FAQs – Portal
What does “Self Contained” mean?
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.
Can all Self Contained cooling units be ducted?
Many Self Contained systems are designed to mount through the wall. Some models can be fitted with ducting. The SC series can only be ducted on one side (the exhaust side). The SC should only be ducted with WhisperKOOL’s proprietary universal ducting kit; this will neither cause issues with the unit nor void the warranty. Both sides of the Extreme series can be fully ducted.
What does “Split System” mean?
A wine cellar Split system is a divided cooling system. Unlike Self Contained systems, the condensing unit and evaporator unit are separated. The condensing unit is placed in an area that is better suited for the dissipation of heat and noise (such as outside, or in a garage). The evaporator is located inside, or near, the cellar. The two units are connected by refrigerant lines.
Can a Split system be ducted?
Yes. A Ducted Split system offers the highest degree of flexibility in terms of installation.
What does Fully Ducted mean?
A Fully Ducted system employs ducting to connect a cooling unit to a wine cellar. Ducted units can be placed in a location up to 25 feet away from the cellar, with cool air traveling through the ducts into the cellar and warm air traveling through the ducts away from the cellar. Platinum Split systems and Extreme units can be fully ducted. Phantom and Quantum units are always fully ducted.
How do I calculate how big of a cooling unit I’ll need?
There are a number of factors that come into play when calculating the size of the cooling unit you’ll need:
- The insulation level in your wine cellar. The better insulated your cellar is, the more efficiently your unit’s operation will be.
- Your cellar’s construction materials. Stone, glass, brick, tile, concrete, and cement will greatly increase the heat load in a cellar and will require a bigger, more powerful cooling unit.
- The ambient temperature outside your cellar. If you live in a hot climate, this will impact your unit’s ability to cool your cellar.
- How often you enter the cellar. Opening and closing the cellar door will mean more work for your cooling unit.
- Lighting intensity and duration. Even low-heat lighting, when left on for long periods, will affect your cellar temperature and may cause your cooling unit to work harder.
Our Cellar Wizard tool can help you find the right cooling unit for your needs. Make sure you consult a wine cellar professional to help you find the cooling unit you’ll need.
How far can you duct a cooling unit from a wine cellar?
Generally, units can’t be ducted beyond 25 feet. The farther the ducting extends, the greater the loss of cooling capacity will be. If you are considering a duct run of 25 feet, you should consider upsizing your cooling unit to compensate for the subsequent loss of cooling capacity. Please refer to your owner’s manual for the maximum ducting length of your unit.
Which unit is best for exterior venting?
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.
How often does the system run?
The amount of time that any cooling unit will operate depends on various factors such as unit design and size, the ambient temperature, proper cellar construction and insulation values, the number of bottles in the wine cellar, aesthetic additions such as glass, concrete, stone, etc., and proper ventilation. In general, a correctly sized unit will run 50-70% of the time.
What about noise?
Self Contained systems and Split systems with the evaporator mounted inside the wine cellar rely on mechanical equipment. As a result, they will make noise in the cellar. Systems which are ducted, with the evaporator mounted away from the cellar, are generally much quieter. Fully Ducted – Self Contained and Ducted Split systems may be a good choice for you if you want your cellar environment to be as quiet as possible.
Why the rivets?
Systems are riveted together purely for warranty purposes:
- This is the best way for us to know that a defective unit has failed from the original “parts and labor” used to build it.
- Certified Technicians can drill out the rivets with a 3/32(size) drill bit, a process that takes less than 5 minutes.
- 6-32 3/8” Phillips pan head sheet metal screws can be used to replace the rivets.
Most importantly, WhisperKOOL does not want owners opening the units for their own safety. Only a certified HVACR technician should work on the units.
What does a bottle probe temperature control do?
All WhisperKOOL systems require a bottle probe to be installed in order to operate correctly (unless you’ve purchased a 24V thermostat conversion kit). The bottle probe works by measuring the liquid temperature in your cellar, not the air temperature
Do I need to install the bottle probe on my WhisperKOOL unit?
Yes, unless you have purchased a 24V Thermostat Conversion Kit, all WhisperKOOL systems require a bottle probe to be installed in order to function properly. The bottle probe system works by reading the liquid temperature of your wine, not the ambient air.
Where do I install the bottle probe on my Split system?
If you have a Mini Platinum Split system, there should be a conduit on the bottom of the evaporator system that the probe screws on to. For the larger 4000 and 8000 Platinum Split 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.
What are the advantages of having a bottle probe?
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.
What are ideal temperature and humidity parameters for wine storage?
The ideal storage temperature for wine is 55°F and 60% relative humidity (RH). This temperature and RH level will allow your wines to mature slowly and prevent corks from drying out. (Please note that this temperature and humidity level are only achievable under ideal conditions. If you live in a hot or humid area or have cellar walls that are not properly insulated or are made of glass or stone or some other material, your unit may not be able to maintain these conditions.) Higher temperatures and humidity levels can result in mold, label damage, and other problems.
Temperatures should remain constant. Extreme fluctuations in temperature can stress the wine and cause the liquid in the bottle to expand and contract, putting extra pressure on the cork, and potentially causing leakage and oxidation.
Does a cooling system regulate humidity?
No, our units do not regulate humidity. As our cooling units operate, they remove moisture from the air. Some of that moisture condenses on the evaporator coils, where it is then blown back into the cellar by the units’ fans. Excess moisture collects in the units’ drip trays and is removed from the unit by external drain lines. In this way, WhisperKOOL units do more to conserve moisture in the cellar environment than traditional AC units do. The best thing to ensure that humidity levels in your cellar stay constant is to install a complete and proper vapor barrier during your cellar’s construction.
What should I know about installing a wine cellar cooling unit?
The main types of cooling systems are Ductless Split, Ducted Split, Fully Ducted – Self Contained, and Self Contained, each with its own pros and cons depending on the design and layout of your cellar. Find out which one is best for you HERE.
Can I install a cooling system myself?
Self Contained systems can be installed without a licensed HVAC-R technician. All other systems must be installed by a licensed HVACR technician
What type of wiring connection is needed to connect the split system evaporator and condensing units?
On new Split systems equipped with Copeland condensing units, both the evaporator and the condenser need to be hard-wired. The condensing unit needs its own dedicated circuit with a 20-amp breaker. The evaporator does not need a dedicated circuit
What is the electrical requirement?
20 amp dedicated circuit. Single appliance surge is also recommended.
Do I need to connect the drain line?
You must always connect your drain line. During cooling, a unit will produce condensate. The excess condensate will drain out of the unit through the drain line. It is critical that the drain line is connected at all times to ensure that there is no water damage to the wine cellar. Failure to properly install the drain line will void your warranty and can lead to mold and mildew growth.
Can I install a drain line behind a wall?
This is not recommended.
What is the best location to vent the hot exhaust from my cooling unit?
Cooling units generate heat as they cool. It is not uncommon for a cooling unit to vent exhaust air that is 90-100°F. You must ensure that the unit has adequate ventilation and enough obstruction-free space to exhaust this hot air. If the area you have is small, then you should consider using ducting to vent the hot exhaust air to a safe area. If the hot exhaust air will be vented into an area that is consistently 78°F or higher, you should consider an Extreme unit or a split system. The Extreme Series can effectively cool in ambient temperatures of 95-100°F and can be installed through an exterior wall or in an insulated room like a mechanical room or garage. Cooling units also produce noise. If noise is an issue, you may want to consider a fully ducted unit, or the Extreme Series with three-speed fans, or a split system.
What if I need service and maintenance?
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.
What is the warranty on the products?
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 until the installation documentation has been returned by mail, fax, or email and approved by WhisperKOOL.
What self-maintenance can I perform for my cooling system?
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.
Do you have local service technicians who can assist me with troubleshooting or maintenance on my WhisperKOOL system?
Yes, please contact customer service to be directed to the nearest service referral.
Do you sell replacement parts for older WhisperKOOL models?
Yes, depending on the exact model and age. Please contact customer service at 1 (800) 343-9463, ext 801 to determine the exact price and availability of the parts needed.
I need to replace my old XLT system. What system can I use for the replacement?
XLT models have been replaced with our SC systems, which have the same cooling capacity and system dimensions. They have the same size intake, which means an SC will fit exactly to where a corresponding XLT was once installed.