A wine cooler can keep your wine fresh and cool until they’re ready to drink, as well as aid the ageing process. Built-in wine fridges are becoming more and more popular with wine lovers - they’re convenient, effective, and look great in your home or business.
But do you know how built-in wine coolers are installed? Keep reading to learn more about built-in wine coolers, and how they are correctly installed.
A wine cooler is an appliance that stores your wine at the right temperature, keeping your wine collection fresh and well-preserved for long periods of time. Wine is best stored at between 11°C and 15°C - storing wine in this temperature zone will keep it drinkable for longer as well as ensure that the wine ages correctly.
Storing your wine in a wine fridge is the best thing you can do for your wine collection, whether you’re using the fridge to store wine in the long term, or simply keeping your wine there ready to be served. Some wine coolers will allow you do to both. A cooler with dual or multiple temperature zones will enable you to store wine uninterrupted for long periods of time, while also having wine ready to be served.
Multiple temperature zones also allow you to store your red wines, white wines, and sparkling wines at different temperatures, which is something all wine lovers can appreciate. Built-in wine coolers are becoming the most popular type of wine cooler. The key is in the name - they can be built into storage spaces in your home.
Most people choose to place them under countertops or in cabinet spaces, but they can be placed anywhere you like. They can come in all different shapes and sizes, accommodating anything from 5 bottles to hundreds of bottles.
You can find built-in wine coolers with display shelves, removable shelves, and LED lighting so you can proudly display your wine collection. The majority of wine fridges are built to accommodate 75cl bottles of wine, but many will allow you to remove or adjust the shelves to fit in larger bottles if needed.
Built-in wine coolers are generally a little more difficult to install than freestanding coolers. Freestanding wine coolers are designed to stand alone and require space around the unit to prevent overheating. With built-in wine coolers, the vents are typically located underneath the cooler and at the front, enabling the cool air to enter and warm air to exit. This is why it’s important that around a centimetre of space is left to prevent overheating.
When installing your built-in wine cooler, make sure that the vents or grilles aren’t blocked - many people make the mistake of placing the unit in front of a skirting board, or too close to a wall - which can lead to overheating. This type of wine fridge is designed to be placed on the floor, with cabinets enclosing the appliance from all sides. This leaves the door exposed and easily accessed - and most will have glass doors so you can display your favourite wine bottles.
Before purchasing and installing a built-in wine cooler, it’s important that you have enough space. Instead of simply calculating the amount of space you need to accommodate the cooler, you must also factor in space for ventilation.
Usually, half a centimetre will be enough space around the unit for the air to flow freely, but it’s always best to check with the manufacturer. Failing to leave the recommended amount of space for ventilation may affect the performance of the cooler, and will most likely affect the manufacturer warranty.
Thinner units that have a width of under 60mm shouldn’t be used as fully integrated wine coolers. Fully integrated wine coolers are covered by a cabinet as well as a cabinet door, and built-in wine coolers shouldn’t have another door in front of the existing cooler door.
If you’re not familiar with installing appliances, it’s always recommended to have a professional complete the task for you, to ensure it’s installed safely and correctly. If you plan on installing the unit yourself, the first thing you should do is read through the manual of the model, and familiarize yourself with the method and terminology.
Consider where you want to place the unit, and check your power supply and ensure that the cooler is near a power source. It’s best to avoid using extension cords as this can void your manufacturer warranty, and pose a safety hazard. If possible, ensure that the unit is as close to a power supply as possible, or that the excess wire is hidden out of sight - as this is safer, and looks better.
Use a tape measure to calculate the space you plan on placing your wine cooler in, to ensure that there is enough space to accommodate the unit as well as at least 25mm around the unit for ventilation. This will prevent overheating and ensure that the cooler functions correctly.
Make sure that the space you plan on placing your cooler is level - the last thing you want is bottles rolling at an angle. If you don’t have a spirit level to hand, you should be able to judge by eye. If you find that the space isn’t completely level, you may be able to adjust the feet at the bottom of the cooler.
Once you’ve ensured that there’s enough space, place the unit there. Plug it in and ensure that the cord reaches perfectly, and then fasten mounting plates if necessary - a Phillips head screwdriver should do the trick. Leave the cooler plugged in for a couple of hours without turning it on - this will give the coolants inside the unit a chance to settle, as well as the gases.
Finally, switch the unit on and place your bottles of wine! If it has multiple temperature zones, then decide which shelves you want to place each bottle on. Now you can enjoy a refreshingly cool glass of your favourite wine.