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Dear Dr. Vinny,
Is there any reason my wine cooler shouldn’t be placed next to my refrigerator?
—Anna B. Newark, New Jersey
Wherever you place your cooler, make sure it’s away from anything that generates heat, be sure you meet the unit’s need for ventilation, and do your best to make sure the unit’s ventilation isn’t anywhere near a heat source, which would strain a cooler and make it more likely to malfunction. I also recommend avoiding direct light and vibration when storing your wine.
Most stand-alone wine coolers I’ve seen require about two inches around the entire unit for proper ventilation—it doesn’t matter if it’s thermoelectric or a compressor, ventilation is important for the unit to work properly. There are more expensive units that are specifically designed for being installed under a counter, and they tend to have vents in the front of the machine, making them ideal for built-ins.
So if you have an under-counter designed wine cooler and it happens to be next to a refrigerator, just make sure the refrigerator is working properly—hopefully the fridge is not vibrating too much and it has its own properly-working vent in the front of it, too.
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