A wine cellar is the perfect home addition for the serious collector. It gives you an elegant, sophisticated place to display your favorite wines and the perfect environment in which to store them, so that they improve with age. One of the major components of proper wine cellar climate control is humidity. You’ll need to control wine cellar humidity to protect your investment.
Things You'll Need
Determine your wine cellar’s overall humidity levels to calculate how much artificial assistance it needs. Location is everything: If you live in the Southwest, then you will need a complete climate control system; if you live in the Northeast or the Deep South, then you won’t need as much humidity control if you place your cellar in a good location.
Install a thermostat and hygrometer. Between the two, you will be able to keep a constant eye on the conditions inside the wine cellar. The temperature should remain at approximately 55 degrees F with a humidity of 60 to 65 percent.
Invest in both a wine cellar conditioner and a wine cellar climate control unit. The conditioner controls humidity, while the climate control unit regulates the temperature.
Check the hygrometer every day or every other day. This will give you a constant update on the humidity in the wine cellar. Letting the humidity drop for an extended period, even just a few days, can exert a profound effect on the corks in the bottles. It can dry a cork to the point where the seal is broken.
Turn on wine cellar conditioner and let it run whenever the room needs a new shot of humidity. Depending on the size of your wine cellar and the power of your conditioner, this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours, so make periodic checks of the hygrometer to keep track of the conditioner’s progress.
Consider investing in a wine cellar cooling unit that includes humidity control as part of its functionality. Some cooling systems only regulate the temperature and do not affect the ambient humidity. Combo units are more expensive than basic cooling units, but they are usually less expensive than having to buy two different pieces of equipment.