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All for the Love of Wine

More and more people who love wine want to store their bottles in a temperature controlled environment. Experts claim that to keep your wine in good condition temperature and humidity should be relatively consistent at all times.

Air Improve have been installing cooling systems to wine stores and cellars for over 25 years whether it be within the space under the stairs or stately homes. The only real difference between these two extremes is the number of bottles that can be stored. The systems Air Improve install can cool a room down to 10˚c and can heat and cool, useful for room that are susceptible to extreme temperatures during both summer and winter. Most clients store their wines between 12˚c and 14˚c.

It is important when building the new wine cellar to incorporate as much insulation and insulated products into the walls and ceiling and to ensure that the entrance door fits snugly to minimise the loss of cool air and the ingress of warm air. This will in turn keep energy consumption to a minimum. Automatic lighting that switches on when movement is detected and switches off after a couple of minutes where no movement is detected and a door closer will help maintain a low temperature although lights and closer are not absolutely necessary.

If you are fitting a glass screen or glass door to your cellar it is important to remember that a temperature differential exceeding 10°C between inside and outside of the wine cellar, may cause condensation to form if the screen is single glazed. For example if you decide to keep your wine at 12°C and if the temperature in the adjoining room directly adjacent to the cellar is 22°C or greater, then condensation is likely to form ruining the view of the wine. Double glazing will overcome this potential problem.

Occasionally the client prefers to conceal the air conditioning indoor unit. The unit cannot be hidden behind a solid screen or shut off from the cellar as the temperature in the room will not be cooled efficiently. However as you will see from the above picture there are ways to disguise the indoor unit. In this particular case the indoor unit is the light coloured rectangular shape part way along the right hand side wall at high level. The wine rack fit out company have cleverly continued the racking in front of the indoor fan coil camouflaging the system yet allowing air to be throw out and returned.

Similarly where to put the outdoor unit can cause some concern. The last thing anyone wants is to annoy a neighbour with the sound of the system running in the early hours of the morning. We carefully consider such important matters when we attend site for a survey. We have hidden the outdoor units in gardens behind bushes or screens where they cannot be seen and very rarely heard. It is possible to run up to 40m between the indoor and outdoor units and this distance generally allows for discreet location. There are occasions where an acoustic enclosure is necessary to ensure that close neighbours are not disturbed.

A site survey is essential to work out right size or capacity of the system, where to locate indoor and outdoor units, the pipe route between the two, electrical supply and most importantly to fully answer all of the client’s questions.

We offer a full turnkey service supplying and installing the complete system including all electrical work, leaving a fully working system ready for the first delivery of wine. Some of our clients have an electrician on site already so we leave the electrical works to the client’s electrician. In this instance we supply a full electrical specification for the client’s electrician to follow.

Air Improve will certify that the proposed works meets the current Building Regulations under the terms of the Competent Persons Scheme. This scheme deals with the installation or modification of air conditioning and ventilation in domestic and commercial properties whether the work is in a new or an existing building.

Once the works have been completed and certified Air Improve will submit details of the works to your Local Authority as required by law. Failure to conform to Building Regulations is punishable by fines and may cause difficulties when selling your property or letting or surrendering a lease. We charge a small fee for providing Building Regulations certification. This is considerably cheaper than applying for Building Regulations directly to the local authority.

We work with some of the very best wine rack and accessories companies who create beautiful cellars, all bespoke to the client’s wishes. If you would like details of companies that can fit out a wine cellar, please do not hesitate to contact Air Improve Limited on 01962 841366 or 01752 76900

Martin Rogers

Managing Director

Air Improve Ltd