Wine Fridge in the Conservatory?

With the limitations on space in many British homes and the absence in most of a cellar or large spare room given over only to wine, many of our customers have to consider where they can put their freestanding wine fridge if not bound for the kitchen. Two common solutions are i) the garage or unheated outbuilding or ii) the conservatory with both locations having their pros and cons. If you're fortunate enough to have both a garage and a conservatory we'd recommend opting for the garage as at least it should avoid the heat, if not the cold. However, all homes and situations are different and the conservatory may still be a better choice for your personal situation.

While a conservatory may seem, at first glance, to be the more secure choice, attached as they are to your home, the conservatory has the double bind of being both very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter if it's a traditional, wholly glass external unit. Whilst many Brits enjoy their conservatory, most will admit it's enjoyable only in Spring and Autumn.

However, many newer modern extensions have a high % of glass in their composition but avoid the extreme heat and extreme cold of the external conservatory/orangery. With all that said, it is not impossible, even in the growing heat of a British summer, to house your wine fridge in the conservatory as long as you acknowledge the following best practises. Ignore these tips and you could end up with an overworked compressor which would cause your wine fridge to eventually fail and potentially, if you don't buy a suitable wine cooler with heating and cooling system and a wide ranging ambient temperature rating; invalidate your warranty.

I want to put my wine fridge in the conservatory, what do I need to know?

  • The ambient temperature/climate category rating - All wine fridges, in fact all appliances, have an ambient temperature rating that they are comfortable working within. Some of our wine coolers are designed just for home temperatures and may start to struggle to keep the wine cool in temperatures over 25°C or under 14°C for long periods of time. Many of our wine cabinets though, with winter systems, are designed to cope with ambient temperatures between 0-43°C which would be within range 98% of the time certainly within the south of England and Wales, although Scottish and Northern homes could spend many nights under that temperature. The climate classification is stated on every product listing table per wine cooler so if you're looking to house your wine fridge in the conservatory you must check these details carefully.
  • A winter system is essential - If your conservatory isn't attached to your home by brick and is fully or mostly a glass edifice you'll need to choose a wine fridge with a winter system as you're likely to experience prolonged periods where the space is under 12°C. A winter system also heats the internal unit to bring the temperature up to your settings as well as the regular mechanism cooling your wines in warmer external temperatures. Whether the wine fridge has a winter system or not is also listed on the info table of every wine fridge. You can also filter for the feature 'winter system' on the search results pages.
  • Place the wine cooler out of direct sunlight - Find a spot in your conservatory that is out of the main/midday glare of the sun. If your conservatory gets the sun throughout the afternoon, try to place the wine cooler in the position that gets the least direct sun, this will help avoid the maximum of the heat magnified through the glass.
  • Keep the wine fridge as cool as you can - Wine fridges break most frequently because they're overworking or they can't vent hot air properly. If the wine fridge will be kept already in a location that can get quite warm then do your best not to exacerbate this situation by placing things on top or next to the wine cabinet as this will heat the unit up even further. Allow it to vent, keep the room as cool as possible with open windows, blinds or even fans if the weather is extreme.
  • Don't invalidate your warranty - It may be really tempting to buy a wine fridge just for aesthetics or storage capacity and ignore the climate classification and forget the winter system, however, if you buy a wine fridge (from anywhere!) that is not suitable to its position in your home and then it breaks, you will invalidate the warranty with its positioning and not be eligible for a refund or repair. 

Which wine coolers are best for the conservatory/orangery?

The ones with the widest ranging ambient operating temperature class and with a winter system!

Luckily there are four major brands we stock that are the best choice for a wine fridge in the conservatory and Swisscave, EurocaveArtevino wine cabinets and the Climadiff wine cabinets.

The Artevino wine cabinets are made by Eurocave exactly for the purpose of maturing fine wine over the longer term outside of the main confines of a home. The Climadiff wine cabinet range are the same, part of the Frio group, a company with over 30 years experience in the industry. Both of these brands are extremely energy efficient and reliable too.

If you need some advice on the best wine fridge to choose for your conservatory or orangery it's best to speak to a live chat representative about the specific conditions of your home and then they can advise on the best options for you and your home.


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.