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How to Fix Wine Fridge Not Cooling

wine fridge
Mar 2021

If you are a true-blue wine aficionado, then you probably have a wine fridge or a wine cooler at home. As the name indicates, this refrigerator is specially designed for storing wines, keeping them fresh, and preserving their flavours for extended periods. As a bonus, it also allows you to flaunt your beloved wine collection in style.

If your wine fridge suddenly stops cooling properly, it can get frustrating. What’s going to happen to the bottles of wines you have amassed now? Don’t worry, there are ways about it. When your wine cooler decides to act up, don’t call appliance repair expert immediately. You can try to troubleshoot first, and see if you can resolve the issue the do-it-yourself way.

Reasons Why Your Wine Fridge Is Not Cooling and the Solution

Before anything else, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of how your wine refrigerator works first. Essentially, wine fridges rely on either a compressor unit or a thermoelectric system to keep the inside of the cabinet cool.

In terms of mechanism, compressor wine coolers are similar to standard refrigerators, except that they are built on a smaller scale. That is, they use a vapor compression cycle – the same technology used in air conditioning units – to expel the hot air inside the cabinet.

As for thermoelectric wine coolers, they get rid of the heat via the so-called Peltier effect, which derives its name from the French physicist who discovered it back in the 19th century. 

During the thermoelectric cooling process, an electric charge is sent through two pieces of conjoined metal. This device – also known as the Peltier module – is made of different materials, creating a heat flux and causing the heat to transfer from one side to the other. As a result, one side of the module gets warm, while the other turns cold.

The hot side, which is attached to a heat sink, is meant to dispel the heat. Meanwhile, the cold side can be found in the cooler cabinet interior. As the warm air is absorbed from the inside, it passes through the Peltier module directly into the heat sink, and, ultimately, is ejected outside.

wine fridge rack

I. Compressor Wine Fridge

If your compressor unit is not cooling properly, something might be wrong with one of its components. Typically, you would have to check the condenser fan, evaporator, or thermostat.

1. Condenser Fan Is Not Operating

The condenser fan is one of the main elements of your wine fridge’s compressor cooling system. It is designed to cool both the compressor and the condenser coils as they work. This means that it should be running while the entire system is running. If not, the compressor and the coils may overheat, causing the cabinet interior to warm up.

How to Fix

The first thing you need to do is check if the condenser fan is running as it should. Ensure that no materials – such as dust and debris – are preventing it from spinning freely. If there are no obstructions, it may be an indication that the fan is already defective, requiring a replacement. Replacing the old fan is fairly simple to do, and typically involves unscrewing the nuts and detaching the component from the motor section. Then, it is just a matter of affixing the new fan.

2. Evaporator

The evaporator is responsible for producing the cold air inside the wine refrigerator, creating the optimal environment for proper wine storage. It works by drawing in the air from the condenser coils and cooling the cabinet interior. If the evaporator is malfunctioning, then it won’t be able to produce the much-needed cold air even if the compressor system is in full swing.

How to Fix

The evaporator also uses a fan. Hence, it may also go kaput due to blockage. You may have to let the ice melt first to properly inspect the component.

If you see any unwanted dust and debris, make sure to clear them out. Also, examine the fan’s blades to see if they are in tip-top condition. Otherwise, you will have to replace it with a new one.

wine rack fridge

3. Thermostat

If there are no issues with your compressor wine cooler’s condenser and evaporator, the unit’s thermostat might be defective. This element is in charge of supplying power to the compressor, condenser fan, and evaporator fan. Furthermore, it also enables you to regulate and adjust the temperature of the wine refrigerator. So, if it is faulty, you might not be able to keep the interior of the cabinet sufficiently warm, causing the wines to go bad.

How to Fix

Do you suspect that your thermostat is broken? Unfortunately, it can’t be repaired, and you will have to replace it with a new one. This process is a little tricky, and, if done incorrectly, can cause damage to your wine cooler. Hence, we recommend enlisting the help of a repair professional instead.

II. Thermoelectric Wine Cooler

Do you own a thermoelectric wine fridge instead of a compressor unit? If it has stopped cooling the cabinet interior, it is not necessarily defective. This type of wine cooler is largely affected by the ambient temperature, so if the room is too warm, then it may not work effectively. If the room temperature is not the issue, then there might be something wrong with the ventilation or the appliance’s fan.

1. Improper Room Temperature

Thermoelectric wine refrigerators work best if the temperature falls between 10 °C (50 °F) and 27 °C (80 °F). Anything beyond this range can cause your appliance to go kaput.

By and large, this is because the cooler’s Peltier modules are not good at maintaining a low temperature. Remember, this type of fridge does not come with a refrigerant system like a compressor model. Hence, if the environment is excessively warm, the Peltier modules will have a hard time cooling the interior.

How to Fix

If this is indeed the problem, then you are in luck because it is an absolute breeze to fix. All you have to do is turn on the air conditioner or move the refrigerator to a cooler room. Make sure to keep an eye on the room temperature, for good measure.

2. Lack of Ventilation

If there is nothing wrong with the temperature, then maybe the ventilation – or the lack thereof – is the culprit. Remember, the thermoelectric wine fridge forces the heat out of the system. This means that there should be ample space for the hot air to dissipate. If objects are blocking the heat sink, the unit won’t be able to eject the heat properly, which could cause the inside of the cabinet to warm considerably.

How to Fix

The solution to this problem is a no-brainer. You simply have to make sure that there is adequate ventilation. Ensure that the appliance does not have its back directly against the wall or other items. If you own a countertop wine cooler, make sure that it is away from home appliances that give off excessive heat, including a toaster or a microwave oven.

Related Article: Wine Cooler Condensation: 5 Effective Tips to Prevent Condensation

3. Defective Fan

The thermoelectric wine cooler also comes with built-in fans (located on either side of the heat sink). The fans help distribute the cold air inside the cabinet more evenly, and also dissipate the heat outside more efficiently. With that said, problems can arise if the fan has become clogged by materials or has disconnected from the assembly.

How to Fix

If your thermoelectric wine unit is not cooling properly and the temperature and ventilation are not the root cause, you might want to check the fan. Make sure that it is clean, free from obstructions, and securely connected to the fridge. If it has gone loose, all you need to do is re-attach the connectors to the motherboard. Finally, if the fan is already broken, then you will have to buy a replacement.

Call Prime Appliance Repair for Your Wine Repair Needs

Wine coolers are a must-have for every wine connoisseur. Unfortunately, like any other appliance, they may also malfunction at one point or another. Lucky for you, most of the problems are usually simple to troubleshoot and fix.

But what if you have carefully followed the above instructions – and your wine fridge still won’t cool properly? If so, the problem might already be out of your control. Don’t expend more time and effort, and seek help from a trusted repair service company instead. They will get the job done in no time at all. Call 647-931-1114 and book your appointment with Prime Appliance Repairs today.

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