Can Freestanding Wine Fridges be Installed As Under Counter Wine Fridges?

By Empava Appliances
updated: July. 13, 2023
under counter wine fridges

Installing a wine fridge is a popular choice among wine enthusiasts seeking to preserve and display their collection in optimal conditions. One common question that arises is whether a freestanding wine fridge can be installed under the counter. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the factors to consider when deciding on the installation of a freestanding wine fridge under the counter. By exploring the technical aspects, ventilation requirements, alternative solutions, and specific considerations, we aim to equip you with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision for your wine storage needs.

Understanding the Difference Between Freestanding and Built-in Wine Fridges:


To comprehend the installation possibilities, it's crucial to grasp the distinction between freestanding and built-in wine fridges. Freestanding wine fridges are standalone units designed to be placed anywhere in your home, while built-in models are specifically crafted for integration into cabinets or under counters. Built in wine fridge often feature front-venting systems and other ventilation mechanisms to ensure proper airflow when installed in confined spaces.

Ventilation Requirements for Wine Fridges:


Proper ventilation is essential for the optimal functioning of any wine fridge. Freestanding units typically require adequate space around them to dissipate the heat generated during operation. This heat release is facilitated by the ventilation system located at the rear of the unit. On the other hand, built-in wine fridges are designed to accommodate under-counter installations and come equipped with front-ventilation systems, allowing them to efficiently expel heat. Attempting to install a freestanding wine fridge under the counter without ensuring sufficient ventilation may lead to poor cooling performance and potential damage to the unit.

Factors to Consider for Under-Counter Installation of a Freestanding Wine Fridge:

While it is generally not recommended to install a freestanding wine fridge under the counter due to ventilation concerns, certain factors can influence the decision:

  1. Space Limitations: If your kitchen lacks available floor space, installing a freestanding wine fridge under the counter might seem like a viable option. However, it's crucial to ensure there is sufficient airflow around the unit to prevent overheating and ensure proper cooling. Assessing the available space and considering potential modifications can help determine the feasibility of this installation choice.



This may sound obvious, but make sure you have the suitable size cooler for the available cabinet space where you intend to install your wine cooler. Assess the available space before purchasing a wine cooler. Even if you only have a small amount of space available, a sleek cooler will look the part. This will ensure the most streamlined finish to your kitchen and cabinet space, as well as the best possible display of your wine in your wine cooler.

When putting beneath cabinets, make sure you have enough space to access your wine cooler or cabinet door and that it fully opens. With a wine cooler inside a cabinet, the doors can be difficult to access at times, so keep this in mind while installing if you want a smooth functional cooler as well as a seamless-looking one.

  1. b) Standalone vs. Built-in Design: Freestanding wine fridges lack the specialized ventilation systems found in built-in models. Attempting to install a freestanding unit under the counter may compromise its performance and longevity. It's important to weigh the benefits of a built-in wine fridge against the potential drawbacks and assess whether the unique features of a freestanding model are worth the potential impact on functionality.
  1. Climate Control: Built-in wine fridges offer better insulation and climate control features, ensuring the consistent temperature and humidity levels required for wine storage. Freestanding units might not provide the same level of precision in a confined space. Consider the specific temperature and humidity requirements of your wine collection and evaluate whether a freestanding wine fridge can adequately meet those needs when installed under the counter.




The cooler's placement is also crucial since intense sunlight might harm your wine. You should avoid installing your cooler in an area like this. If you can, keep it somewhere dark and silent.

Red or white wine both suffer from the taste and quality effects of UV radiation. Even though the majority of coolers include UV-treated tinted glass doors to protect your wine from light, it's still advisable to keep your cooler out of direct sunlight if you can. If the sun shines directly on your cooler, heating it up, your cooler will have to work twice as hard. If this occurs, it will become less effective. 

It is imperative that you do not install your wine cooler close to any vibrating or moving appliances, like stereo systems, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and dryers. Again, this will hasten the chemical processes in your wine that cause it to age too soon.

Additionally, a flat surface is preferable to a carpeted one for your wine cooler. If your wine cooler ever leaks, the carpeted floor will absorb the leak, making it harder to find and more likely to produce mildew. It is recommended practise to place a wine cooler on the hard floor to prevent this and make it easier to spot any leaks.

Alternative Solutions:


If you are determined to have a wine fridge under the counter but prefer the features of a freestanding model, there are alternative options to consider:

  1. a) Dual-Zone Wine Fridges: Dual-zone wine fridges offer separate temperature control for different sections, allowing you to store wines at their ideal serving temperatures. These units are available in built-in configurations, providing the benefits of under-counter installation while maintaining the desired functionality. Dual-zone wine fridges are ideal for those who want to store both red and white wines at their optimal temperatures within the limited space under the counter.
  1. b) Under-Counter Conversion Kits: Some manufacturers offer conversion kits that can transform certain freestanding wine fridges into built-in models. These kits usually include ventilation components and instructions to ensure proper installation and ventilation. If you have already invested in freestanding wine fridges and wish to convert them to under counter wine fridges, exploring the availability of conversion kits specific to your model can be a viable solution.

While the desire to save space by installing a freestanding wine fridge under the counter is understandable, it is crucial to consider the ventilation requirements and potential impact on performance. Built-in wine fridges are purpose-built for under-counter installations, offering specialized ventilation and climate control features. If under-counter placement is essential, exploring alternative solutions like dual-zone wine fridges or conversion kits can provide a better balance between functionality and space utilization. Ultimately, making an informed decision based on the specific requirements of your wine collection, kitchen setup, and available options will ensure optimal wine storage conditions and enhance your overall wine appreciation experience.


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