Wine Cellar Condensation: Why CellarPro is Different

We get tons of calls from customers, contractors and HVAC/R technicians asking what to do about the condensate drain line - where to put it, whether to use a self-contained evaporator or a pump, or if they should build a drain specifically for the drain line.

The reason for the calls is that they have experienced massive amounts of moisture and condensation generated by our competitors’ refrigeration equipment, and they want to make be prepared.  Smart!

What they don’t know is the following:  assuming the cellar is AIRTIGHT with a MOISTURE (AKA VAPOR) BARRIER, our cooling systems will generate very little excess condensation (with 2 caveats* – see below).  The reason why our systems are different is as follows:  when we designed our wine cellar refrigeration systems, we sized the evaporator coils and the compressors so that cooling system can do its job WITHOUT running the evaporator below the dew point.  In contrast, other manufacturers’ coils are much smaller, which means that the coils must be colder to achieve the same BTUH.

In other words, you probably won’t see a lot of excess condensate (ie water) coming out of the drain line from a CellarPro refrigeration system.  The benefits of our systems are tangible:

  • Because the water remains in the cellar, the humidity remains much higher inside the cellar.
  • Because the amount of moisture will be minimal on an ongoing basis*, you probably can get away with draining into a bottle for the initial pulldown; thereafter, leave the drain line in the bottle, but you probably won’t see much moisture from that point forward.

At CellarPro, our systems really are different!

*Caveats:  1.  During the initial pulldown, the cooling unit may generate a lot of excess condensate.  This situation will resolve itself once pulldown is achieved.  2.  The more frequently the cellar door is opened, the higher the risk of excess condensation (because moisture from the ambient environment will enter the room each time the door is opened.

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