Creating a Wine Cellar Means Controlling Humidity

By Joan Lesko | Food and Wine

May 16

With spring upon us, moisture in your basement can be a huge issue. Especially if you’re planning to use it as a wine cellar or somewhere you want to dry meats. In either of these cases, or if you just have a general desire to keep your basement dryer, you’re going to want a good dehumidifier to dry out your basement.

Consider First

Before you run out and buy one of these magical machines, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration. First off, what’s the temperature of your basement? If it’s below 65 degrees, you’re likely to run into an icing issue, as dehumidifiers don’t work so well at those lower temperatures. Once the water in the air hits the coils, it can pretty quickly turn into ice in cooler environments. At those lower temperatures, you’re going to need a specific low-temperature humidifier.

What Capacity Do You Need?

Second is capacity. A good dehumidifier can be something of an investment. You’re going to want to make sure the machine you purchase is capable of handling the amount of moisture in the as compared to the size of the room. If a humidifier isn’t able to completely dry out the area, there isn’t a whole lot of reason to get one.

The Right Tools

You can answer these questions using a tool called a hygrometer, which measures the temperature and humidity of a room. Now, when it comes to, say, a wine cellar, you want it to be a bit humid. Somewhere between 50 and 70 percent relative humidity. If you’re lower than that, you can run the risk of having the corks in your wine dry out and break loose from the bottle. Because of this, consistency in humidity is vital, and a dehumidifier is going to help with that.

In the case of wine, whether it’s white or red wine, a dehumidifier is going to be more useful in making sure your basement maintains a good enough level of humidity so it doesn’t begin to develop mold or other negative elements which sometimes exist in overly wet areas. This time of year, when it starts warming up and rains become a bit more frequent, humidity can be a real issue. The last thing you want is too much of it creeping into your home and causing damage. Structural damage can be an issue, for sure, but if you’re trying to do anything else besides storing wine such as aging foods like meats, humidity can definitely go from being your friend to being your enemy.

Conclusion

A dehumidifier with the right sort of capacity and efficiency can help combat that additional water in the air, and some even come with a digital readout which will let you keep things exactly where you need them. Finding the sources of additional water entry into your home will also go a long way toward solving any issues you have with additional humidity. So be sure to do your research and find out exactly what you need before diving in.

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About the Author

Joan is a 40 year old wife and mom of 2. She is a foodie and is a bit of an amateur sommelier.