by Carol K., Wine Enthusiast Companies
So you decided you want a wine refrigerator built into your kitchen, or a refrigerated wine cellar to stand in your den. That’s great! You’ve narrowed down your choices already, because the location you choose will determine the type of unit you buy: one with a front vent, rear vent, or top vent. Allow me to “vent” about this a little further.
The heart of any refrigeration system is the condenser or semi-conductor (on thermoelectric units). Good ventilation to these components is critical to the performance and life of a wine refrigerator or cellar. The location of the vent, therefore, is important.
Built in wine refrigerators with a front-vent system can be freestanding or built into cabinetry. They’re designed to run smoothly even when completely enclosed on the sides, top, and back. The front bottom vent draws cool air from the room to the condenser. The hot air is blown off the condenser and vented back out the front vent. The vent is usually at the base of the unit.
Most wine refrigeration units are rear-vented, including thermoelectric units with a semi-conductor in place of a condenser. Cool air draws from the sides of the unit to the condenser or semi-conductor. Once the compressor/semi-conductor is cooled, the hot air dissipates at the back of the unit. On rear-vented units with a condenser, you can often see the condenser coils fixed to the back of the unit. When positioned against a wall, a clearance of 3 to 6 inches between the wall and condenser coil is required. With special exceptions, rear-vented units should not be built into cabinetry. Some smaller units can be recessed into cabinetry with certain amount of clearance. I recommend you call one of our Wine Cellar Specialists for free advice before recessing a unit. The number is 800.377.3330.
Wine refrigeration units with a top-vent system pull and push air from the room. These units are generally large and can be pushed close against a wall because the compressor coils are not on the outside of the unit. They can also be built into cabinetry, as long as the air vents at top remain unobstructed for good airflow.
Is there anything you’d like to “vent” regarding this topic? Feel free to leave a comment.
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