Published at Thursday, May 31st, 2018 - 19:00:03 PM. . By Danica Brunner.
The ideal temperature and humidity of any wine cellar would do well to mimic the natural conditions of France's legendary wine caves, which are acknowledged to be close to perfect. Keeping the rest of the world's cellars at the same 55-57 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees C) and with an average of 60% relative humidity generally requires some form of dedicated wine cooling system. To properly control the cellar temperature and humidity, the system should take into account and manage not only the cellar's temperature but also the vagaries of the climate in which you live. It is hotdry? Hothumid? Colddry? Coldhumid? Will your system also be required to supply heating to maintain the correct winter temperature? These are all important considerations when building or retrofitting your wine cellar.
How to Resolve the Humidity: First step should be the installation of a vapor barrier around the entire room. A minimum of 4 mil plastic is recommended with seams overlapped and taped. The vapor barrier is installed on the outside (or warm side) of the cellar insulation. This is to prevent condensation from forming on the vapor barrier, potentially causing mold. A cooling unit alone cannot add moisture or humidify cellar air. It needs a humidifier to do so. The best option is a humidifier integrated into a cooling unit so it operates and distributes the moisture evenly in the re-circulating air. However, a free-standing humidifier can also be installed in conjunction with a cooling unit as long as this is controlled by a high-quality wall-mounted thermostat.
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