Why do wine fridges constantly run?

Whilst its true that wine fridges will kick in and run more frequently than some other appliances, especially if they they're a dual zone wine fridge, wine fridges should not be constantly running and if yours is, there are a few ways to combat the constant running of a wine fridge in order to save electricity.

Why do wine fridges constantly run?

Wine fridges run more than most appliances because they are attempting to keep your wine within a narrow temperature band. If you have a dual zone wine fridge then they're attempting to keep portions of your fridge within a narrow temperature band. If your ambient temperature changes frequently then the wine fridge will also be constantly battling the external environment to keep your wines at the right temperature too.

However, your wine fridge should not be running all the time and if it is then there are steps you can take to limit that change.

Why do wine fridges use so much electricity?

For the reasons above wine fridges can be expensive run, battling the external ambient temperatures and keeping wines at a narrow band of temperature is a technical effort that can make the running cost of a wine fridge, vs a regular fridge, rather high.

You may have noticed that almost all wine fridges have an energy efficiency rating of G. This is because they are being compared to other, much more energy efficient appliances, like fridges or ovens.

How can I lower the running costs of my wine fridge?

With energy costs so high in 2024 it's important to do what you can to lower the cost of your overall energy usage. Some of the tips below also transfer to other electrical appliances too.

Empty wine fridge

Don't overfill or underfill your wine fridge

Both overfilling (over the stated capacity) and underfilling (being less than 75% full) will cause the unit to over compensate and use extra electricity. If your wine fridge is under-filled, then placing bottles of cheap wine or other glass bottles of other varieties will help your wine fridge to better regulate its internal temperatures.

Ensure the the door isn't open too often or the seal is broken

Frequently opening the door, keeping it open for long periods or allowing air into the wine fridge through other methods will also cause the wine fridge to have to work harder, however, the most energy zapping fault here would be a broken seal that means the door is not properly sealed. An unsealed door will cause the wine fridge to struggle to maintain temperature and it will have to be constantly cooling to battle the warm air coming in via the broken door seal.

Keep the ambient temperature consistent

If your wine cabinet is in a garage, cellar or other unheated room its likely that room experiences temperature fluctuations. As the room gets colder at night and warms up through the day your wine fridge will have to be running to combat the changes in the external temperature. Customers often notice that their wine fridges are working harder in the summer and winter months for example. Customers with underfloor heating that kicks on in the morning often notice their wine fridges are working harder in the morning too.

There are things you can do to keep a consistent room temperature such as central heating or other room warming techniques such as curtains or carpets.

Keep your wine fridge clean from dirt and dust

If the ventilation or fans are dirty, clogged or compromised in some way then the wine fridge will again have to work doubly hard in order to cool running at less than 100% of its regular processing. A fan that gets stuck or a freestanding wine fridge pushed up against carpentry is going to struggle to run optimally.

This is an easy fix, clean your wine fridge. Vacuum are the ventilation points, clean the back wall and check the fan is running perfectly. If your freestanding wine fridge is too near to other objects, remove them.

Electronic fault

Another reason your wine fridge may be over-actively heating or cooling could be that their is an electronic glitch with the computer boards inside the unit. If the units are not setting or measuring the temperatures accurately then they could be needlessly running even when your wine is at the right temperature.

Set your fridge closer to the ambient temperature

If the ambient temperature is a steady 18c and you've set the fridge at 5c, one way to reduce the costs is to increase the temperature of your wine fridge. That may seem counter-intuitive, you've likely bought a wine fridge because you want chilled wine, however, for storage wines only need to be kept at 12c. To save on running costs why not set your wine fridge at 12c and then pull a bottle out and pop it in the fridge before serving? This would save significant money over the longer term and stop your wine fridge from running constantly.

Buy the very latest technology

Lastly, there's a lot to be said for buying from a wine cooler specialist like Swisscave or Dunavox who offer exclusively wine fridge technology and buying from their latest range is sure to mean you've got the most energy efficient parts powering your machine. Older wine fridges are always less energy efficient.

If you need help deciding which wine fridge to buy, why not call us, speak with us on live chat, or visit our Wandsworth store?

Sarah newton

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.