If you are a wine lover, then a wine cooler is a must-have. It is an essential kitchen appliance that helps to keep your wine at the right temperature as well as to preserve the flavors. Wine coolers can be installed in two types; freestanding and built-in. Built-in wine coolers are installed below the kitchen counter and are great choices if you have limited floor space. Unlike popular belief, installing a built-in wine cooler is not a daunting task, and it doesn’t require one to have a lot of carpentry skills. With the right tools and equipment, you can expertly install your built-in wine cooler. Below are some simple steps for installing a built-in wine cooler.
Step 1: Check Specifications
Before you go shopping for a wine cooler, see to it that it is suitable to install in a cabinet or tight space. Built-in wine coolers are suitable to fit inside a cabinet since they have a front ventilation flow. Also, do not block the side ventilation to prevent overheating.
Front ventilation ensures the right amount of ventilation for effective operation. The vent for integrated wine coolers is located at the back; hence, there is a need to leave adequate space between the wall and the vent. As you scout for a location, see to it that there is sufficient space, and nothing blocks the ventilation system. Ventilation will help you determine how much space you will need and where to place your wine cooler.
Step 2: Check Power Supply
Before you install your wine cooler, ensure that you check your power source to determine where you will plug it in. A good number of wine coolers feature a power cable that measures 1.8 meters. You should have a dedicated outlet for your built-in refrigerator since most manufacturers discourage the use of an extension lead or cords. Some appliance manufacturers may disqualify you for any warranties when you use extension leads for your wine coolers. Most units require the 110-volt outlet, while larger coolers may need the 220-volt outlet. If you don’t have one, hire an electrician to install one.
For safety measures, use a ground protector and fit the cord out of the way to prevent tripping over it.
Step 3: Scout for a Location
The location you choose for your wine cooler is paramount in ensuring that it performs effectively and efficiently. Think of a situation where the cooler will be placed while keeping factors such as light, temperature, and airflow in mind. Wine coolers can be placed anywhere in the house, including under a cabinet, home bar, or underneath an existing countertop. Other people prefer to place their wine coolers under the stairs, especially where space is limited.
It is advisable to keep your wine cooler far from direct sunlight as this could affect the quality and taste of wine. Although there are wine coolers that come with UV-protection glass, it is still vital to keep them away from areas with sunlight. Furthermore, direct sunlight will cause your refrigerator to work harder to keep your bottle refrigerated. This will render the cooler inefficient over time.
Additionally, you should place your built-in wine cooler in a location where there is adequate space to accommodate ventilation. You should get an area where the refrigerator gets enough airflow from behind, on the side, and top. It is advisable to leave 2 inches of space in the back, 1 inch on both sides and 4 inches on top.
Step 4: Take Measurements
Another preliminary consideration is to take measurements of the space that you intend to place your cooler. Use a tape measure to take measurements of the area and ensure there is room for ventilation and to open the doors fully. While this is often assumed, it is a vital issue with regards to usability. It will be impossible to use the more refreshing and reach certain areas if you cannot open the door entirely.
When measuring, you also want to account for the built-in dimensions including the height of the wine cooler, depth of door as well as the depth of the handle. Do not forget to leave enough space for the door to swing open fully. It is also essential to check the power source clearance requirements.
Step 5: Gather the Supplies
As you are preparing to install your wine cooler, make sure that you have all the essential supplies and tools at hand. With the right tools and techniques, the installation process will be smooth and effortless. You will need the following tools and materials:
- Manual for your wine cooler
- Tape measure
- Phillips head screw
- Shims like scrap wood to place on uneven floor
Step 6: Prepare a Cabinet Space
Prepare the space where you intend to place your built-in wine cooler. Remove the cabinet door and cut the cabinet depending on the cut-out dimensions recommended by the manufacturer. Once you have taken the measurements, be sure to mark them before cutting. As you do this, place the cooler in the space to see if it fits well and make any adjustments if necessary.
Along with taking measurements if space, it is also vital to prepare the floor surface. The right flooring to place your cooler is a hard floor surface. However, if the floor is carpeted, it is recommendable to install heavy-duty plastic or metal tray. Carpet flooring can hold in the heat generated during condensation, and this can result in the growth of mold below your cooler. You can also choose to use plastic sheeting beneath the cooler.
Step 8: Don’t Plug Immediately
Once the wine cooler is leveled, wait for at least 2 hours before plugging it in. This helps the cooler and gases to settle down, especially after transportation. Otherwise, attaching it to a power source right away can cause the more relaxed to have problems with its operation.
Step 9: Plug in the Wine Cooler
Plug-in the wine cooler and select the perfect temperature as you allow it to cool. Load it with your favorite bottles of wine or beverages and enjoy it.
As seen above, installing a built-in wine cooler is a DIY project that you can tackle without the help of an electrician. You just need to analyze the space, location, and ensure that you have the right supplies to do the job. You may also need to figure out the dimensions, features, and design of the wine cooler to install your new built-in wine cooler with ease.