There are several things that you can do to extend the life of the cooling system inside your wine cellar. With summer heat approaching, follow these suggestions to avoid cooling system failure and risk of damage to your fine wine collection:
– Vacuuming the coils and the grille in front of the air intake (outside the wine cabinet) is about the most important maintenance item that you can do. Use a soft brush attachment and a vacuum cleaner to really clean out the coils. (For safety reasons, PLEASE unplug the cooling unit before cleaning it!). Replace filters regularly if applicable in your cooling unit.
– Make sure you have adequate space behind the wine cabinet (as recommended by the manufacturer), typically 3-6″ for most manufacturers, so that the hot air exhaust is properly dissipated and the cold air intake isn’t “eating” its own hot air. For new Le Cache wine cabinets, no space is required behind the wine cabinet, but a minimum of 12 inches of clearance is required above the wine cabinet.
– Clean up spills immediately inside the wine cabinet, before the acidity of the wine has a chance to eat away at your coils and create tiny holes that allow the gas in your cooling unit to escape.
– Create a thermal mass inside your wine cabinet by storing more bottles (and therefore reducing the amount of air inside the cabinet) – this will reduce cycling times for your cooling unit and therefore extend its life.
– Make sure your doors are sealing tightly against the wine cabinet by properly leveling the wine cabinet and aligning the door(s), so that cold air isn’t escaping from inside the wine cabinet.
If you must replace your cooling unit, ask if (and at what cost) you can send the old cooling unit to be repaired. You may find it cost-effective to repair the old cooling unit, then keep it as a backup if/when the new cooling unit fails.
Read more about cooling unit troubleshooting and repair.