Small wine fridges or coolers are storage devices that are intended for relative short term use. They keep wine at the correct temperature for consumption, which ranges from forty to sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit, based on the particular wine. A small wine cooler is fine if you have a permanent storage arrangement already (such as a wine cabinet). Many people simply purchase wine when they require it, and make do with a small cooler as they’re not planning on keeping more than a dozen or so bottles on hand.
The Basics of a Cooler
Traditional cooling systems use three basic components: the compressor, condenser and evaporator. The pressurized refrigerant expands and boils in the cold evaporator section. Heat (energy) is absorbed once the liquid turns to gas. The gas is recompressed to a liquid, with the compressor refrigerant pump. Then, the heat generated during compression, and the heat absorbed in the evaporator, is expelled by the condenser into the air.
Thermoelectric Wine Fridges
A thermoelectric cooler is a heat pump, solid state mechanism with no gases, liquids or moving components. These devices make use of the Peltier effect and offer numerous benefits. The lack of moving components ensures that the devices are easy to maintain, because there are fewer things to replace due to wear and tear. Consequently, thermoelectric coolers are more dependable and last for longer. These devices are good for the environment too, because they use no refrigerants (CFCs). Better still, less floor space is occupied, thanks to the lightweight, streamlined design.
The lack of moving components also ensures a quiet operation, with no vibrating.
Compressor Wine Fridges
With compressor dependent coolers, the circulating refrigerant is audible – as is the compressor, which cycles off and on. Although you may think of this as a minor issue, lots of wine refrigerator owners complain that their devices make too much noise. Generally speaking, it’s preferred to get a built-in model when it comes to compressor coolers as it helps muffle the noise. Nonetheless, thermoelectric coolers are not entirely noiseless, because the majority of them use fans for air circulation, and these are audible when they switch off and on. But in comparison to a compressor, they might as well be considered silent.
Thermoelectric coolers are more energy efficient and temperature fluctuations are minimized, because they do not cycle off and on. The temperature can be controlled easier as well. However, compressor dependent coolers do have a more effective cooling system, and can operate in more hostile environments. If you live in a place like Las Vegas, you pretty much HAVE to have a compressor fridge. However, the majority of wine coolers, irrespective of their type, are intended for mild environments and the majority of owners of wine coolers are going to live in relatively mild environments.
Choosing where to purchase a small wine cooler is nearly as vital as choosing what to purchase. Websites such as Bizrate, Epinions and Nextag are excellent for locating bargains and reputable vendors. Alternatively, you could purchase from famous websites, such as Amazon, eBay and Wine Enthusiast. Some of the most renown wine cooler brands include Danby, Haier, Koolatron, Cuisinart, Eurocave and N’Finity.
The HVW18BSS wine fridge from Haier holds eighteen Bordeaux style or regular bottles. However, lovers of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Champagne will have less than this. Certainly, this wine cooler is meant to take up the bare minimum of space.
Wine refrigerators from Cuisinart include thirty-two bottle, sixteen bottle, twelve bottle, eight bottle and six bottle designs. Thermoelectric wine fridges from Koolatron feature four different sized storage units: twelve bottle wall mountable units, four bottle and six bottle designs. The Petite Wine Cooler from Eurocave has a narrow cabinet, twelve inches wide, which has space for ten bottles horizontally.
The wine coolers from EdgeStar are thermoelectric systems that can store twelve to thirty-two bottles. The majority of the smaller models (i.e. six to twenty-six bottle capacities) are sold by Koldfront. These small wine fridges are fairly cheap (in comparison to other similar brands), with prices ranging from $150 to $700. This means that wine aficionados on lower incomes (and who live in smaller properties) will be able to buy one of these models to store their wines correctly.
To conclude, it’s important to know which type of wine cooler you need for your home as well as what you plan on doing with it. Always buy a little larger than you plan on needing as being limited on the size of your fridge can be obnoxious. Next, know which type of fridge you need for your home. If you live somewhere where temperatures fluctuate and can get very hot, you might need to buy a compressor wine fridge. However, be prepared for some noise if you do by a compressor fridge and plan on finding a solution to reduce it too.