Magazine

Table: Best Cellars


If you're thinking of adding a custom-built wine cellar, here are some important components

VAPOR BARRIER

Plastic sheeting between the cellar's exterior wall and insulation keeps humidity and condensation from seeping into a home's walls. Use at least 1/4-inch plastic.

PROPER INSULATION

The more insulation, the less work for the chiller. Use foam block insulation rated a minimum of R-21.5 in the walls and R-46 in the ceilings.

REDWOOD RACKS

Solid redwood won't rot or warp. Be careful if giving it a decorative stain; uncured finishes can emit gasses that might taint the wine.

LOW-HEAT LIGHTING

Use fluorescent or thermally insulated lights. Otherwise heat from the lights might cause condensation that leads to a short circuit, or even a steady drip into the cellar.

SPLIT COOLING SYSTEM

This refrigeration unit for high-end cellars puts condensers and vents outside the house so the system runs quietly with less vibration.


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