It is always a bummer to have your wine fridge not working properly. You are eager to store all of the bottles you just bought but you open your wine fridge only to discover that the temperature reads a balmy 80 degrees.
Worse still, you don’t know what to do with existing bottles of wine that are starting to become warm because your wine cooler has decided to stop working right in the middle of summer.
Here are some tips for you to diagnose and fix the problem.
Understanding Your Wine Fridge
Troubleshooting fast so that you can solve the issue on hand seems like the most logical thing to do right now but the more important thing to do is to understand the type of wine fridge you are using. This is because different wine fridges have varying degrees of complexity and such expertise will help you determine what exactly the problem might be.
Most modern wine fridges operate on either a compressor or a thermoelectric system to facilitate cooling.
Compressor wine coolers are similar to regular fridges in that they rely on the difference in temperature between the air and the refrigerated coils to generate cooling.
Thermoelectric wine coolers, on the other hand, may not necessarily be faulty because they are influenced by environmental factors like room temperature — if your room temperature is too hot, these systems won’t be as effective.
What To Check For Compressor Wine Coolers
If you are experiencing problems with your compressor wine cooler, there are certain steps you should take to identify the problem.
The condenser fan is one key element of your chiller’s cooling system. It ensures that the cold air is being distributed evenly so that the whole unit is cooled down.
If your condenser fan fails to work, it will result in hot spots within your refrigerator because only one area of the fridge would be receiving cold air. This will result in the cabinet interior warming up.
How To Rectify
The first thing to check is if your condenser fan is functioning as it should. The condenser fan is usually found in the back of your fridge, so it’d be easy to spot.
Just open the compartments and look for a round device with blades. It’s often encased in metal mostly because it can get quite hot when in use. Make sure that no dust or foreign particles are preventing the blades from spinning freely.
If there are no obstructions, it may mean that the fan is already faulty and you may need to replace it. This is fairly simple to do — mainly involving the unscrewing of a few bolts and connectors, as well as the complete removal of the old fan.
The good news is that a condenser fan can be bought from home appliance stores for a cheap price. If you’re not comfortable tinkering with it yourself though, you may want to check if an appliance expert can lend a hand.
In case you do not know, the evaporator is the one responsible for that whiff of cold air when you first open your refrigerator. It works by drawing air from the condenser coils, and sending it into the cabinet compartment.
As the evaporator is responsible for the production of cool air, the main function of the wine fridge breaks down the moment it becomes faulty.
How To Rectify
First, check out if there is frost building up on it. If there is, let the ice melt first so that you can properly inspect the components later on.
Next, clean off any dust and debris as they may be obstructing the the evaporator from functioning properly.
Lastly, make sure that the fan blades are in good condition. Get them replaced if they are damaged.
The thermostat supplies power to the condenser, evaporating fan and the compressor. Additionally, it allows you to control and adjust the temperature of your wine cooler. That is why, when it malfunctions, it can go both ways — your internal environment may either become too hot or too cold. Either way, this will cause your wines to spoil, so take note.
How To Rectify
Unfortunately, a faulty thermostat cannot be repaired. However, if you are adamant about fixing it yourself, the process can get a little tricky. We recommend getting a new replacement and enlisting the help of a professional in the installation process instead.
What To Check For Thermoelectric Wine Coolers
Unlike compressor wine coolers, malfunctioning thermoelectric refrigerators could be due to a different set of reasons because of the difference in technologies.
Incorrect Room Temperature
First, you need to check if the ambient temperature of your home is interfering with your wine fridge. The work optimally at temperatures between 40°F and 80°F (5°C and 27°C), so if the room temperature is beyond this range, it may cause your wine fridge to malfunction.
Also, Thermoelectric wine coolers don’t come with a refrigerant system. Instead, they use Peltier modules to conduct heat out of the appliance. If the environment heats up exponentially, the modules will lose their ability to cool the interior, leading to wine spoilage.
How To Rectify
Check the area around where it’s placed and notice any draughts or high temperatures.
Also, make sure there are no large appliances that produce heat in the same room as your wine fridge; these items will also raise the internal temperature of your unit.
The built-in fans within a thermoelectric wine cooler aid aid in the uniform distribution of cool air within the cabinet as well as the effective dissipation of heat outside. That is why, problems may arise if the fan becomes blocked by dust and debris or if it gets separated from the assembly.
How To Rectify
Double check if your fan is clean, clear any blockages and make sure that it is securely connected to the wine fridge. If your fan is dirty, use a vacuum cleaner at its lowest suction setting or a mild blower to remove any foreign particles.
If it is disconnected, just attached it to the right connectors on the motherboard.
The worse cast scenario is when your built-in fan is broken. In that case, you will have no choice but to replace it.
If the temperature of the room and your built-in fans aren’t the issue, there may be a problem with your ventilation. The way your thermoelectric wine cooler conducts heat out of the system requires clearance from its surroundings.
Proper ventilation allows hot air to disperse. hot air to disperse. If the heat sink is obstructed, the unit will be unable to adequately dissipate heat, causing the interior of the cabinet to become significantly warmer.
How To Rectify
As the name of the problem suggests, make sure that there is enough airflow.
Position your fridge away from walls (make sure you do not let its back face any walls) or objects. Do not place anything on the top of the fridge and keep it away from household appliances that produce a lot of heat, such as a toaster or a microwave oven.
There are many underlying factors as to why a wine cooler may stop working optimally. However, by taking the right steps to identify the problem, you will save money on things you may be able to solve yourself.
Troubleshooting starts with understanding the type of wine refrigerator you own — both compressor and thermoelectric wine coolers have very different set of reasons when it comes to malfunctioning. From there, it will be easier for you to locate the source of the problem.
As always, if all else fails (or if you don’t feel comfortable fixing it yourself), it may be better to call in a professional to give you a hand.
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