Does a Wine Fridge Need Ventilation?


Buying a wine cooler is a serious investment of your time and money.

Once you commit to purchasing a wine cooler, you want to ensure it fits perfectly into your home and functions properly. Wine coolers are available with many options, including multiple temperature zones, different finishes, and freestanding or built-in installation. Does a wine fridge require ventilation? Read on to find out more.

Freestanding vs. Built-in Installation

Freestanding wine coolers are units that should not be recessed into existing cabinetry. Some wine lovers prefer freestanding wine coolers because they are easy to install. The exhaust of the freestanding wine fridge is located at the back of the unit.

Built-in wine coolers are units that can be recessed into existing cabinetry or underneath a counter. Wine collectors love the seamless look of wine coolers blending into cabinetry and matching other appliances. The exhaust of the built-in wine cooler is located at the front of the wine fridge.

Ventilation Requirements

Whether a unit is designed for freestanding or built-in use, ventilation or clearance requirements must be followed to ensure the unit functions properly for many years. To ensure your unit has the proper clearance, consult the owner’s manual of your specific wine cooler. Basic clearance guidelines are as follows:

Freestanding units:
- Leave 6 inches of space at the back of the unit
- On both sides, leave 10-12 inches of space to ensure proper air circulation to the cooling system
- Leave unlimited clearance at the top of the cooler to ensure proper air circulation


Built-in units:
- Leave ¼ inch of space on each side and at the top of the unit
- Leave 1-2 inches of space at the rear of the wine cooler to ensure proper air circulation and to cool the compressor and condenser
- Leave the front exhaust unobstructed

Does a Wine Fridge Need Ventilation?

Yes. Wine coolers require proper ventilation or clearance to function. In addition to providing proper clearance, make sure you regularly clean the exterior and interior of your wine cooler to keep it functional for many years. If you have any further questions about wine cooler installation, give Vinotemp a call at 1-800-777-8466 or email info@vinotemp.com