Wine fridges make more noise than normal household fridges and if you've recently purchased a wine fridge or noticed your wine fridge is making more noise than normal then this blog post will help you identify if the noise levels are normal and acceptable or not, and what you should do to try to reduce the noises from your wine fridge. We'll also recommend some of the quietest wine fridges in our range of near 300 wine fridges that are the quietest wine fridges in the industry.
Why are wine fridges noisier than normal fridges?
- Compressor Size and Type:
One of the primary reasons for the increased noise in wine fridges lies in the size and type of compressors used. Wine fridges are often equipped with smaller compressors, which are necessary to maintain a stable temperature in the unit. These compressors are typically more efficient in cooling smaller spaces, but they tend to operate at higher speeds, generating more noise compared to the larger compressors found in standard refrigerators.
Moreover, some wine fridges employ a different type of compressor known as a thermoelectric cooler. While these coolers are praised for their energy efficiency and lack of vibrations, they can produce a humming noise that might be more noticeable in a quiet environment. All our wine fridges are compressor driven as these wine fridges are the best at holding internal temperatures, even if they are noisier than their thermoelectric cousins.
- Vibration Levels:
Wine preservation demands a delicate touch, and excessive vibrations can disturb the sediment in wine bottles, potentially affecting the aging process and overall quality. To mitigate this, wine fridges often incorporate features such as rubber or silicone dampeners to absorb vibrations. However, the trade-off is that these dampeners might not be as effective in minimising the noise produced by the compressor or other moving parts.
- Ventilation Systems:
Efficient ventilation is crucial for maintaining a consistent temperature within wine fridges. To achieve this, manufacturers often incorporate powerful fans that facilitate air circulation. While these fans contribute to the overall functionality of the unit, they also add to the noise level. In comparison, standard refrigerators may have larger, slower fans that can achieve the necessary ventilation with less audible disturbance.
- Temperature Fluctuations:
Wine fridges are designed to provide a stable and controlled environment for aging wine. This means that the cooling system needs to work more frequently to maintain a precise temperature range, especially if the door is frequently opened. This increased activity can lead to higher noise levels compared to regular refrigerators that experience less frequent temperature adjustments.
- Design and Insulation:
The design and insulation of a refrigerator play a significant role in noise production. Wine fridges, often designed with glass doors and sleek exteriors to showcase the collection, may have less insulation compared to regular refrigerators with solid doors and more robust construction. As a result, the sound produced by the internal components of the wine fridge may be more audible.
While the symphony of sounds emanating from wine fridges may initially surprise enthusiasts, understanding the reasons behind their increased noise levels can help foster a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of wine preservation technology. As the industry continues to evolve, it's likely that advancements in design and technology will lead to quieter wine fridges without compromising the integrity of wine storage. Until then, the gentle hum of a wine fridge serves as a reminder of the meticulous care required to age and enjoy a fine bottle of wine.
Which is the quietest wine fridge?
The wine fridge brands with the largest R&D budgets tend to produce the quietest and most energy efficient wine fridges, industry leaders like EuroCave wine fridges and Liebherr wine fridges are the leaders here with our lowest noise emissions, as low as 32dB. One brand that offers quiet wine fridges at a surprisingly low cost is mQuvee, many in their kitchen range are 36dB which is much lower than the industry average of 40dB. Any wine fridge over 40dB could potentially be too noisy for wine storage in a common living area like a kitchen if the owner is sensitive to noise.
A great choice for an undercounter wine fridge would be the mQuvee WineCave 700 30S Anthracite Black at just 35dB. This is still compressor driven, so excellent at holding temperature, but one of the quietest undercounter wine fridges on the market.
For a large freestanding wine fridge then the luxury wine fridge has to be the 34dB EuroCave Royale. This wine fridge offers the ultimate in wine maturation with a 10 year warranty.
Should a wine fridge make noise?
Yes. Wine fridges are doing a lot more work with a much smaller compressor than regular fridges, they should make noise, however, identifying the types of noise they are making and how loud those noises are will help you understand if the wine fridge is working in a healthy way, or if there is a developing problem. Our guide to wine fridge noises below will help you troubleshoot a noisy wine fridge.
What kinds of noises does a wine fridge make?
- Humming and Whirring:
The most common and perhaps expected noise from a wine fridge is the gentle hum or whirr produced by the compressor. This sound is indicative of the cooling system in action. Wine fridges often use smaller compressors to fit the compact size of the unit. While these compressors are efficient at maintaining the desired temperature, their smaller size and faster operation can result in a more noticeable hum compared to the larger compressors found in standard refrigerators.
- Buzzing or Vibrating:
In wine fridges equipped with thermoelectric cooling systems, a distinct buzzing or vibrating noise may be present. Thermoelectric coolers operate by using a process that creates temperature differentials, and the resulting vibrations can contribute to this audible hum. While praised for their energy efficiency and lack of refrigerants, thermoelectric coolers introduce a unique sound profile to the wine fridge experience.
- Clicking Sounds:
Another type of noise that might catch the ear of a wine enthusiast is the occasional clicking sound. This can be attributed to the thermostat or temperature control mechanism regulating the fridge's internal temperature. As the system cycles on and off to maintain the set temperature, these clicks are a natural part of the cooling process.
- Fan Noise:
Efficient ventilation is vital for keeping a wine fridge's interior at the ideal temperature. To achieve this, most wine fridges are equipped with fans that circulate air and distribute the cooling effect evenly. The noise generated by these fans can vary depending on their size, speed, and the overall design of the ventilation system. While some wine fridges employ quieter fans, the need for sufficient airflow may result in a noticeable hum.
- Gurgling or Dripping:
For wine fridges with automatic defrosting features, gurgling or dripping sounds may occur during the defrosting cycle. As the ice melts, water drains into a pan, creating these distinctive sounds. This is a normal part of the refrigerator's operation and is not indicative of a malfunction.
- Popping or Creaking:
Changes in temperature can cause the materials used in the construction of a wine fridge to expand or contract, leading to occasional popping or creaking sounds. This phenomenon is more common in environments with fluctuating temperatures. While these sounds might be surprising, they are generally harmless and do not affect the performance of the appliance.
Understanding the types of noises that a wine fridge produces can demystify the auditory experience and help wine enthusiasts appreciate the intricacies of these specialised appliances. Each noise, from the hum of the compressor to the gentle clicking of the thermostat, is a testament to the technology and engineering that goes into creating the perfect environment for preserving and aging fine wines. As manufacturers continue to innovate, we can expect quieter wine fridges that maintain the delicate balance between functionality and the art of enjoying a good bottle of wine.
How to fix a noisy wine fridge?
- Identifying the Type of Noise:
Before delving into fixes, it's crucial to identify the type of noise your wine fridge is producing. Is it a constant hum, a sporadic buzzing, or perhaps a rhythmic clicking? Pinpointing the nature of the noise can help narrow down the potential causes and solutions.
- Leveling the Fridge:
A common cause of excess noise in wine fridges is uneven leveling. Ensure that your wine fridge is placed on a level surface. Use a leveling tool to check both side-to-side and front-to-back alignment. Adjust the fridge's legs or use shims to achieve a balanced position, as an unsteady fridge can amplify vibrations and contribute to noise.
- Inspecting and Cleaning the Condenser Coils:
Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the condenser coils, hindering the fridge's efficiency and increasing noise levels. Turn off the wine fridge, locate the coils (typically found on the back or bottom), and carefully clean them using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner. This simple maintenance step can improve cooling efficiency and reduce unnecessary noise.
- Checking the Fan:
The fan is a crucial component for proper air circulation in a wine fridge. If the fan is malfunctioning or obstructed, it can contribute to increased noise. Inspect the fan blades for any debris, and gently clean them if necessary. If the noise persists, the fan motor might require lubrication or replacement.
- Inspecting the Compressor:
A noisy compressor can be a common culprit. Listen for any irregular sounds coming from the compressor, such as rattling or banging. Tighten loose components and ensure that the compressor is securely mounted. If the noise persists, a professional technician may need to assess and possibly replace the compressor.
- Adjusting the Thermostat:
Sometimes, a simple adjustment to the thermostat settings can reduce the frequency of the wine fridge cycling on and off. Experiment with different temperature settings and observe if the noise level decreases without compromising the wine storage conditions.
- Checking for Loose Parts:
Vibrations from loose parts can amplify noise. Carefully inspect the interior of the wine fridge for any loose items, such as bottles or shelves. Tighten or secure components as needed to minimize vibrations.
- Considering a Location Change:
The environment in which a wine fridge is placed can significantly impact its noise level. If possible, relocate the fridge to a quieter spot, away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and high-traffic areas. Ensure there is sufficient space around the fridge for proper ventilation.
- Consulting Professional Help:
If all else fails or if you're uncomfortable performing certain repairs, seeking professional assistance is a prudent option. Certified technicians can diagnose complex issues and perform repairs that require specialised knowledge and tools.
If you're experiencing issues with your wine fridge then why not speak to an expert in our London store or via live chat.