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What is Ambient Temperature and How Does it Affect Your Cellar?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 4:42:34 PM
by Marshall T., Wine Enthusiast Companies

If you look at the specifications for any of our wine refrigerators you may notice a reference to the maximum ambient temperature. Simply stated, this refers to the highest surrounding temperature that a unit can handle while still holding proper wine storage temperature. This can play a major factor in not only deciding which unit to purchase, but where in the home it will reside.Silent Wine Refrigerator 12 Bottle

Many units are only capable of functioning in a “living space”, which means an area where the temperature never rises above 77 degrees. Such units include our Silent Line of wine refrigerators or any unit utilizing thermoelectric cooling.  The reason is that while these units are extremely quiet and efficient, thermoelectric technology cannot withstand extreme temperature fluctuations like some of our other units. The highest temperature differential they can really handle is about 20 degrees, so as the surrounding temperature rises above that 77 mark, so will the temperature inside the unit.

Wine coolers or cellars that use compressor systems are able to hold temperatures under warmer conditions, usually up to 80-85 degrees depending on the specific unit. The parts tend to be made with more durable materials, and the use of refrigerant not only helps these units to function in those warmer areas, but to last longer than the thermoelectric units. Most of these units are similar in function to the refrigerator in your kitchen, a good example being our N’FINITY Line of Wine Cellars.

ThermometerMany people choose to put their refrigerated wine cabinet in their garage, and for those living in extremely warm or cold climates it can be a little risky. Only the EuroCave units are truly able to handle those ambient temperatures around 100 on the high side and close to freezing on the low side. The technology behind EuroCave’s cooling system includes both cooling and heating coils as well as super insulated aluminum interior walls, which allow these units to function in almost any environment.

So if you have a unit in an area that is on the warmer side and it doesn’t seem to be holding the right temperature, you may want to determine if the ambient temperature is just too high for the kind of wine cooler you have. After all, protecting your prized wine collection is the main reason you purchased a wine cellar in the first place! So it’s best to be sure that it is sitting somewhere that it can maintain the right temperatures, allowing your wines to reach their maximum potential.

If you have any questions on which unit may be best for your particular situation, contact one of our wine storage consultants at 800-377-3330

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5 Responses to “What is Ambient Temperature and How Does it Affect Your Cellar?”

  1. [...] What is Ambient Temperature and How Does it Affect Your Cellar? by Marshall T. ( [...]

  2. Very good stuff to consider here. Finding the right wine refrigerator depends on so many factors. It’s a totally different game in Arizona than Massachusetts for example.

    I’ve got a EuroCave and – though not directly related to ambient temperature – I wish it would accomodate for a higher temperature setting. The highest it will allow me to set it to is 59F. I think I’d be okay letting it drift up to 65F to save electricity.

    I know 55F is somehow said to be the idea temperature for cellaring wine but honestly I’m skeptical this is necessary for storage durations less than 10 years. What do you think?

  3. Good question Robert, and yes 55 degrees is typically the ideal long term storage temperature for ALL wines. Warmer temperatures can speed up the aging process while colder temperatures will slow down that process. So yes, some people prefer to store their wine at 60-65 degrees. While it is not ideal, as long as it is a constant temperature than the wine will most likely not be harmed in the shorter term. However your wine will age at a more rapid pace. So if you have a wine that is said to need about 10 years of aging to reach it’s potential, it will probably reach that potential much sooner and in turn start its decline much sooner as well. Hope that helps to clear things up a bit Robert.

  4. Yes..the ambient temperature of the intended venting area should not be higher than 85 degrees F in order for proper operation of the cooling unit..!

  5. 5 Store Wine Storage said:

    Our clients let us do the hard work- we store their wine for them! Great post!

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