Summer is in full swing! And during the summer, increased temperatures often cause wine cellar cooling units to work longer and harder hours. While most cooling units are expected to last five years if running continuously, the majority of cooling units (those run only when needed) function for many, many years beyond this grave estimate. However, the time may eventually come when you will need to replace a cooling unit in your wine cellar or cabinet. How will you know when this is so?
There are three types of cooling systems, each with their own particular design: through the wall (e.g. CellarCool CX Cooling Units), self-contained/ducted (e.g. Wine Guardian Fully Ducted Systems), and split systems involving a condensing unit and fan coil (e.g. WhisperKOOL Split System Cooling). If your system is not operating properly, first refer to your owner’s manual. You’ll often find a tip in the “troubleshooting” section that will miraculously solve the problem. If the problem persists, clean your cooling system while referring to the same manual. For through the wall systems, vacuum and clean the vents. If this does not fix the problem, or if you have a split systems or self-contained/ducted one, you may need to call your local HVAC contractor to come out and test the coolant, pressure level, and provide general service to the system. They’ll also make sure the issue is really the cooling unit and not a problem with the thermostat, especially if there was a recent power outage.
For wine cabinet cooling units: Many times you can purchase replacement cooling units made specifically for the model of your wine cabinet. This allows you to replace them easily, without having to fuss with modifying a cabinet. Although cooling units can last for many years, it’s a good idea to have them tested and serviced every year. This way, they will keep running as efficiently as possible, and will oftentimes last longer than if they were never serviced. Just like taking your car in for routine tune-ups, giving your cooling unit yearly “check ups” helps it stay in tip-top shape.
If you think your cooling unit might be ready for retirement, give the Vintage Cellars wine storage experts a call. They can help you figure out whether you need to replace the unit, and if so what cooling system will best suit your needs for the future. Even in wine cooling, new technology happens all the time! So the unit that has served you well for years may actually be inefficient (ie, expensive to run!) or noisy in comparison to the up to date cooling systems available.