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10 Tips for Installing and Positioning Your New Wine Cooler

10 Tips for Installing and Positioning Your New Wine Cooler

Buying a wine cooler means you always have a perfectly chilled bottle of vino at your fingertips. It also means you don't have to worry about filling up your regular refrigerator with bottles. But before the party can start, you need to properly install and position the cooler. A good installation ensures that your unit runs safely and efficiently and that your wine collection is preserved for the long-term.

10 Tips for Installing and Positioning Your New Wine Cooler

1. Pick the Right Cooler

If you're planning to install a cooler under a countertop, be sure to choose a unit that is specifically designed to be built-in. Built-in coolers have vents on the lower front that keep the unit from overheating. Coolers that are not specially designed for built-in use usually need to have more air circulating them and should not be installed with cabinetry surrounding them.

Before you select a cooler, you'll also want to think about what you want in a unit. Coolers come with various bottle capacities, and some even have dual zones that allow you to chill red and white wines separately. As you're shopping around, keep in mind that units with adjustable interior racks often give you the most flexibility and make it possible to pack more bottles into storage.

2. Select the Right Spot in Your Home

Wherever you position your new wine cooler, whether it's in the kitchen, the dining room, or by the bar in your family room, make sure it's not sitting in direct sunlight. Light creates warmth and may make the cooler work harder than it needs to. You should also avoid installing the unit next to a major appliance like a dishwasher, which will generate heat.

Unless you're installing a built-in cooler, be sure there is plenty of space around the unit for ventilation. And make sure surrounding furniture and other items aren't positioned in a way that prevents the cooler's door from fully opening. If the door doesn't fully open, you'll have trouble sliding the internal racks out and accessing your wine collection.

3. Make Sure You've Got Power

Extension cords are not recommended for an appliance like a cooler, so be sure you position the unit near an outlet or make plans to have an electrician install a new one. Your cooler will need an outlet with three holes. 

4. Set the Cooler Up

Moving the cooler into place and setting it up is a reasonably easy process, especially if you're not trying to install it under a counter. You'll need a few simple tools as you follow the manufacturer's installation instructions, including a level, a screwdriver, and possibly a couple of scraps of wood to place under the unit's feet if the floor is uneven.

Depending on what surface your wine cooler will be sitting on, it may be a good idea to put down plastic sheeting or a tray first. That will ensure that any condensation the cooler generates is caught.

5. Make Sure the Cooler Is Level

Use a level to make sure the unit is resting evenly on all four legs. Many units are equipped with leveling legs, which makes it easy to make adjustments. 

6. Let the Cooler Sit

Once you've got the cooler in place and installed, we know you'll be eager to crank it up. But before you plug the unit in, let it sit in place for at least a couple of hours. This will allow the unit's coolant to settle after being in transport and the jostling associated with installation.

7. Set the Right Temperature

A temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit is considered an optimum temperature for preserving and storing your wine long-term. If you have a dual-zone cooler, you have the option of having one zone set for long-term storage and the other set at the best temperature for serving your wine.

Sparkling wines are traditionally served ice cold, or at 40 degrees. White and rose wines are best served between 50 and 60 degrees. Red wines are often served close to room temperature, or somewhere between 60 and 65 degrees. If you're a red wine drinker with a single-zone cooler, you can always program your unit to 55 degrees for long-term storage, and take bottles out a half hour before serving so they have time to come closer to room temperature.

8. Don't Overload the Unit

Loading your wine collection into your new cooler is the fun part, but be sure not to overload the unit. If you put in more bottles than recommended, your unit could develop warm spots, and you run the risk of spoiling your wine collection. Keep in mind that if you have bottles that are oversized or unusually shaped, you may not be able to fit as many in. 
When you're shopping for a cooler, be sure to buy one that is large enough to store your collection.

9. Clean the Cooler Occasionally

Cleaning your cooler every six months or so is a great way to ensure its peak performance. To clean it, simply unplug your unit, remove the bottles and shelves, and wipe down the interior with a soft cloth. Be sure to store your bottles in a cool, dark place while you're working.
As you're cleaning, look for any areas where moisture or frost seems to be building up in the unit, which could be a sign that it's not functioning properly. Once you're done, you can slide the shelves back in and restock the unit.

10. Keep Up With the Filters

If the cooler you purchased is equipped with a carbon filtration system, it has filters that should be replaced every three to six months. Carbon filtration systems help prevent odors from seeping through your corks and entering your wine.

A wine cooler can resolve your wine storage needs and give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your collection is aging in the proper environment. Plus, it makes home entertaining fun. Selecting and installing a wine cooler has never been easier. Get all the information and assistance you need from Wine Cellar HQ.

Randy Green

Randy is a true wine storage aficionado and expert in wine cellar design. He gained construction experience as a partner in a general contracting business before niching into and passionately focusing on creating wine storage solutions for clients in 2016. He takes great pride in bringing these designs to life, and is dedicated to ensuring that every wine cellar he creates is not only functional but also a beautiful addition to any home or business. The Wine Cellar HQ team also includes refrigeration sizing experts and licensed HVAC technicians to ensure optimal climate control for your wine cellar, so that your wines can age to perfection.
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