Published at Thursday, May 31st, 2018 - 07:25:12 AM. . By Kensley Muhammad.
A dumb waiter saves your back, and with advancing age this is solid medical advice! Industrial strength insulation is essential, even for below ground cellars. The standard material used is four to six inch thick polystyrene or polyurethane sheets, aluminum clad on both sides. Insulate all six surfaces, meaning four walls, ceiling and floor, even if your cellar rests on solid earth. The cold room contractor who advises that it is not necessary to insulate the floor because it rests on solid earth does not know what he is talking about and should be avoided. Heat absorbed by the ground during the day goes through the earth and rises through the floor.
For flooring, cover the insulation panels with plain wood (plywood), preferably overlaid with a thick synthetic carpet which can cushion dropped bottles and minimise breakage. The optimum cooling equipment is not domestic air conditioners but industrial refrigerating compressors, situated outside the houseapartment and connected to evaporators in the cellar, which are best mounted on the ceiling to save wall space for the racking. It is better to provide over rather than under capacity of cooling because it imposes less strain on the compressor. And insist on high quality equipment, especially the controlling thermostat. A faulty thermostat could cause the compressor to operate non-stop, leading to temperatures of 50 degrees fahrenheit or more below zero, with absolutely disastrous and irretrievable consequences to your wine. Provision of an alarm set to go off if the temperature goes beyond preset minimum and maximum temperatures is essential.
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