Control Humidity of Wine Fridge (Detailed Guide)
Keeping a wine collection in the right conditions is crucial for preserving its quality and taste, and humidity plays a significant role here.
For this reason, a wine refrigerator can be an excellent investment for any wine enthusiast. However, to ensure the wine remains in top condition, it’s crucial to maintain the right humidity level.
If you maintain the right humidity level, your wine can stay dry and moist, preventing the wine from spoiling.
Among the various levels choosing the right level for you has got you worried.
Wine a bit, and you’ll feel better.
In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of humidity in wine storage and provide some tips and tricks to effectively control humidity levels in your wine fridge. According to the information in this article, you can keep your wine in top condition by increasing or decreasing humidity.
How Humid is Wine Fridge?
Unlike air conditioners, wine coolers cannot produce humidity. The wine cooler is designed like a regular kitchen refrigerator, but it works within the best temperature range for wine. Indeed, the compressor system of a cooler does not remove as much moisture from the air as a refrigerator, but it also does not produce any.
The advantage of wine refrigerators is that they are well-insulated, meaning if you create humidity inside, it will maintain it.
Ideal Humidity Level for Wine Storage
As I mentioned, you should store your wines at the right temperature and humidity level to preserve their taste and quality. The recommended humidity range for wine storage is typically between 50% and 70%, with an ideal temperature of 55 degrees F.
Low humidity may cause corks in wine bottles to dry out, crack, or crumble, allowing oxygen to enter the bottle and oxidize it. In contrast, high humidity can create a desirable environment for mold and mildew, which can damage wine labels and corks.
Additionally, mold can cause damage to the interior of your wine fridge if humidity levels aren’t properly controlled.
Do Wine Fridge Control Humidity?
While many wine fridges or coolers do not have a humidity control function, most maintain a general humidity range of 40% to 50%, which is still suitable for wine storage.
However, for those who value their wine collection and want to ensure it is stored under the best possible conditions, upgrading to a superior wine fridge with a humidity control function can provide many benefits.
Investing in a wine fridge with a humidity control function allows you to control the storage environment, which will allow you to maintain a more precise and consistent humidity level, preserving your collection.
How to Control the Humidity in Wine Fridge?
Without a humidity control feature, you can still manually control the humidity level in your wine fridge or cooler. Check out these DIY methods:
Air Out your Wine Fridge or Cooler
Like airing out a new fridge, regular airing of your wine cooler will allow any odors or excess moisture to evaporate and dry out. As a result, corners and sealing rubbers will be prevented from forming mold.
Condensation creates the perfect environment for mildew and mold to develop.
Adjust the Temperature Setting of your Wine Fridge
After airing out your wine fridge, adjust the temperature to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this should be at most 60 degrees Fahrenheit unless the wine fridge is large and has a large bottle capacity. Setting it higher than 55 degrees Fahrenheit should prevent condensation from forming.
Avoid Constantly Opening and Closing your Wine Fridge
The best way to maintain the temperature of your wine fridge is to avoid constantly opening and closing it. It is especially vital in the summer since more wine is likely to be consumed, and the fridge will be opened more frequently, resulting in condensation forming sooner.
Clean any Visible Mold
Mold can form and grow quickly in the right environment, especially in wine fridges with wooden dividers or shelves. Once mold penetrates the wood, it should be discarded immediately. Wine fridges with mold inside indicate that the humidity levels are too high, so it’s important to carefully clean mold and avoid using bleach. Use fridge-safe chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide to clean the fridge’s interior, and always wear protective gear when cleaning.
The following steps must be followed:
- Unplug the fridge and turn it off
- Make sure you have gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator on you
- Take all the wine out of the fridge
- Place the dividers and shelves outside
- Fill a spray bottle with 35% hydrogen peroxide
- Peroxide should be sprayed all over the inside of the refrigerator
- Use a damp cloth to wipe down the device once used and discard it.
- Air out the wine fridge for a few hours and switch it on.
- The wood needs to be cleaned and sealed with peroxide.
Ensure the Drainage Pipe is Not Blocked
Regularly maintaining your wine fridge will prevent unexpected issues, such as a blocked drainage pipe. A blocked drainage pipe can cause condensation and leaks, particularly in the summer when the wine fridge has to work harder to keep the wine cold.
To unblock the drainage pipe, remove it from the wine fridge and pour two tablespoons of baking soda down the pipe followed by a cup of white vinegar. By doing this, the mixture will bubble a lot and unblock the pipe. The process can be repeated if necessary, but it would be a good idea to call in a technician if it still does not work.
How to Reduce Humidity of Wine Fridge?
Excessive humidity can be a problem for wine fridges, especially when the level reaches over 80%. However, there are several troubleshooting guidelines and fixes you can follow to reduce humidity, which includes:
- Place a charcoal filter made from food-grade materials inside the wine fridge or cooler. Check to see if your existing one is in good condition or replace it if necessary.
- Ensure the wine cooler does not face a wall at the back to prevent overheating.
- Ensure the wine fridge is at least half full or fully stocked for proper thermal mass. Less than half the unit’s capacity can lead to more humidity.
- Check the wine cooler’s rubber seals on the doors for gaps that allow warm air to enter. If any seals are faulty, replace them immediately.
- The wine fridge’s back wall should be able to breathe between the bottles and the back wall.
- Remove any paper or cardboard packaging around the bottles, as paper traps moisture.
- Place the wine cooler in a cool, dark area away from direct sunlight. Read our recommendations on the best places to keep your wine fridge if you are unsure where to keep it.
- Keep the wine cooler away from heat-emitting appliances.
Further reducing moisture in your wine fridge can be accomplished in several ways:
- Silica Gel Packets – These highly effective packets contain silica gel desiccant, readily absorbing moisture. In the wine fridge or cooler, place a few packets, and replace them regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Clay desiccant – Similarly to silica gel beads, clay desiccant is highly absorbent. The natural and safe product can be used inside the wine fridge and replaced regularly.
- Baking soda – Available at any pharmacy or supermarket, baking soda is inexpensive and highly absorbent. Place the baking soda in a glass or plastic container and place it inside the wine cooler or fridge. As soon as the baking soda needs to be replaced, it will compact together, and it will absorb foul smells as well.
How to Increase Humidity of Wine Fridge?
If your wine fridge needs an integrated humidity regulator or needs more humidity, this can be a problem.
In that case, you can increase the humidity level by following these steps, which require the following supplies:
- A hygrometer, water tray or bowl and a dense sponge or microfiber cloth.
- Start by using the hygrometer to measure the current humidity level. In the absence of a built-in hygrometer in your wine fridge, place the hygrometer on the middle shelf for 24 hours.
- If the reading indicates that the humidity level is below 50%, it’s important to increase it to prevent the cork from drying out and causing the wine to spoil due to oxidation. To do this
- Wet the sponge or cloth and squeeze out most of the water.
- Then, place the sponge or cloth in the bowl or tray and put it inside the fridge, ideally on the middle shelf. Leave it there for at least 24 hours and take another reading with the hygrometer.
- You can use this method every four days if the humidity level is between 55% and 70%. Then, rinse and re-insert the sponge or cloth.
- Wet the sponge or cloth in low humidity more frequently every 24 hours.
- To raise humidity more quickly, you can place a bowl of water in the fridge if the sponge or cloth methods are ineffective.
- Once the humidity has stabilized, take a reading every three to four days and adjust the method accordingly.
Remember, it’s crucial to maintain the right humidity levels to ensure the longevity and quality of your wine.
Do Wine Coolers Dehumidify?
Wine coolers do not dehumidify, but in the fridge, baking soda, silica gel, and clay desiccant can reduce humidity.
Does High Humidity Ruin my Wine?
Yes, it does. With ideal humidity, wine quality may be positively affected. Over 70% of labels and glue are likely to decay and mold in humid conditions.
Does Cooling Reduce Humidity of Wine Fridge?
Cooling can reduce the humidity of a wine fridge. This is because cooling the air can cause water vapor to condense and collect on the cooling coils or evaporator. This reduces the amount of moisture in the air.
In conclusion, maintaining proper humidity levels in a wine fridge or cooler is essential to preserving the quality and longevity of your wine collection. Fluctuating humidity can damage the corks and labels of wine bottles irreversibly, making it challenging to control the environment without a built-in humidity controller.
However, you can maintain your collection by using a hygrometer and following the steps I described earlier to adjust the humidity regularly.
This will ensure that your wine stays in excellent condition. These steps allow you to wine, dine, and have a good time.