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Cooling System Problems

The only component of a wine cellar that ever goes wrong is the cooling system. While malfunctions do not occur often, your collection may be at risk if one occurs.

Potential Cooling System Problems- Don’t Risk Your Collection!

The only component of a wine cellar that ever goes wrong is the cooling system. While malfunctions do not occur often, your collection may be at risk if one occurs.

I use the term may because risk is predicated upon the strength of your collection that requires cellaring.  Ninety-percent of the wine sold in liquor stores and wine shops is ready to drink at the time you purchase it. As a rule of thumb, any bottle costing less than $30 is probably not going to benefit from aging.

Wine can endure temperature differentials over time.  For example, if wines are exposed to a gradual temperature increase from 55° to 70° over a two-week period, chances are that the majority of the wines will be fine.  At 27° wine freezes.  (Wine tolerates cold better than heat.  At temperatures below 55° wine ages less rapidly.  At 80° wine begins to cook.  In my experience these are the lower and upper limits.

Wine can also be shocked by rapid temperature differentials. Most of these shocks occur when an unschooled buyer secures his wine purchases in his car trunk and leaves them to bake during a summer outing.  If you cannot see yourself storing your wine in your car trunk, you will probably never shock a bottle of wine.

I preface this section of the website because some of you may have heard an urban legend about some collector who lost his entire cellar when the temperature increased from 55° to 65°.   These anecdotal stories add nothing to the real body of knowledge concerning wine storage and only serve to needlessly alarm. Think spam emails about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world.

When you require a wine cellar cooling system service call, think Chicago Wine Cellar Expert.  Call us.  If our fully-licensed, factory-trained technician is available we will offer him to you.  If our tech is backed-up, we will provide you with the name of the closest refrigeration company we know.  (There are about four companies in the Chicagoland metro area with which we have had a positive experience.  Since the meter starts when the tech begins driving to the site, it is less expensive if you find a company closer to home.)

Note: Our experience with air conditioning techs has not been good.  Most air conditioning personnel are unqualified to work on refrigeration. Even those who may have installed a refrigeration system or two are never qualified to repair the product.  There are 915 things that can go wrong with refrigeration.  Without field experience, the air conditioning tech acts like the proverbial carpenter whose sole tool was a hammer. Not surprisingly he found nails everywhere but never solved a problem.

Chicago Wine Cellar Expert wants your cellar up-and-running as quickly as possible.  Our referrals are never predicated upon receiving a referral fee (i.e. kick-back) from the recommended company.  Our sole desire is to offer you the names of companies that we know do a great job.

Note about WhisperKool, through-the-wall systems: If you own one of these systems, WhisperKool will generally require that the unit be returned to the company for repair.  Chicago Wine Cellar Expert’s supply of loaner units is limited.  If you wish us to handle the exchange and to place one of our loaner units into your cellar, there is a charge for this service since WhisperKool does not reimburse dealers for this service.

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  • I vetted seven companies before choosing Rick’s. The job was done beautifully, but what really blew me away was his response to problems after the cellar was installed and paid-for. For three days, Rick lived in my cellar overseeing the fixing of a very finicky cooling unit. That service after the sale is reason enough to recommend him. He truly cares about his work and about people.

    J.P. from Barrington Hills, IL
  • He crawled on his hands and knees though the steam pipes with the building engineer, stood by me during my meeting with the condo association and held my architect’s hand making certain that everything was right. Rick is the best!

    M.L from Lincoln Park, Chicago
  • Rick’s company did an incredible job!

    F.G from Winnetka, Illinois
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