Wine coolers are a great way of storing your wine - but it can be annoying when you’re trying to enjoy a morning coffee and all you can hear is the constant humming of the wine cooler.
There’s no avoiding a little noise when using a wine cooler - in fact, most appliances will generate small amounts of noise, whether it be your kitchen fridge, freezer, or even your toaster.
But how noisy can wine coolers be? And what exactly makes them noisy? Keep reading to learn more about wine coolers, including how loud they typically are and why.
Are Wine Coolers Loud?
Wine coolers aren’t typically loud - they have a similar noise output to your standard kitchen fridge or freezer. Your standard kitchen fridge has a noise level of around 40dB (decibels) whereas most wine coolers have a noise output of between 35 and 45 dB.
Most of your kitchen appliances will make a fair amount of noise - especially your dishwasher which has a noise output of around 50dB. Wine coolers may be slightly louder than your regular fridge because they’re required to maintain a constant temperature for your wine collection.
Most wine coolers that you’ll find on the market today have a compressor, a system of fans, and a refrigerant circuit - all of which can generate levels of noise.
So to answer the question, wine coolers aren’t loud - but you may hear a faint humming when you’re sitting in your kitchen in silence. However, if the fridge has noise levels of under 40dB, then it most likely won’t bother you.
What Causes Noise From Wine Coolers?
Now you know how loud most wine coolers are, it’s time to learn where exactly the noise comes from inside wine coolers. The ‘humming’ of a wine cooler doesn’t come from one single thing - more of a combination of the fans and the refrigerant cooling the interior.
One of the main causes of noise in wine coolers is the fans. Electric fans are used to maintain an even temperature throughout the interior of the wine cooler. The fans can also stop frost from forming inside the wine cooler when temperatures drop too low - as it distributes the cold throughout the unit instead of it gathering in the corners or rear.
As you’d expect, if a wine cooler has more fans, then it will likely be louder. This is why coolers with dual temperature zones or multiple temperature zones are typically louder than coolers with single temperature zones.
Fans typically operate most of the time - however, if the wine cooler has great insulation, then chances are, the fans won’t need to be as powerful, meaning they’ll operate at slightly quieter temperatures.
Another reason that you can hear humming noises from your wine cooler is the refrigerant flowing around the interior of the system. The chilled refrigerate works its way around the system depending on how the thermostat is adjusted.
When the thermostat is adjusted, the refrigerant gets pressed through a nozzle-like aperture that can produce a hissing noise, which can be irritating. However, with time, the noise will become quieter and less noticeable as the nozzle can get wider.
Can I Make My Wine Cooler Quieter?
Although wine coolers can be relatively noisy, which may bother you if you prefer absolute silence, you can make them appear slightly quieter. First of all, check the model specifications to see how quiet it is. If it’s louder than 45db, then it will likely be loud and quite annoying. However, if it’s around the 35dB ballpark, then it shouldn’t be too disruptive.
Although technology is forever progressing, you’ll struggle to find a silent wine cooler on the market today. However, wine coolers are becoming quieter and quieter, so keep your eyes out for a quiet model.
The place in which you install your wine cooler can have an effect on how loud the noise appears. Most people choose to place their wine coolers in the kitchen, as the noise coming from the wine cooler often gets muffled by kitchen cabinet space, or overpowered by the other appliances in the kitchen (e.g washing machine, dishwasher, freezer, etc).
Make sure that the surroundings can absorb any excess noise. If you place the cooler in a minimalist space with nothing to absorb the sound, then chances are, it’ll appear louder and more distracting. The interior of your home can play an important role when it comes to noise levels. Carpets, curtains, and furniture can all absorb noise, making wine coolers appear quieter.
First of all, you should always ensure that you place the wine cooler at an even level. If you place your wine cooler on uneven terrain, then it can produce excessive noise and consume more energy. Precision is key - so if possible, get a spirit level to ensure that the cooler is placed evenly. If the cooler isn’t level, then the fluid may be slightly out of balance, generating more noise.
Leave Space for Airflow
When placing your wine cooler, make sure that you leave enough space for the air to circulate around the unit. If there are any blockages, then chances are, the wine cooler will make a much louder noise, and you’ll hear an amplified humming noise.
If your wine cooler is freestanding, then you have more freedom when placing the unit. However, you should leave at least 3 inches of space around the rear and sides of the unit, as well as around 12 inches of space above the unit.
This is so the air can flow in and out of the unit easily, preventing overheating. If the unit overheats, it will likely generate much more noise and consume much more electricity. Built-in and fully integrated wine coolers don’t usually need much space for airflow - usually just a centimetre or two.
However, don’t assume that you can fit them into spaces with no room for ventilation though - always check the manufacturer requirements. Failing to do this will void the warranty if the unit breaks due to overheating.
If you're considering buying a wine cooler, it's always best to be informed. Click here for our buyer's guide on wine coolers!