Category Archives: Wine cellar refrigeration

Leak Detection in Wine Cellar Cooling Units

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A team of HVAC experts from M&M Cellar Systems went to the residence of a wine storage owner in Irvine, Orange County. The team inspected the reported problem with the cellar’s cooling unit.

A recent repair project in Irvine, California for M&M Cellar Systems found a wine cellar cooling unit leaking refrigerant. The client was fortunate to have the leak repaired promptly, avoiding irreparable damage. This project demonstrates the importance of having a regular maintenance plan for your wine cellar refrigeration system to prevent problems like this.

M&M Cellar Systems HVAC Experts Detect Freon Leaking from a Cellar Cooling Unit

M&M Cellar Systems recently completed a repair project in Irvine, a city located prominently in Orange County, California. A client called for a team of HVAC professionals to fix their leaking wine cellar cooling equipment. Initially, the team had to determine where the leak was located exactly. Among the various methods of detecting Freon leak, the team used the Ultraviolet Light Leak Detection Method.

An HVAC technician injected a UV detectable dye into the cooling system. The dye was allowed to circulate thoroughly for a month. Then, he came back to check where the dye was exiting to identify the leak location. The leak was found inside the refrigeration unit.

The team had to completely disassemble the equipment to gain access to the problem and repair it accordingly.

3 Effective Methods of Refrigerant Leak Detection

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The HVAC professionals used the UV Light Detection Method in locating the Freon leak in this Irvine wine cellar refrigeration equipment. Find M&M Cellars on Yelp by clicking here!

A wine cellar cooling unit cannot function properly without refrigerant. A refrigerant is the one responsible for creating the cool air that refrigeration units provide. Freon is one of the most popular refrigerants used in most cooling equipment.

Freon is a collective trade name for a number of compounds that are used as refrigerants in cooling units. When placed in room temperature, Freon turns to gas. It goes back to liquid form when placed in a cooler temperature or when compressed.

A refrigerant is a vital element of an effective wine cellar cooling system. If a refrigeration unit is losing refrigerant through a leak, it can gradually stop functioning. This is why it is necessary that you have a regular cooling system maintenance plan, so that you can detect problems with your equipment and be able to have it fixed immediately. Problems such as Freon leaks need to be detected early and repaired promptly; otherwise the damage could worsen and the repair could become more costly.

How to Know that the Wines in Your Wine Cellar Have Gone Bad

Wines need an effective wine storage space in order to be kept safe. Without an effective wine storage solution, wine will go bad, and must be thrown away. This cannot be allowed to happen; after all, wine does not come cheap. Here are some things check for to find out whether your wines have gone bad or not.

The Two Most Common Causes of Wine Going Bad in a Wine Cellar

There are many things that can cause your wines to become tainted or spoiled. The two most common are: cork taint and oxidation.

1. Cork Taint.

Cork tainting is the wine’s cork being contaminated prior to bottling. More specifically, the wine cork is contaminated by TCA, a type of bacteria that lives in cork. It is important to take note that this has nothing to do with the little bits of floating cork in wine. Rather, a wine cork with an excessive amount of TCA is what will contaminate and consequently spoil wine. The term “corked” refers to spoiled wine.

2. Oxidation.

Oxidation is a process that occurs when wine is overexposed to air. More specifically,wine compounds react to the oxygen in the air. The most common cause of oxidation in wine is improper wine storage. This is why it is very important to invest in a reliable residential custom wine cellar so that wines can properly be stored.

Cues that Indicate that the Wine in Your Wine Cellar is Spoiled

There are a few cues that you can look for to see if your wines have gone bad. To search for these cues, here are somethings that you can do:

1. Observe Its Appearance.

Simply check the appearance of your wine to gain an idea of whether it is still good, or if it is spoiled. Bad wine loses its brightness and takes on a brown hue. A bottle of red wine that has turned brown in color is either old or tainted. If a bottle of white wine has turned deep yellow in color, it has most likely oxidized.

Besides the color, observe also the wine cork. If the cork has slightly pushed out from the bottle, it maybe an indication that the wine has overheated and expanded within the bottle.

2. Smell the Wine.

This is one of the quickest ways to check for spoilage. If your wine smells moldy or musty, it has most likely been spoiled. If your wine smells like sherry and it isn’t sherry, it has probably gone bad. Other scents that can indicate spoilage are stewed fruit,and/or a heavy raisin smell. If you detect a strong vinegar or sulfur smell,similar to rotten eggs, this is a sure sign that the wine has gone bad.

Wine Storage Needs: An Effective Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

When starting a wine collection in Vancouver, Canada, you must understand that wine needs a safe storage place. Wines require certain conditions to be met in order for them to age properly. Wine is a very complex beverage. There are various chemical reactions that cause the flavor and aroma of wine to change over time, and some can have a negative effect due to fluctuations in the wine storage environment.

Wine Cellar Refrigeration

Wine Cellar Refrigeration Units in Canada

In olden times, wine collectors used various means to keep wines in the ideal temperature and conditions for aging. The ancient Romans, for example, stored their wines inside their catacombs, because these places had these ideal conditions: a constant, low temperature, humid, dark, and vibration-free environment. These days, the ideal place to age wine is in a residential custom wine cellar. Although where to store wine has changed over time, the same principle still applies ideal conditions are essential for wines to age properly.

There are various wine cellar designers and builders in Vancouver, Canada, but none of these will ever be effective in keeping wines in the ideal conditions without an effective wine cellar cooling unit. Learn more about wine cellar refrigeration systems in Vancouver, Canada by reading through this article.

Advancements in technology have helped many wine collectors age their wines more effectively. In our generation today, we now have climate control units that can provide the ideal temperature and humidity necessary for wines to age tastefully.

Wine cellar refrigeration units are not the same as regular home air conditioners. They are specifically designed to cool and humidify wine cellars to the levels that are ideal for wine storage. Regular home air conditioners cannot provide these ideal conditions.

Types of Wine Cellar Cooling Units in Vancouver, Canada

In Canada, there are basically 3 types of wine cellar refrigeration systems, and they are the through the wall cooling units, split type refrigeration systems, and self-contained ducted cooling systems. Each type of these wine cellar cooling systems requires a different specification to operate properly.

Wine Cellar Cooling Systems

Wine Cellar Refrigeration Systems in Canada

Clean and Sleek Contemporary Vancouver Custom Wine Cellar

When building a custom wine cellar, every client has his storage and aesthetic requirements. There are essential factors for would-be wine cellar owners that must be discussed and taken into consideration during the planning stage, including the location where the wine room will be built, size of the collection, types of bottles and wines to be stored, existing home décor, and budget. The final look and ambiance of the wine cellar must not be overlooked either.

Blue Grouse Wine Cellars has always used its experience and expertise in designing and building Vancouver custom wine cellars to exceed the expectations of its clients.

Let’s talk about one of the projects they have completed with excellence.

The Glass Custom Wine Cellar West Vancouver

Blue Grouse’s client in Vancouver, Canada love to socialize and entertain friends which is one of the reasons they decided to invest in a residential wine cellar.

Their desire was to add a focal point to their residence that could impress guests and allow them to create a memorable wine drinking experience. The Blue Grouse Wine Cellars team achieved this by constructing an all-glass custom wine display.

Basic Construction Specifications when Building a Custom Wine Cellar in Canada

Planning to have a custom wine cellar in Canada? Whether it’s a commercial or residential wine cellar, there are specifications you need to follow in order to make sure that your wine storage room will function properly. Here are a few construction specifications for wine cellars in Vancouver:

1. Cellar Wall & Ceiling Frame

When building a wine cellar, make sure that the wall framing is built using standard 2×4 or 2×6 construction methods. It’s also imperative that you know and follow the building codes in your area. If metal studs will be used, be sure to place at least 5 rows of nailers horizontally in between studs at the right heights, or attach firing strips on the left edge of the metal studs. These nailers or strips are where the wine racks will be attached, so these have to be very durable.

2. Wine Cellar Vapor Barrier & Insulation

You need to install a vapor barrier and insulation to your custom wine cellar in Vancouver if it is to be chilled. Vapor barriers and insulation make sure that the cold inside the wine storage room is kept inside and remains constant.

In creating vapor barriers, you first need to apply 6-mill plastic sheeting to the warm side of the wine cellar walls. You must apply a vapor barrier on the outside walls and ceiling of your custom wine cellar. Make sure that the seams are taped and sealed before the walls are closed.

In cases wherein it’s not possible to apply a vapor barrier on the outside of the studs or joists, you must apply plastic inside the wine cellar to the outside walls. What most people commonly do is wrap the entire interior of their residential wine cellar in Canada leaving the plastic loose inside the stud cavity. In between the studs, you can apply insulation. It is imperative that all of the cellar’s walls and ceiling are completely wrapped in plastic so that vapor barrier is effective. Insulation for the walls should be R13, or greater while R19 to R30 is best for the ceiling.

3. Custom Wine Cellar Doors

If your custom wine cellar is to be chilled, the exterior grade of your wine cellar door should be solid core 1.75”. You may also choose to have glass on the cellar door; if so, you must use sealed insulated glass. To prevent warm air from penetrating the door, exterior grade weather stripping is also required.

4. Residential Wine Cellar Lighting

The best type of lights are LED lights, but if you want to use recessed cans and halogen lighting accents, you must have a good wine cellar cooling unit to remove the heat generated by these lights out from the cellar. It is important to consider also that lighting that emits more heat also consumes more power.

Vancouver Wine Cellars – Enemies of Wine & How to Avoid Them

Wine has certain needs and demands in order to have superb quality. We can say that a wine is of high quality if it tastes good and its flavor and aromas are pleasant to the nose and palate.

Wine needs to be protected against its worst enemies in order to achieve the quality that you are looking for. What are wine’s worst enemies? What can you do to prevent them from harming your precious collections?


Factors That Affect Wine Quality & Tips for Proper Wine Storage


Too much exposure to heat can damage wine, affecting its overall characteristics and ability to age gracefully as well as its physical and chemical stability. Heat damage is usually caused by improper and abusive shipping processes or improper wine storage at home or commercial wine stores. Signs that wine was damaged by heat are a brick red-brown color and sherry-like taste.

To avoid your wines getting “cooked”, they must be stored in a wine cellar or wine cabinet with the right wine cellar refrigeration system that has the ability to maintain temperature between 55-57 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose efficient and easy to install cooling units such as those offered by Blue Grouse Wine Cellars.


UV rays can be detrimental to your wine because they cause wine degradation. Too much exposure to sunlight will cause the wine cork to dry out.

They will also accelerate the wine’s aging process, leading to premature aging and development. As you have noticed, most wine bottles are tinted. This can somewhat protect the wine against the sun’s exposure just like sunglasses do to our eyes.

If you love your wines, store them in a cool, dark place and away from direct sunlight. For your wine cellar lighting, opt for incandescent bulbs which emit minimal UV light.

Low Humidity Levels

Characteristics of the Best Wine Cellar Cooling Systems in Vancouver Canada

Wine lovers and wine collectors know how important it is to store wine in the right conditions, and therefore also know the necessity of having a wine cellar cooling unit installed in a custom wine cellar in Canada. The question then is how do you know which wine cellar refrigeration systems is the best for your wine cellar in Vancouver?

One of the important wine cellar accessories is a wine refrigerator or wine cooler. This a unit used for the short term storage of wine. Its primary purpose is to chill wine before serving. Even with a wine refrigerator, you need to find the best one for your beloved wines.

Here are two basic characteristics of the best wine coolers:

1. Ability to Cool Wines to the Right Serving Temperature

Wines are served at a different temperature from its temperature when it was stored. Wine coolers or wine refrigerators are primarily used to cool wine to the proper serving temperature. Generally, wines should be served at a temperature of at least 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Ability to Protect Wine Efficiently

Designing Custom Wine Cellars in Vancouver, Canada

Genuine wine lovers and wine collectors know that it’s not enough to collect wines and keep them at home. There is a need to have a good storage room for wines to be housed in. Wines require a custom wine cellar that can provide the ideal conditions for them to age tastefully.

You can have a professional design your wine cellar in Vancouver, or you can design it yourself. Here are tips on how to go about designing a custom wine cellar:

1. Decide on a Functional Layout for Your Custom Wine Cellar

The layout always comes first when designing a custom wine cellar in Canada. There are different kinds of layouts. You can explore these various styles, but the most important thing to remember is that the cellar should keep all the bottles laid at their side. Wine needs to be stored this way to prevent oxidation. Moreover, decide how many wine bottles you intend to collect and store, because this will affect the layout that you need. The more bottles you plan to collect, the more wine racks you need to include in the layout.

The Importance of Building A Custom Wine Cellar in Canada Correctly

Custom wine cellars in Vancouver need to meet a certain standard in order to be suitable for wine storage. It’s not enough that a wine cellar design is pretty. It needs to be designed and built to house wines properly. Wine is a very sensitive beverage. Small mistakes in the building of a wine cellar can potentially damage the wines that will be stored in it.

The following are a few of the most common mistakes that people make when building a custom wine cellar in Canada. Learn about these in order to avoid them.

1. Choosing a Poor Location for the Custom Wine Cellar

The location where a custom wine cellar should be built is commonly taken for granted. It is very important to select a good location for the cellar, both in terms of condition and flow. The location should be away from windows and mechanical rooms because wines are easily ruined when exposed to heat. Choose an area wherein you can build a proper vapor barrier and insulation for the cellar. Lastly, it would be nice to have the wine cellar located in an area that is accessible to guests.

2.   Installing an Under-Sized Wine Cellar Refrigeration System

Wine cellar cooling systems are not cheap, but they are necessary for the safety of your wine collection. Sometimes, people settle for a small cooling unit in order to cut down the expenses, only to find themselves facing more costly problems later on. Have a professional calculate the heat load in your custom wine cellar in Richmond so that you can get the proper wine cellar refrigeration unit to provide the correct temperature and humidity to meet your wine storage needs.