This article will discuss important pros and cons of thermoelectric wine coolers such as efficiency and cooling power as compared to conventional compressor cooled wine coolers. Storing your wine safely and efficiently is important, especially when your investment is at stake. Thermoelectric has some great advantages as long as you understand what you’re getting into. Continue reading to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of thermoelectric cooling.
What is a thermoelectric wine cooler?
Thermoelectric refers to the method used to cool the inside of the wine cooler. Most wine coolers have traditionally used a compressor driven cooling system which is the same as what is used in refrigerators and freezers. Thermoelectric is an electrical effect referred to as the Peltier effect. This is as opposed to a mechanical process to cool the wine cooler with a compressor.
What’s the difference between a conventional wine cooler and a thermoelectric wine cooler?
Traditional compressor cooling systems compress a fluid and then allow it to expand which due to the principles of science and magic cause a cooling effect. Peltier thermoelectric coolers work through a different scientific process that doesn’t require any moving parts which has some great benefits.
Peltier thermoelectric wine cooler pros
- No moving parts means very long lasting and not as likely to fail
- No moving parts equals a silent cooler as opposed to the on and off cycling of a compressor
- No moving parts also means there is no vibrations which can adversely affect wine stored in your wine cooler
- The Peltier effect is a much more efficient method of cooling and uses less electricity
Peltier thermoelectric wine cooler cons
- While more efficient, Peltier thermoelectric wine coolers run constantly as opposed to compressor driven wine coolers that run periodically which may negate electrical cost savings
- Thermoelectric coolers can’t cool to temperatures as low as compressor driven cooling systems so low cooling temperatures can’t be reached
- Also, since thermoelectric coolers can’t cool as low they are not well suited to warm environments
- Given that thermoelectric coolers aren’t as powerful as conventional compressor wine coolers, you won’t find any large sized thermoelectric wine coolers
- Thermoelectric wine coolers should not be enclosed in cabinetry because they need good airflow all around them for proper heat transfer
How cold can a thermoelectric wine cooler get?
Thermoelectric wine coolers aren’t as powerful as traditional compressor driven wine coolers so they can’t easily reach colder temperatures. 50 degrees is about the most you can expect to reach down to with a thermoelectric wine cooler under ideal conditions. Those living in warmer climates will struggle to reach even that temperature unless they are able to maintain their wine cooler in an already well cooled space.
What temperature is too cold for wine?
The ideal temperature for storing most wines is 55 degrees. Temperatures lower than this will simply slow down the aging process. You do however want to avoid your wine freezing. Wines can begin to freeze around 20 degrees. You don’t want your wine to freeze in large part because it will likely break the bottle.
How do thermoelectric coolers work?
Thermoelectric coolers take advantage of the Peltier effect. When electricity passes across a junction heat is transferred which causes one side of a Peltier plate to get hot and the other to cool down. In a thermoelectric wine cooler the cooling side is directed to the inside of the wine cooler and the hot side has radiant fins attached and is external to the wine cooler.
What is a wineador?
A wineador is a cigar humidor made out of a wine cooler. Wineadors should only be made from thermoelectric wine coolers for better humidity control. If you’re a cigar fan and looking for the ultimate home humidor solution, a wineador is the answer you’ve been looking for but hadn’t yet found. You don’t actually need to build your own wineador by the way. There are manufacturers such as NewAir that actually sell complete wineadors without any need for you to do anything other than get some source of humidification.
Pros & Cons of Thermoelectric Fridges
Thermoelectric wine cooler advantages and disadvantages will line up in favor for wine connoisseurs that either only need to store a few bottles in an air conditioned space. For larger collections and for those in warmer climates you’ll want to go with a compressor driven wine cooler.
Also, if you’re looking for a more integrated look you’re going to need to go with a compressor driven wine cooler so that you can install it within a cabinet. Trying to install a thermoelectric wine cooler under a counter will block off too much airflow. Compressor driven air coolers typically have a vent designed specifically for airflow at the bottom front edge of the unit which makes it ideal for integrating into your kitchen cabinets. Thermoelectric wine coolers are pretty much limited to duty as countertop appliances.
Photo Credit: YourBestDigs.com