WhisperKOOL Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does “self-contained” mean?
A: Unlike split systems, “Self-contained” system’s two main components (the Evaporator and the noisy Compressor) are grouped together within one housing. These systems are the most economical and easiest to install. They are designed to mount between the studs of an existing wall.
Q: Can all Self-Contained cooling units be ducted?
A: Many self-contained systems are designed to mount through the wall. Some models can be fitted with ducting; the SC series can only be able to duct one side (exhaust side), and both sides of the Extreme series can be fully ducted.
Q: What does “Split System” mean?
A: A wine cellar split-system is a divided cooling system. Unlike self-contained systems, the warm air condenser and cool air evaporator are separated. The condenser is placed in an area that is better suited for heat and noise dissipation (such as outdoors or in a garage), and the evaporator is inside, or near, the cellar.
Q: Can a Split System be ducted?
A: Yes. A ducted Split System offers the highest degree of flexibility in terms of installation.
Q: What does “fully ducted” mean?
A: A full-ducted systems employ ducting to connect a cooling unit to a wine cellar. Ducted units can be placed in a location away from the cellar, with cool air traversing to the cellar, and warm air away from the cooling unit, via duct. Platinum Split Systems and Extreme Systems can be fully ducted. Having a cooling unit away from the cellar will reduce noise, as well as leave more space your cellar.
Q: How do I calculate how big a cooling unit I’ll need?
A: The cooling capacity of wine cellar cooling units are rated in cubic feet, but there are a number of other factors that also come into play:
For additional information, consult your wine cellar professional to help you find the cooling unit you’ll need.
Q: How far can you duct a cooling unit from a wine cellar?
A: Generally not beyond 25 ducted feet. Please refer your manual for maximum ducting length for your unit.
Q: Which unit is best for exterior venting?
A: Exterior venting is when you need to have warm condenser air vent out outdoors to the exterior of your home or business. The Split Systems and Extreme Systems are the best systems to use if venting outdoors.
Q: How often does the system run?
A: The amount of time that any cooling unit will operate is dependent on various factors such as; unit design and size, the ambient temperatures going into the system, proper cellar build and insulation values, proper wine load, aesthetic additions (glass, stone, concrete, etc.) and a proper ventilation environment. Generally, most models run between 50-70% of the time. If your unit continuously runs, there might be a problem and you should contact a Customer Service Representative to assist with troubleshooting.
Q: What about noise?
A: Self-Contained systems and split systems with evaporator mounted within the wine cellar rely on mechanical equipment and will make noise in the cellar. The noise level is around 50 db, which is quiet, but noticeable. 50 db is comparable to a sound of dishwasher in a next room. When considering such systems you should determine their noise levels and ductability. Systems with the ability to duct warm condenser air away from the mounting area are considerably less noisy. Fully ducted split and self-contained systems can direct both cold air to the wine cellar and warm condenser air away from the cellar, and are the quietest available.
Q: Why the rivets?
A:Customers and Technicians sometimes bring this concern to our Customer Service team. The answer is simple, systems are riveted together purely for warranty purposes.
Most importantly, WhisperKOOL does not want owners opening the units for their own safety. Only a certified HVAC or refrigeration technician should work on the units.
Q: What is the difference between water-cooled and air-cooled systems?
A: Instead of using ambient air to remove heat from the condenser, water-cooled systems use liquid that is drawn from a water source to cool the condenser.
Q: When should I spec a water-cooled option?
A: Water-cooled option might be of interest for any locations where water is plentiful. It is ideal in most high-rise apartment complex applications where most have cooling towers as part of the building mechanical system, and for buildings and homes tapped to a geothermal power source
Q: Is there a benefit to having a water-cooled system?
A: Water-cooled systems can be a good option if ventilation is an issue with your wine cellar and surrounding area, or where noise from a Condenser fan would be a problem. Also water-cooled systems generally require less power to run than air-powered.
Q: What does a bottle-probe temperature control do?
A: Instead of reading the temperature of the ambient air in your cellar, a bottle probe reads the internal temperature of actual liquid within a wine bottle, and thus the wine in your cellar.
Q: Do I need to install the bottle probe on my WhisperKOOL unit?
A: Yes, all WhisperKOOL systems require a bottle probe to be installed in order to function properly. The system works off of the liquid temperature in your cellar, not the ambient air.
Q: Where do I install the bottle probe on my split system?
A: If you have a mini-split system there should be a conduit on the bottom of the evaporator system that the probe screws on to. For the larger 4000 & 8000 models you will need to make this connection inside of the evaporator system. Reference your owner’s manual or contact WhisperKOOL customer service for details.
Q: What are the advantages of having a bottle probe?
A: A bottle probe has many advantages, particularly in extending system life as it prevents units from short cycling and turning on and off more than necessary. Using a bottle probe gives the most accurate and useful temperature reading for your cellar as the liquid temperature fluctuates at a lower rate than the air in your cellar, allowing the system to operate more efficiently.
Q: What are ideal temperature and humidity parameters for wine storage?
A: An ideal temperature for wine storage is 55°F (13°C) with a 60% relative humidity (RH). This temperature and RH will allow the wines to mature slowly and keep the corks from drying out. Higher temperature and RH cause faster maturing of the wines and the potential for mold and spoiling of the labels. Temperatures should remain constant. Fluctuations in temperature stress the wine and cause the liquid in the bottle to expand and contract. This expansion and contraction puts pressure on the seal of the cork against the bottle and causes premature leakage and spoilage.
Q: Does a cooling system regulate humidity?
A: Cooling units control both cooling and dehumidification. When the air becomes too humid, moisture condenses out and an external drain line then removes the water. A cooling unit does not add moisture to a wine cellar, but it is also careful to leave moisture in the air.
Q: What should I know about installing a wine cellar cooling unit?
A: The main types of cooling systems are Split, Fully Ducted, and Self Contained, each with it’s own pros and cons depending on the design and layout of your cellar. Find out which one is best for you HERE.
Q: Can I install a cooling system myself?
A: Self-contained systems are the only system that you can have installed without a licensed HVAC professional. All Split Systems and Fully Ducted systems must be installed by a licensed HVAC professional.
Q: What type of wiring connection is needed to connect the split system evaporator and condensing units?
A: None, the split system is a pump down system that works off of pressures. The only connection between the two systems is a set of copper lines (liquid & suction).
Q: What is the electrical requirement?
A: 20 amp dedicated circuit. Single appliance surge is also recommended.
Q: Do I need to connect the drain line?
A: You must always connect your drain line. Cooling units are designed to regulate humidity within the wine cellar. This process involves evaporation and condensation. It is critical that the drain line is connected at all times to ensure that there is no water damage to the walls and other components of the wine cellar. Failure to properly install the drain line will void your warranty and can lead to mold and mildew growth.
Q: Can I install a drain line behind a wall?
A: This is not recommended.
Q: Where should my cooling unit need to exhaust into?
A: When a cooling system creates cool air, a proportionate amount of warm air is created on the other side, either into an adjacent room or the exterior of your home or business. The adjacent room must be large enough to dissipate the warm air; otherwise, the cooling unit may not shut off and break down. Also you must consider how the area is effected by the warm air exhaust and noise.
Q:What is the warranty on the products?
A: A limited 2-year/5-year compressor warranty is offered with all self-contained cooling units at their date of purchase. A limited 2-year warranty is offered with all split systems. This warranty does not start or become valid untill the installation documentation has been returned by mail, fax, or email and approved by WhisperKOOL.
Q: What if I need service and maintenance?
A: Proper service and maintenance will help ensure optimal equipment performance. Filters on the condenser coils will protect them from dust and dirt building up inside the coils, reducing their capacity and efficiency. Access to the electrical and mechanical components is important if any service is needed. Many units are designed to be field serviced. Contact WhisperKOOL if you need help locating a technician near you to field service your system.
Q: What self-maintenance can I perform for my cooling system?
A: Either vacuum across the grill surfaces of your system, or clean the filters (if applicable) about every 3 months. You should also verify that your drain line is free of obstruction, kinks, or sludge. See owner’s manual for information specific to your model.
Q: I need to replace my old XLT system. What system do you recommend?
A: XLT models have been replaced with our SC series system that has the same cooling capacity and system dimensions. They have the same size intake, which means a SC will fit exactly to where a corresponding XLT was once installed.
Q: Do you sell replacement parts for older WhisperKOOL models?
A: Yes, depending on the exact model and age. Please contact customer service at (800) 343-9463 to determine the exact price and availability of the parts needed.
Q: Do you have local service technicians who can assist me with troubleshooting or maintenance on my WhisperKOOL system?
A: Yes, please contact customer service to be directed to the nearest service referral.