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2 Reasons Why My Wine Fridge Is Ice Up (+ How to Fix It)

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Are you a wine lover? Well, keeping an open wine for a long time can be challenging if you don’t have a wine fridge. A wine cooler can improve the lifespan of an open wine bottle. 

A wine fridge is not just for wine lovers, though. They have many other benefits that you might not have guessed. A wine cooler is a great investment for both wine lovers and those who want to store other beverages. 

So, if you’re wondering whether it’s worth investing in one, read this article to see reasons why your wine fridge might ice up, so you can decide if it will be the right purchase for you. Also, keep reading to see if you are able to fix a wine fridge that does ice up – including tips and tricks on fixing a wine fridge that has gotten too cold! 

Why Is My Wine Fridge Ice Up
Why Is My Wine Fridge Ice Up

TIP: If you are interested in checking out the best refrigerator for wine storage I recommend trying out Nutrichef (18 bottles) compressor wine refrigerator. You can find this refrigerator by clicking here (Amazon link).

Why is Ice Forming in My Wine Fridge

Ultimately, ice build-up occurs due to the presence of humid air. If there was no moisture content in the cooler, there would be no water vapor that could condense and freeze into ice.  As mentioned above, the main culprit of ice forming in your wine fridge is warm, humid air. 

Why does a wine fridge can occasionally “freeze up”? Depending on the severity of your problem, this can take many forms.

On the less-problematic end, you may notice frost buildup on the door and on the actual bottle of wine. On the more-problematic end, you may see large ice crystals, warming temperatures, and damaged wine.

Regardless of the intensity, no level of freezing up is desirable. Let’s try to better understand why your wine fridge may be freezing up.

  1. Damaged seals.

Regardless of the type of wine fridge that you have, it most certainly has a door that seals with rubber gaskets. Over time, the rubber material can start to degrade and lose some of its elasticity.

When this occurs, the seal between the door and the door frame starts to lose some of its integrity. As a result, warm air will start to leak into the wine fridge.

In some locations, such as desert climates, this effect may not cause a freeze-up due to the low ambient humidity. In other locations, such as the American midwest or south, mild freeze-up can occur in just a few short hours.

  1. Faulty door mechanism.

It is also possible that the actual door mechanism itself is to blame for any leakage of warm air. Often, hinges are to blame. Over time, as hinges grow older and become more weighted, they can become misaligned with the door and frame.

This leads to gaps, often near the top or bottom of the door. Alternatively, the door closer can be faulty, not shutting the door completely. It may need to be adjusted or replaced.

TIP: If you want to learn how cold a wine refrigerator can get and why it is important for wine storage, you need to check out this article I wrote. To learn my proven 8-steps for long-term wine storage, you must read this article.

Why Does My Wine Fridge Ice Up

A wine fridge will maintain the internal humidity between 50 and 80% and has sensors to ensure excessive levels aren’t reached. If moist air enters the wine cooler, during the cooling period, the water molecules will condense and potentially freeze on the back wall of the wine fridge.

If you try to store your wine in a refrigerator, it will likely become too cold, and the wine will lose its flavor and aroma.

A wine fridge, on the other hand, is designed to maintain a temperature range of 50 degrees F to 80 degrees F, which is the perfect temperature for storing wine. That is unless your wine fridge ices up. Why does this happen? To put it simply, the answer is warm, humid air. 

Many believe the benefits outweigh the downside of owning a wine fridge, one of those negatives being the problem of your wine fridge icing up. A big benefit of using a wine fridge is that it keeps your wine fresh for longer.

Wine is a delicate beverage, and it can start to spoil if it’s not stored properly. When wine is exposed to oxygen, it will oxidize, and the flavor will begin to change. A wine fridge prevents this by keeping your wine sealed off from the air, which means it will stay fresher for longer.

Let’s explore some other reasons why your wine fridge may be icing up. Keep reading! 

TIP: A critical aspect of keeping wine for long periods is the correct temperature and humidity. Check out this complete guide on how to control humidity in the wine fridge and the most common reason why your wine cooler is not cooling in this article.

Why Does My Wine Fridge Keep Icing Up

A wine fridge is a refrigerator that is designed for the specific purpose of cooling and storing wine. While you could use a regular kitchen refrigerator to store your wine, it’s not ideal because refrigerators are built to maintain a temperature range of 40 degrees F to 45 degrees F, which is too cold for wine. However, regular refrigerators don’t have the hassle of icing up that some wine refrigerators do. 

Some reasons your wine fridge might keep icing up are listed below. 

Defrost timer. A defrost timer shuts off the refrigerator compressor at pre-scheduled intervals in order to allow your unit to defrost. Should your defrost timer be faulty, you could see significant ice build-up in your wine fridge.

Clogged drain line. The drain line of the evaporator coil can get clogged and water vapor will back up causing icing issues around the drain or on the coil itself. This is usually easy to spot and should be fixed right away. 

TIP: The estimated cost to repair a wine fridge can range between $50 and $500, excluding the shipping costs for online purchased parts. The list of costs for all wine cooler parts is in the table below:

Wine Cooler PartCosts Products on Amazon
Compressor$100 – $600Best Compressors
Thermostat$5 – $30Best Thermostats
Start relay$7 – $16Best Start Relays
Condensor motor$30 – $250Best Condensor Motors
Overload protector$5 – $10Best Overload Protectors
Cooling fan unit$10 – $25Best Cooling Fan Units
Control board$60 – $250Best Control Boards
Temperature switching PCB$30 – $50Best PCBs
Thermal plate$30 – $50Best Thermal Plates
Estimated Costs to Repair Wine Fridge

How Do You Get Ice Out of a Wine Cooler

The best way to get ice out of a wine cooler is to defrost it without the risk of damaging the cooling lines. The way to do this is to empty it, unplug it, and wipe out the frost and water with a towel. If it is frosting over a lot, try reducing the temperature and get a thermometer for the inside so it doesn’t ruin your wine.

TIP: Many people worry if wine refrigerators are noisy and thus more appropriate for a garage. In this article, you’ll see that these concerns are mostly unfounded. This is a great article I wrote that will put your mind at ease.


Wine refrigerators are less expensive than building a wine cellar in your home. You’ll still be able to maintain the perfect temperature and humidity for your wines, but you won’t have to worry about the high costs associated with building a wine cellar.

In addition, to get the ideal storage conditions that you can quickly achieve with a wine refrigerator, you’ll need a cooling system that is constantly running and a humidifier to maintain proper humidity. This will be quite expensive, racking up your electricity bill.

On the other hand, a wine fridge provides a controlled environment that preserves your wine with the benefit of fitting your home, energy efficiency, and low maintenance costs.

With advanced features like dual-zone temperature, wine fridges have the ability to have independent temperature ranges to properly store both red and white wines within a limited space.

And as long as you know how to be proactive in keeping your wine fridge from icing up as well as using the tips and tricks we have learned here, you’ll be ready to own and manage that wine fridge like a pro! 

TIP: For a complete list of wine products and accessories I really love, check out this page. You’ll find my recommendations for wine refrigerators, decanters, and aerators and the best place to buy wine online. Click here to see the complete listing.