A/C for Wine Storage Room?

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A/C for Wine Storage Room?

Postby YossiD » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:48 am

I'm considering air conditioning the mamad (shelter) in my house to make it appropriate for wine storage. Up front cost is way lower than a wine fridge (100 - 150 bottles) and use of space is much more flexible. The A/C would also make the mamad more useful as a pantry.

Another advantage is that the A/C moves the heat outside while a wine fridge essentially adds heat to the room.

For humidity I can either bleed some of the condensate from the A/C back into the room or just have a small bowl of water.

I haven't compared numbers yet, but I know that today's air conditioners are much more efficient than those of yesteryear, so I'm not sure how much more electricity the A/C would use vs. a wine fridge, especially since the mamad will be closed most of the time.

The A/C guy tells me that most units will operate fine down to 20 deg C in the hot weather, with inverter units possibly going a bit lower (and possibly saving power too).

I don't intend to have very long term storage; with a very few exceptions, five or six years is probably the longest.

Has anyone done something like this? All thoughts and comments more than welcome.

Thanks,

Yossi
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Re: A/C for Wine Storage Room?

Postby Mark Lieser » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:34 am

An interesting idea, but I have one concern - wouldn't you have to run the air conditioning unit 24/7, which would make this an expensive prospect - far more expensive than a wine fridge?

I'm painfully aware of the cost of electricity here in Israel, which is the source of my concern. If your numbers are different, let me know. I might try the same thing.

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Re: A/C for Wine Storage Room?

Postby lewis.pasco » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:19 am

Heck I think it's a great idea and may very well do the same thing myself. BTW, depending on the thickness of the walls and their R (insular) value, holding a room to a max of 20 C, which is fine for even moderately long term storage (up to 10 years or so) should be very fine indeed. Wineries LIKE to keep barrel rooms at 16 C or less and bottle goods warehouses at 18 C or less, but in fact many here in Israel do not reach those goals. As a consumer 20 C is fine. IMO regularity of temp is more important than keeping wine so cool that you actually retard development - although slower development, chemically, leads to more complexity eventually.

Well as I age too I'm less interested in wines that will last 20 years or more :roll:
Life is too short to drink bad wine.
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Re: A/C for Wine Storage Room?

Postby YossiD » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:25 pm

Mark,

I too am concerned about power consumption, which is one of the reasons I'm asking for advice on this forum and elsewhere.

My thinking is that since the Mamad will be closed most of the time the A/C won't have to work very hard so hopefully the power consumption will be relatively low. Of course I will select a high efficiency unit and I'm also thinking that an inverter unit will save power too. Inverter A/C units change the speed of the compressor based on cooling needs rather than turning the compressor on and off all the time. This should reduce power consumption and also extend the life of the compressor. I want to ask a few more people about this before making a decision.

My Mamad has only one outside wall, and that wall is never exposed to direct sunlight. Despite that it gets pretty warm in the Mamad during the summer, so I need some kind of cooling if that's going to be my wine storage. I thought I might try to improve the thermal properties of the Mamad by sticking some insulation on the outside wall, or perhaps painting it with reflective paint.

When making comparisons, remember that a wine fridge also uses power, and from what I've read it's not all that negligent.

If I do this I'll try to make some measurements and will report back.
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Re: A/C for Wine Storage Room?

Postby Alexander F » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:59 pm

Hi Yossi,
I wouldn't do that unless you need a storage capacity of thousand(s) of bottles. Wine fridge of 150-170btl consumes around 1KW/day. Air conditioner of 5000 BTU consumes around 1KW/hour. To keep the recommended upper temp bound of 18C, it would run 24/7 except in the winter. This is 24 times a wine fridge consumption.

24KW*30days = 720KW/month*0.66NIS= 475NIS/month->5700NIS/year.

Wine fridge this size costs around 8000NIS. Buying and operating an air conditioner for a year would cost the same as buying a wine fridge from the first place.
And, we haven't yet discussed whether a bowl of water is sufficient for keeping the right humidity levels.

In case of power outage, wine cooler can keep its temperature much longer due to its isolation and smaller inner space. It would also turn itself ON, once the outage is over. Air conditioner wouldn't do that I think.

Inverter units are quite expensive. When I searched for a central unit, inverter feature added another 5000NIS to the cost.
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Re: A/C for Wine Storage Room?

Postby Raanan BI » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:05 pm

Hi all,
After a long absence I wondered my way here to see what's going on in the Late Curmugeon's world and bumped this topic.

My two cents:
one - we just had last Saturday a 1988 Yarden Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest that was stored in a basement - in Tel Aviv - which was cooled by a small windown airconditioner - for 25 years!!! (the old window cooler was replaced by a new one two years ago after its demise...). And this exceptional wine was really really nice (reaeaeallllyyy!!).
two - Alex, your calculation is way way off. It comes down to a lot less.

Yossi, I would definitely go with the airconditioned pantry!
It would take years before your cost will exceed the cost of a new 150 bottles' fridge, and by then you'll become a serious collector, as you will find it so comfortable to just throw the boxes of wine in your "cellar" without having to organize them in a mini-fridge all the time (there is never enough room in these things!...).

Enjoy!
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