Why Is My Wine Cellar No Longer Cold?

Aug 01, 2023, 18:47pm

The wine cellar is handy for storing bottles in a secure place, even when you don’t have a cellar to store them. This device will keep a temperature adapted to the bottles to avoid their oxidation and a loss of quality. This is why you have to act quickly when there is a breakdown, because a change in temperature can damage the bottles. Proper maintenance of this device (cleaning and dusting) will keep them in optimal conditions.

It happens that temperature failures occur on a wine cellar. It works on the same principle as a refrigerator but smaller. Thus, when the wine cellar is no longer cold, it will first be necessary to check whether the compressor is running. The parts which can induce the failure and which must therefore be checked depend on the behavior observed on the compressor:

If your compressor is not running, you will need to check:

  • the thermostat,
  • the safety klixon,
  • the starting device: the thermistor or the starting relay,
  • the start capacitor,
  • the compressor windings and its power supply.

If your compressor is running normally, you will need to check:

  • the evaporator,
  • the fan,
  • defrost resistance
  • and thermal safety.

Wine cellars or coolers play a vital role in preserving the quality and flavor of wine by providing an ideal environment for storage. One of the essential factors in this environment is temperature. However, if your wine cellar is no longer maintaining a cool temperature, there may be several reasons behind this issue. Let’s explore these potential causes and discuss how you might solve them.

Why Is My Wine Cellar No Longer Cold?

1. Incorrect Thermostat Setting

The first and most straightforward cause could be an incorrectly set thermostat. If your wine cellar isn’t maintaining the right temperature, you should first check the thermostat to see if it’s set at the right level. Typically, wine should be stored at around 55°F (13°C).

2. Faulty Thermostat

If the thermostat setting is correct but the wine cellar is still not cooling properly, there could be a problem with the thermostat itself. Thermostats control the temperature in your wine cellar by signaling to the compressor when to start or stop. A faulty thermostat may not correctly regulate this cycle, leading to inadequate cooling.

3. Compressor Issues

The compressor plays a crucial role in the cooling process. It circulates refrigerant, which absorbs and dispels heat, thereby cooling the interior. If the compressor is faulty or not functioning correctly, your wine cellar will not maintain a cold temperature.

4. Blocked or Dirty Vents

The wine cellar’s cooling system needs a clear pathway to move air efficiently. If the vents are blocked or covered with dust, the cooling efficiency can be dramatically reduced, causing the wine cellar to be less cool than it should be.

5. Door Seal Damage

The door seal (or gasket) ensures that cool air stays within the wine cellar. If this seal is damaged, loose, or dirty, it may not be able to effectively keep the cold air in, leading to a warmer than desired temperature inside the cellar.


Some units are equipped with a start capacitor, which is located at the bottom of the wine cooler. Capacitor capacitance is expressed in microfarads, indicated on the label.

  • Set the multimeter to the capacitance function, which is expressed in microfarads (mF).
  • Place the test leads of your multimeter on the capacitor terminals.
  • Notice if the displayed value matches the value printed on the capacitor. If not, then it will need to be replaced.


The compressor power supply may be defective.

  • Set your multimeter to voltmeter mode.
  • Turn on the device, then place the test probes directly on the trigger.
  • You must have a value between 220 and 240 volts AC. If this is not the case, then, of course, the electronic card is faulty.

Why Is My Wine Cellar No Longer Cold?


If the fan is iced up or defective, cold air will not circulate and the cabinet temperature will rise.

  • Rotate the fan by hand to see if it is blocked. It should rotate freely without jamming.
  • Then take your multimeter and set it to ohms. Place the contact tips on the fan terminals.
  • If you do not find any value, then the fan is defective and needs to be replaced.

Troubleshooting Tips

  1. Adjust the Thermostat: The first step is to check and adjust the thermostat. Ensure it’s set to the recommended temperature for wine storage.
  2. Inspect the Compressor: Look for any signs of damage or listen for any unusual noises when the compressor is running. If you suspect a problem, you may need to call in a professional for repair.
  3. Check Vents and Fans: Ensure vents are unblocked and clean. Check that the fans are working properly as they aid in air circulation.
  4. Check the Door Seal: Inspect the door seal for any damage or dirt. Clean it regularly, and replace it if necessary.
  5. Call a Professional: If you’ve checked all these potential issues and the problem persists, you should consider hiring a professional. They have the expertise and equipment to accurately diagnose and fix the problem.

Regular maintenance and checks can help to prevent these problems and ensure your wine cellar maintains an optimum temperature. By keeping your wine cellar functioning correctly, you’re protecting your wine investment and ensuring the quality and flavor of each bottle.