There’s a science to selecting the right wine cellar cooling unit, even if you’re refrigerating a smaller space that doesn’t require much cooling. Part of maintaining a healthy home is to design energy efficient living areas, and if your wine cellar cooler is too big or too small then it’s probably inefficient or in-optimal for the task of keeping your wine stored at the perfect temperature. Also small storage spaces can have annoying cooling units that are too loud, or too inaccessible, or they vent in such a way as to make standing in the cellar uncomfortable.
Select the Best Small Wine Cellar Cooler Unit for your Space
Small cellar managers don’t need to worry so much about calculating the heat load of their wine storage space, or charting the changes over the course of a hot summer days and cold winter nights. With a small space the load is pretty constant and manageable. That being said however, cellar owners should decide on the best type of unit for the intended application. They should know the various styles, sizes, capacities and venting options of all suitable solutions, and then decide on the proper make and model. Wine cellar cooling units come in four different styles, and each type employs a different refrigeration methodology or ducting pattern:
Self-contained (the evaporator and condensing unit share the same housing)
Fully ducted self-contained (the unit is fully ducted – instead of being mounted in the cellar, it is installed elsewhere and the air is “conducted” in and out of the cellar)
Split system (the evaporator is in the cellar, and the condensing unit is outside or in an attic or adjacent utility room; a line set connects the two halves of the system)
Fully ducted split system (the evaporator unit and condensing unit are both separate and ducted – instead of being mounted in the cellar, they are both installed elsewhere, and the air is “conducted” in and out of the cellar)
The cooling fans inside self-contained units and non-ducted split systems will generate noise. If you prefer a quiet cellar environment, you should select a fully ducted system. And fully ducted cooling units allow more versatile installation options as well, but they can be more complicated to access for routine maintenance.
Cellar Pro 1800 Series Wine Cooling Unit
The CellarPro 1800 wine cooling unit series was designed for cabinets and small spaces. This popular model is 18″w x 16.5″d x 10.5″h and is a good fit for both residential and small commercial cellars or dining establishments where there’s a lot of foot traffic at mealtimes. This unit offers a choice of top or rear hot exhaust. If the unit’s location does not provide sufficient room for airflow, you may need to purchase a rear duct kit. These cooling units can be installed above the wine cellar when used with our front intake hood. They can also be installed completely inside the wine cellar when used with our rear duct kit, which allows supply and return air flows from the rear of the cooling unit to be ducted up to 100 equivalent feet (50 feet per duct). Energy-saver mode, quick-chill mode, and auto-defrost cycle provide convenient solutions to common cellar needs.
CellarPro cooling units are designed to operate in environments ranging from 40 to 95 degrees. For installations in environments down to 20°F, we recommend adding our compressor heater modification to the cooling unit. Below 20°F, the cooling unit’s performance will begin to degrade.
This unit has cooling capacity for cellars that are 200-400 Cu. Ft.
CellarPro 1880H Houdini was introduced in 2018
The new CellarPro 1800H (the Houdini) is shorter, narrower and longer than the other 1800 series cooling units. It was introduced in 2018 and marketed by the company as “the first cooling unit specifically designed for glass-enclosed wine cellars“. This factoid is on their website. It is designed for wine cabinets or cellars of up to 200 cubic feet.
The highly versatile Houdini can be installed inside the cellar, above the cellar, in the ceiling or in the next room. It may also be partially or fully ducted. Ambient temperature range is 40F to 95F. By adding low ambient accessories, the unit will then tolerate cold as low as -20F. The removable power cord can be plugged in from the rear or the side of the cooling unit. The unit includes a three amp receptacle for power (eg to a light) inside the cellar, and it includes a fresh-air filter for easy maintenance and upkeep.
Breezaire Compact Series
Breezaire WKCE Compact Series Cooler Units are smaller-sized cellar cooling units that blow the cold air out the bottom. The air flow direction makes them ideal to be installed in cabinets or narrow width spaces. Compact units can be configured with hot air blowing out the top of the unit as opposed to at the back which is standard. The fresh air intake is still needed at back of unit so plenty of room is needed for air circulation or perhaps a wall-cut to access adjacent space.
Breezaire is sometimes selected by cellar owners because of its attractive metal cabinet that blends in with the decor of their cellar area and can be flush mounted to any wall. Another popular selling feature is their easy installation. Breezaire’s most popular wine cellar cooling systems are completely self-contained modules that are simply mounted in a wall and connected to a standard 115AC source (230V/50Hz also available as special order). No plumbing, no complicated wiring or special procedures are required for on-site installation (you may want to prepare for a drain line). (Split system requires professional installation by a licensed refrigeration technician). Units are shipped from the factory fully charged and ready for use when mounted in a wall and connected to 115 AC volt source.
Two Breezaire Compact Series models available for capacities of up to 265 cubic feet.
Koolspace KoolR 600
Are you looking for a real quiet wine cellar cooling unit? This make and model is the standard for which others measure the noise of their products. The KoolR Plus (Magnum) Wine Cooling Unit (KoolR 600) leads the industry in efficiency, power and quality. Koolspace, koolR™ may be a good choice for a small spaces.
Ideally, koolR / KoolRPlus Magnum units should be installed above the cellar door as they need air circulation around and below the unit. The cooling unit’s rear end conveniently monitors the temperature inside your wine cellar with a digital display. The koolR & KoolRPlus (Magnum) wine cellar cooling units come with an off-white colored front grill which can be painted any colour to allow the back end of the device to blend-in with existing decor.
The units come standard with a High-Temperature Alarm. The system’s electronic controls come with advanced EMI / RFI filters. EMI Filters, or electromagnetic interference filters, also called RFI Filters or radio-frequency interference filters, are an electrical device / circuit that mitigate the high frequency electromagnetic noise present on the power lines.
WhisperKOOL Mini Split Wine Cooling Unit
WhisperKOOL Platinum Mini Split is a compact wall mounted wine cellar cooling unit that cools wine cellars up to 500 cubic feet.
The Platinum Mini Split is small and compact, yet powerful and quiet. This efficient wine cooling unit can cool rooms of up to 500 cubic feet. It’s a good choice for a converted closet, pantry, and or economical wine cellar. As with all of the Platinum Models, the Platinum Mini Split comes with our most advanced controller and gives the user complete control over their cellar environment. If you don’t mind seeing the grill of your cooling unit in your cellar, a wall-mounted split system is what you need. If you prefer your unit to be out of sight, you should get a fully ducted split system.
The Platinum Series of split systems allow you to decide where the evaporator unit and the condensing unit will be located. The condensing unit can be located up to 100 feet away from the evaporator unit. The evaporator unit will be mounted in the cellar, or it can also be located nearby with air ducting.
Please note it’s strongly recommended that buyers also purchase the exterior housing with the WSSMINI regardless of positioning. Without the housing, the inner fan is exposed. There is no additional delivery cost if the housing is ordered with the cooling unit, while there will be a delivery fee if the housing is ordered separately afterwards.
A Ceiling-Mount Mini Split is also available where the evaporator may be fully or partially recessed into the ceiling for a very discreet appearance.
Maintaining Your Wine Cellar’s Chill
After a wine cellar has been built, regardless of its size, volume and material specifications, the time will still come when regular inspections are needed to keep an eye on its integrity and make sure you’re not inadvertently cooling down your entire house or restaurant. Even giving the unit a good vacuum occasionally will help to clear any build-up.
During wine cellar inspections, the use of thermal imagery can determine whether the conditions of the cellar plus the wine cooling unit still provide the ideal environment for wine storage.