How to Use a Built-in Wine Cooler as Freestanding?

There are quite a few differences between a built-in wine cooler, and a freestanding one. However, who’s to say you can’t have both in one? Is it possible? The main difference between the two is the ventilation system, so let’s find out.

The main differences between a built-in and freestanding wine cooler

Freestanding wine coolers are known to be more portable, whilst built-in wine coolers can be tucked away neatly in your kitchen cabinet. Wine coolers operate using a thermoelectric cooling system, which takes air in, cools it, circulates it around the cooler compartment, and spits the air back out once it warms up.

In a freestanding wine cooler, the vent is located at the back, which means that you cannot stick it in a cupboard and call it a day, as it will overheat and eventually break. In a built-in wine cooler, the vent is located at the front of the cooler, meaning that even if its back is up against the cabinet wall, air is still circulating in the ventilation system properly.

Hybrid wine coolers

Hybrid wine coolers are freestanding wine coolers that feature a rear and front vent – allowing you to use them as both built-in and freestanding wine coolers. These are often more expensive than regular freestanding wine coolers due to their versatility, and the more complex ventilation system installed.

How to convert your built-in wine cooler

However, if we’re talking about using a built-in wine cooler freestanding, then it’s rather simple – built-in wine coolers feature a front-facing vent, so as long as the front of the cooler is free of obstruction, it can be placed anywhere you please. However, you need to make sure that the built-in wine cooler does not require hardwiring – in which case, it’s not possible to use it as a freestanding wine cooler.

Simply plug it in anywhere in the house and make sure the front is unobstructed – you might also want to elevate the wine cooler a little, to ensure proper air flow. You’re going to want to avoid placing it on a carpet, due to the possibility of leakage, and even the hot air damaging the carpet.

Unlike freestanding wine coolers, built-in wine coolers tend to be smaller, to fit in cabinets, so reaching down might become a hassle. If it becomes an issue, you can place the built-in wine cooler on a countertop, and simply plug it in somewhere in the kitchen.

If your wine cooler is a dual-temperature zone cooler, then make sure to adjust temperatures accordingly after moving, as to avoid lukewarm wine and disappointment.


In conclusion, it’s quite a simple matter to use a built-in wine cooler as a freestanding one. Much easier than using a freestanding wine cooler as a built-in one, in fact, which means that built-in wine coolers have more value for your money. However, if you have money to spare, a hybrid wine cooler would be your best, and safest bet.

This entry was posted in Real Estate and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.