Top Reasons Your Wine Cooler Is Not Working and How to Fix It


When you’re a sucker for wine, your wine cooler automatically becomes your best friend. A wine cooler not only stores your wine but also keeps it at an optimum temperature, which is essential for preserving the flavor and quality of your wine. Without it, you might end up with wine that doesn’t taste as great as you want it to. Constant maintenance and servicing are needed to ensure your wine cooler stays in good condition. This means that you have to be on the lookout for common problems that can occur, such as your wine cooler not cooling properly.

Woman testing wine cooler

Unfortunately, wine coolers can break down just like any other appliance. If your wine cooler is no longer working properly, here are the possible reasons why and how you can fix them.

Understanding Your Wine Cooler

Before we dive into the reasons why your wine cooler may not be working, it’s important to first understand how your appliance works. This way, you can better troubleshoot the problem when something goes wrong. A wine cooler, also known as a wine fridge, is designed to store and chill wine bottles. Unlike a regular kitchen refrigerator, a wine cooler has special features that help maintain the quality of your wine. When your wine fridge isn’t cooling, it may seem like the best thing to do is go right into troubleshooting, but before you do, take a moment to consider the type of appliance you have.

Compressor Units

Wine coolers use either a compressor or a thermoelectric system to keep the air within the cabinet cold, depending on the technology used. Compressor units function similarly to ordinary refrigerators, and if they aren’t cooling, something is indeed wrong.

Thermoelectric Units

If you have a thermoelectric unit wine cooler that isn’t cooling, it doesn’t always mean they are defective. You should understand the limitations of your thermoelectric cooler before concluding that it is malfunctioning. A thermoelectric cooler is influenced by the surrounding temperature and will not perform efficiently if the room temperature is too high. These wine refrigerators function best at temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you go over this top limit, your appliance won’t be able to keep your wine cold enough.

Reasons Your Compressor Wine Cooler Is Not Cooling

These are the most prevalent causes (and solutions) for a compressor-based wine fridge failing to maintain the proper temperature.

Broken Evaporator

The evaporator is responsible for the chilly air you feel when opening the door of your wine cooler. This component removes air from the coils and cools the cabinet’s inside. Even if the compressor is running at full capacity, the unit will not be able to produce cold air if the evaporator fails. Because the evaporator also has a fan, a blockage could be the cause of its malfunction. Another reason why the wine fridge may not be cooling is because the fan blades can bend due to the collection of dust and debris.

How to Fix It:

If the reason your evaporator is not working is because of a blockage, you should first check the air vents and make sure they are not obstructed in any way. If the vents are clear, the next step is to unplug the wine fridge and take out the evaporator so you can clean it. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt or debris that might be stuck on the blades. You can also use a compressed air canister to remove any stubborn dirt particles. Once you have cleaned the evaporator, replace it and plug the wine fridge back in. If the reason the evaporator wasn’t working was because of bent fan blades, you will need to replace the entire component to ensure it functions properly.

Defective Thermostat

Another reason your wine fridge may not be cooling is because of a defective thermostat. The thermostat monitors and controls the temperature inside the wine cooler, and if it’s not working properly, the appliance will not maintain the correct temperature. A faulty thermostat can also cause the compressor to overwork, which will shorten its lifespan.

How to Fix It:

If you think the thermostat is the reason your wine fridge is not cooling, you should first check if it’s set to the correct temperature. If it is, then you will need to replace the thermostat. You can find a replacement thermostat online or at your local hardware store.

Wine fridge

Condenser Fan Is Not Running

One of the four components of a compressor cooling system is a fan that cools the condenser and condenser coil. When this component does not turn on with the rest of the system, the condenser and coil may overheat. In the long run, this will cause heat to transfer from the system’s parts to the cooler’s inside, warming it up with all of your excellent wine.

How to Fix It:

Check to see if the condenser fan is spinning freely and isn’t blocked by anything. Dust and dirt can accumulate and cause the blades to stop spinning. If there is no dust or material inhibiting the fan’s movement, it is most likely broken and has to be replaced. For the DIY enthusiasts out there, simply undo the bolts keeping it in place and remove the assembly from the motor part. Your wine fridge should start cooling again when you replace the old fan with a new one.

Reasons Your Thermoelectric Wine Fridge Is Not Cooling

If your wine fridge uses a thermoelectric cooling system, here are some potential causes (and solutions) for why it might not be working properly.

Room Is too Hot

When the room temperature is too hot, it will make it harder for your thermoelectric wine fridge to maintain the correct temperature inside the cooler. The appliance will have to work harder to remove heat from the room, which could cause it to overwork and break down.

How to Fix It:

To help your thermoelectric wine fridge cool more efficiently, you can try to lower the temperature of the room. If that’s not possible, you can also try to keep the wine fridge away from heat sources like ovens, radiators, and direct sunlight.

Not Enough Ventilation

Another reason your thermoelectric wine fridge might not be cooling is that there is not enough ventilation. If the fridge is not able to expel heat efficiently, it will have a harder time maintaining the correct temperature.

How to Fix It:

Make sure there is enough space around your thermoelectric wine fridge for air to circulate. The appliance should not be pushed up against a wall or in a tight space. There should also be at least two inches of space between the fridge and the ceiling.


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