidity does get a little high in the summer.
Ah ok. Interesting. thanks for sharing!
 
Ah ok. Interesting. thanks for sharing!
Interesting plan. I have been a realtor and I have designed floor plans for custom homes in my working career. If I could add my 2 cents, I would ask a few questions:

1. What is your intent in doing this? Are you trying to display your wine collection or is there some other reason?
2. Do you anticipate selling your home in the not too distant future?
3. Is there a way to accomplish your objective while leaving flexibility for a future, more common use?

Having no access to your floor plan, it is difficult to be very specific. In general, a feature in a home is an asset if it is something the majority of people would desire and any feature in a home is a liability (in selling) if it is something that only appeals to a small percentage of people. I think this idea falls into the latter group. If I were designing this, I would design it with the eye toward allowing flexibility in changing it to something that is generally desired, e.g. a walk-in pantry.

I would assume that your dining room is adjacent to or at least near your kitchen. With this in mind, I suggest a design that is visible from the dining room and accessible from the kitchen. I suggest an insulated, 6' glass wall on the dining room side, away from direct sunlight if possible, with an access to the area from the kitchen side (or perhaps in butler's pantry). If you ever needed to sell the property, it would be a relatively simple matter of removing the glass, drywalling the opening and changing the room for another use, such as a pantry.

Good luck with your project.
 
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