Luxury Wine Fridge Brands From Around Europe

    Does a Wine Fridge Need Ventilation?

    Does Wine Fridge Need Ventilation

    Wine fridges are as much of an investment as your prized bottles of Burgundy and with both wine and the fridges they go in, once they’ve been purchased it's important to look after them.

    We understand the importance that wine coolers play in keeping your prized bottles cool, but how important is ventilation when it comes to all wine coolers?

    Listen to this post here:

    Does a Wine Fridge Need Ventilation?

    Yes, wine fridges require air ventilation to work correctly. Proper ventilation and keeping your wine cooler clean help to keep it working optimally.

    Wine Fridge Type Ventilation Requirements
    • 5-10cm space around the sides and back
    • 30-40cm space over the top
    • Avoid boxing in or building under counters
    • Avoid storing anything on top of the fridge
    • 1-2cm space at the back for the power cable
    • Front air vents must not be covered
    • Install a grill plate over any plinth covering the vent
    • Space for a ventilation column at the rear
    • Some smart versions may be self-ventilating
    • Check design specifics when purchasing

    How Much Ventilation Does a Wine Cooler Need?

    Wine Fridge Ventilation

    Air ventilation is something that every single wine fridge needs to have in order to work properly, but the amount of air ventilation needed depends on if the wine fridge model is:

    • Freestanding
    • Built in
    • Integrated

    There are, of course, different types of wine fridges, so does ventilation work the same way with every fridge design?

    Do Freestanding Wine Fridges Need Ventilation?

    Freestanding Wine Fridge

    Freestanding wine coolers need ventilation all the way around the back, the sides and the top of the fridge and as a result, they can’t be boxed in.

    Usually 5-10cm around the sides and the back and at least 30-40cm over the top, freestanding wine fridges should not be built under counters or into cabinetry.

    Space is required for the heat to dissipate to be able to work their magic and keep your wine at an optimal temperature so try not to store anything on top of the fridge either. 

    But what about built in wine fridges?

    Do Built In Wine Fridges Need Ventilation?

    Built In Wine Fridge

    Built in wine fridges are designed to be built into cabinetry, making them smart storage solutions for your wine but, like all wine fridges, they do need ventilation at the front. 

    Although built in wine coolers need space at the back, about 1-2cm to allow adequate room for the power cable, it’s important not to cover the front up where the air vents are located too.

    The air vent is located at the front of a built-in wine fridge so it’s really important that it stays clear so it can breathe properly.

    If you're covering the vent at the front with a plinth, remember to install a grill plate over the plinth to allow all that cool air to flow through to the wine fridge vent.

    So can the same be said for integrated wine fridges?

    Do Integrated Wine Fridges Need Ventilation?  

    Integrated Wine Fridge Diagram

    Most integrated wine coolers need space for a ventilation column at the rear, this is known as a service channel or air channel.

    However, some smart versions are self ventilating which means they don't need ventilation, so always check the design specifics when purchasing.

    So why do wine fridges need ventilation in the first place?

    Why Does a Wine Fridge Need Ventilation?

    Wine fridges need ventilation to help them regulate and maintain the correct internal temperature inside the wine cooler.

    Without proper ventilation, cool air can’t circulate throughout the wine fridge and warmer air cannot be removed. If you want your white wine to remain perfectly chilled and your wine fridge to last for as long as possible, ventilation is key!

    So how can you help your wine fridge out when it comes to ventilation?

    Related: Can You Put a Wine Fridge in a Cabinet?

    How To Maintain Your Wine Fridge for Optimal Ventilation

    We’ve established that making sure your wine fridges have clear vents that aren’t blocked is very important when it comes to ideal ventilation levels.

    But is there anything else?

    • Well, cleanliness is next to godliness when it comes to maintaining your wine fridge. Simply put, the cleaner the interior and exterior of the fridge the better the ventilation will be.

    So make sure you are consistently giving your wine fridge a spruce to remover dust and dirt and you’ll have well chilled wine for years to come!

    Before You Go... 

    Wine Fridge Dimensions

    We hope this provides you with all the answers on does a wine fridge need ventilation.

    If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, or email us at

    If you want to learn more about other types, consider our related blog posts:

    Wine Storage Guides

    You can also shop new wine coolers online at

    philip thompson Author: Philip Thompson
    Philip is the General Manager at Expert Wine Storage, and is very knowledgable about all things relating to wine and wine storage, including wine fridges. He is regularly featured in media outlets sharing his knowledge on wine. Connect on Linkedin