How noisy are wine coolers?

All of our premium wine fridges are quiet ranging from around 35dB to 48dB which in real world terms range from whisper quiet at the lower end to a computer hum at the upper end. Wine coolers tend to be at their quietest when designed specifically for living spaces like kitchens or living rooms with those designed for longer term storage, frequently kept in garages or outbuildings, being that bit louder.

The decibel scale

Decibels are measured numerically but real world examples of their quietness are often a helpful way to envisage how quiet or loud your wine cooler could be. 0dB is total silence whilst 180dB would be the equivalent of standing next to a rocket launching, thankfully none of our wine cooler are over 48dB which would be approximately the same level of sound as a computer hum or light drizzle.

These decibel classifications (38dB to 48dB) are the general operating noise levels of our wine coolers. The moment you turn on your wine cooler or during a period of heating or cooling these noise levels could get up to the 50dB range which is still within the realms of a regular kitchen refrigerator.

Which are the quietest wine coolers?

As mentioned, wine cabinets may be a little louder than kitchen wine coolers due to their placement and also the amount of work they are doing to keep your wine at temperature. Dual zone wine coolers are frequently 1dB or 2dB above their single zone counterparts because they are working harder to maintain two temperatures. Below we list a general guide to the quietest brand of wine coolers that we stock.

The quietest brands we sell are Swisscave, Liebherr and Dunavox wine coolers, these are always at the quieter end of the decibel spectrum and typically under 40dB. If a main driver of your purchase is quietness and energy efficiency, these premium wine cooler brands are your best choice.

After these brands, and still very quiet, are the wine coolers from La Sommeliere, Montpellier Climadiff and Avintage, typically under 42dB.

Lastly, but still as quiet as a computer hum, would be brands like Bodea43 and  Vestfrost from our range.

What can cause additional noise from a wine fridge?

If your wine fridge is being noisier than usual there could be a few culprits to check.

1) Is the wine cooler free to vent properly and not being forced to work hard to dispel hot air?

The most frequent cause of additional noise and failure from a wine cooler is the internal mechanisms being forced to work hard due to external factors. Is the wine cooler operating within the correct ambient temperature range for it's classification? If you place a wine cooler in a cold room and it doesn't have a winter function it will be struggling to get the internal temperature at the setting you've required of it.

2) My wine fridge is noisier than my normal fridge?

It can be the case, especially with dual zone wine coolers, that the wine fridge is working to hold two zones within set and disparate temperatures, if you have one zone at 5c and the other at 20c this could cause a bit more noise than you'd have expected.

3) Is the fan inside the wine cooler being impeded at all?

Has frost, dirt or any internal pressure meant that your fan is not free to rotate? A quick investigation of the fan can reveal that something is impeding its free rotation.

4) Have you placed your wine cooler in a location that would amplify the acoustics?

Here at Coolersomm we've had a few calls over the years from customers who have placed their wine cooler in an alcove that has caused the sound of the fan to radiate off the alcove walls. As soon as the wine cooler is moved to another spot the "noise" goes away.

5) Is your wine cooler perfectly level?

We've also taken calls from customers who have placed their wine cooler in such a way that it is not perfectly level. Take a spirit level and check that your wine cooler is both horizontally and vertically level.

If your wine cooler is not level then the compressor can make more noise than you'd expect because the fluid level will be out of balance. This wont only create noise but will hurt the energy efficiency of your wine fridge.

6) My wine cooler is making high pitched, squeaking sounds?

Of course there are times when a fan becomes loose or is faulty, this will create high pitched intermittent noises from the wine cooler, especially when it is working to maintain temperature. If this is the case the fan may need to be replaced.

If you're struggling with wine cooler noise, whether you've bought a wine cooler from CoolerSomm or not, feel free to drop us a line so we can help you diagnose the problem and should you need an engineer, we can help you source the help you need.

What can I do to make my wine cooler quieter?

If you've managed to exclude all the potential reasons your wine cooler is noisy from the six potential factors above then there are noise absorption techniques that you could employ in and around the wine cooler.

For example, acoustic panels are a great trick to place in your kitchen or living room that would not only absorb the noise from the wine cooler but any other acoustic noise going on in your room. These panels are frequently used in restaurants to help reduce the noise of customer chatter or the general clattering of plates or service.

What you perhaps thought was art in a friend's home may actually be acoustic panels? 

If panels are a step too far, consider soft furnishings and heavy curtains, these can also do the job of drowsing out extra decibels in the home.

If the noise is coming from the bottles inside the cooler you could reduce the number of stacked bottles on a shelf or ensure the same size bottles are on each shelf. The rattling of bottles inside a wine cooler is often not cause by the internal working of the wine cooler but by neglecting to stack bottles in a uniform way. That can include jamming too many bottles onto a shelf or stacking a mix of different shaped bottles on the same shelf (like Champagne bottles with Bordeaux bottles). If there are no gaps between the bottles or there are too many on one shelf they could knock together. This isn't just noisy but also produces vibration which is unhelpful for the long term maturation of wine.

In conclusion, wine coolers are generally as noisy as other household appliances but there are certain factors, usually due to placement, that can cause them to produce unwanted noise. For any assistance with a noisy wine cooler or recommendations for a quiet one please use the chat button to speak to an expert.

Sarah newton

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Author - Sarah Newton

Sarah Newton has worked in the wine industry for two decades holding senior positions at some of the UK wine industry's leading brands. The MD of Coolersomm, Sarah is WSET certified and our lead wine buyer too.