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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does a wine cellar require special construction?

A: Because the environment of a wine cellar is unique to anything else in your home. Most homes maintain a temperature of around 70° F with around 20 - 30% humidity levels. The ideal wine cellar temperature is 55 - 58° F and between 55 - 75% humidity. In order to maintain the separation of these unique environments special care in the construction of the wine cellar needs to be considered.

Q: Where does a wine cellar need to be located?
A: Unless you are attempting to build a passive wine cellar (a wine cellar that does not require any conventional humidity or temperature control) the location is not overly critical. However, heat, light, and vibration are harmful to the long term storage of wine, so picking a spot that is the coolest in the home, where you won't need to cover over windows, and away from any excessive noise will save you on construction materials and energy usage of your refrigeration system.

Q: When should I install the refrigeration unit?

A: It is most economical to run the refrigeration and drain line during the rough framing of the wine cellar. The installation of the refrigeration system itself is normally done after the room has been dry walled.

Q: What do I need a vapor barrier for?
A: This is the most important and unfortunately most overlooked part of the wine cellar construction. The Britannica dictionary defines diffusion as, "The process by which there is a net flow of matter from a region of high concentration to one of low concentration." It is the diffusion process that the vapor barrier is needed to counteract. The wine cellar has 55 - 75% humidity and the rest of the home has 20 - 30% humidity. The vapor barrier keeps the two parts separated and ensures the higher humidity in the wine cellar does not migrate to the lower humidity outside the room.

Q: Who can build the wine cellar properly?
A: Any builder or remodeler can construct the wine cellar as long as they follow the enclosed construction guidelines. The materials needed for a wine cellar are common in home construction, but builders are not used to utilizing them in the same room. For example the room requires an exterior grade door. That is easy enough to find as you need one for the outside of every house, but builders normally do not put one on the inside of the house. Another example is "greenboard". Builders are used to putting this in kitchens and bathrooms, but not in any other room in the house.

Q: How do I build the wine cellar?
A: The following guidelines have been established to provide you with an outline of the requirements for building the wine cellar. If you have additional questions you may e-mail them to us and we will have our installation manager contact you or your builder to discuss specific questions that you might have.
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