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How To Install a Wine Cooler



Browse our guide and learn more about how to install a wine cooler in your home. Let us help you learn the differences between built-in & freestanding wine coolers and decide which installation type is best for your needs.


How To Install A Built-In Wine Cooler

Built-In Wine Cellars

If you've decided on a built-in wine refrigeration unit, you will need to install it properly so that it functions at top performance. Built-In wine cellars have front ventilation and do not require the usual space in the back for air circulation. This creates a flush-back effect that allows you to fit your built-in unit securely into an area fit to house the unit. While most wine coolers come in widths of 30 inches or 15 inches to accommodate standard cabinet space, make sure you know the amount of space you will need.

  • Measure properly, so that your wine cooler is installed accurately.

    Improper measurements can lead to a storage area that is too small for the wine cooler. The lack of space may scratch the wine cooler when fitting it in, or it may vibrate against the cabinetry when in use, creating disturbed wine sediments. If the area is too large, then the overestimation will leave too much space around the wine cooler, taking away from the integrated effect that these unique units offer.

  • Make sure your unit is near the proper outlet.

    Usually a standard built-in cooler requires a 110-volt outlet. Some larger units require 220-volt, in which case you should install a separate breaker on your fuse box to accommodate the cooler. Plug the unit in first and then slide it into place. The electrical cord should never tangle under the runners. There should be a small space behind the cooler to prevent pressure on the plug.

  • Level your cooler to reduce vibration.

    Most wine coolers come with leveling legs. These are small, adjustable feet on the bottom of the cooler. The vent cover conceals these when the unit is in use, but they can be easily adjusted to provide the proper height. The top of the cooler should be an equal distance on each side from the bottom overhang of your countertop.

  • Choose the proper storage area.

    Be sure to research where you would like your built-in unit to be placed. Make sure the area you choose is not near another appliance that puts off unwanted heat, like a space heater. Installing your built-in unit too close to a hot-functioning appliance may damage the wine cooler or cause unwanted temperature ranges during the wine chilling process. Indoor units must remain indoors. The sun and elements of the outdoors can also damage your wine refrigerator.

  • Add trim or cabinet overlay.

    An overlay helps to further conceal your wine refrigerator. Custom panels and custom trim are an easy way to blend your cooler in to match your kitchen cabinets. Research your cabinet color and apply matching painted or wood-stained paneling to complete the custom look of your built-in wine refrigerator.

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How To Install A Freestanding Wine Cooler

Freestanding Wine Cellars

For those of you seeking a cooler wine storage setup, a freestanding wine cooling unit is the perfect solution for showing off your collection. Freestanding wine coolers can range from wine cellars that do not require electricity, to wine coolers that do. If you've chosen a freestanding electric wine cellar, research the area within your house that you would like the unit to be seen.

  • Select the proper storage area.

    Make sure your freestanding wine storage unit is not close to any major heat-producing appliances that will affect temperatures. If your storage unit is near another heat-producing appliance, you may damage the exterior of the wine cellar, or effect the cooling temperatures within. If the unit is not meant to operate outdoors, exposing it to outdoor elements will also damage the cooler and effect wine chilling.

  • Avoid safety hazards.

    A freestanding unit requires proper space in the back to allow for proper ventilation. Placing the unit directly against the wall is a definite fire hazard. Allow a few inches from the wall to ensure fire safety is maintained. Avoid placing a freestanding unit in a confined space without allowing for additional space around it. Doing so can also lead to dangerous fires or malfunctions in the appliance.

  • Know the difference between freestanding and built-in.

    A freestanding unit is not meant to function like a built-in unit, unless the owners manual indicates that it can be built in or freestanding. Ensure that your freestanding unit has been installed in the proper conditions to bring out the maximum potential and performance of your freestanding wine refrigerator. If your unit is a wine cabinet, made of wood or metal, that does not require electricity, installing is as simple as finding an attractive area to display your collection.

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