Whether you like drinking soda, wine, or beer, a beverage fridge will guarantee that you’ll always have a chilled can or bottle of your favorite drink. It’s a good and practical investment for your home. A beverage refrigerator provides the ideal temperature for your beverages and frees up space in your main fridge.
But with the number of fridges available today, it’d be hard to choose the perfect one you need. We put together a list of factors you should consider when choosing a refrigerator. This will help you narrow down your options and make an informed purchasing decision.
How many bottles and/or cans will you be storing in the fridge? Beverage fridges come in different sizes and capacities. Think about what beverages you and your family like to drink. How much do you think you usually drink?
Consider your current collection and anticipate future ones. This means that you should get a unit with an allowance for storage space for beverages you might store in the future. You can add about 20% more space or the number of bottles or cans so there won’t be too much or not enough space.
For reference, most small-capacity fridges can hold up to 60 cans and are ideal for a collection of drinks for two people. Most medium or mid-capacity ones, on the other hand, can hold up to 80 or 100 cans and are perfect for a small family or group. Lastly, most large fridges have a capacity of up to 150 cans or more.
Decide on where you’ll place your beverage refrigerator. Do you want to use it outdoors or indoors? In your kitchen, living room, office, or game room?
Indoor models are designed for indoor use where there’s a climate-controlled environment. They’re made to blend in with your existing furniture and decor. While outdoor models are designed to withstand rain, heat, wind, and snow for outdoor use. They’re made durable to face harsh weather conditions.
Whichever you choose, you have to make sure that wherever you place the fridge, it will fit. Also, keep in mind that there should be good air circulation around the refrigerator. This is to allow the hot air removed inside the fridge to escape safely and avoid the appliance to overheat.
Additionally, you should consider placing the refrigerator somewhere that’s not under direct sunlight. This is because heat may affect the performance of the unit.
3. Installation Type
Depending on where you want to place the refrigerator, there are two ways you can install the unit. Or, you can base the location on what installation method you prefer. There are two types of beverage refrigerators based on their installation:
Freestanding Beverage Fridge
A freestanding model is designed as a stand-alone appliance, making it a versatile option. You can place it just about anywhere you want. You can place them in game rooms, the living room, the basement, your workplace, and other entertainment areas. You can even place it on top of counters.
A freestanding fridge has either rear or side vents that you need to consider when deciding on where to place it. You have to make sure there’s space around, or at least in the side where the vent is, to ensure air circulation.
Built-In Beverage Refrigerator
This type of fridge is ideal for tight spaces between your furniture or under your counters. Built-in models can be installed between your kitchen cabinets or under a kitchen counter. They’re designed with front vents so you won’t have to worry about the extra space around them. The best thing about these models is that they can also be used as freestanding units.
You need to check if the temperature range of the unit can provide optimal temperatures for your beverages. Here are the best temperatures to store different types of drinks:
- Beer: 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit
- Non-alcoholic drinks/Soda: 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit
- Red Wine: 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit
- White Wine: 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit
- Sparkling Wine: 40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit
Make sure that the unit can properly cool your favorite drinks so you can enjoy their quality taste and flavors. This is why some coolers offer two temperature zones:
Single-Zone Cooling: Fridges with this type of cooling system offer only one temperature range for the whole appliance. They provide cold airflow with steady temperature throughout the unit.
Dual-Zone Cooling: A dual-zone cooling system offers two temperature zones for your beverages. This means that there are two compartments inside the fridge in which each of which offers its own temperature range. Some models have the same temperature range for both zones but most have different temperature ranges.
Depending on your drinking preferences, you can choose either of the two. Keep in mind that with dual-zone cooling, you can set the zones at the same temperature so it’s like single-zone cooling as well.
5. Energy Usage
Consider the energy usage and the cost it takes to run the appliance. To have an idea of the energy efficiency of a unit, here are two important features you’ll want to consider:
Compressor System: Most fridges operate with compressors to maintain the interior temperature. Compared to standard refrigerators, this system is more energy efficient and cost-efficient because it doesn’t need to constantly draw power to keep the inside cool.
Solid Stainless Steel or Double-Pane Glass Door: Check the door material of the unit. Both stainless steel and double-pane glass provide great insulation that can maintain the cold temperature inside.
6. Noise and Vibration
Consider how much noise you can tolerate and ensure that it won’t disrupt you if you place it in your desired location. If noise is important to you, you can check the decibel level of the unit. This means you need to consider how much vibration the unit produces. The vibration is the noise and it can also affect the flavor of your beverages, especially the alcoholic ones.
By design, all beverage refrigerators must be able to accommodate cans and bottles, holding them properly. There are two main shelf materials used by most units: wood and metal.
Wooden shelves usually are smooth rolling and are ideal for holding wines. Metal racks, on the other hand, are mostly adjustable so you can adjust the space between them to accommodate cans and bottles of different sizes.
Choose one which you think would match your needs the most.
8. Appearance or Style
Consider what design you want that would match your existing furniture and decor. A popular look for most kitchens and rooms is a stainless steel and glass door design, especially for a high-end look. These fridges also come in different finishes that blend well with many design themes.
What’s important is you choose based on what you like your beverage fridge to look like.
9. Extra Features
You should also consider what special features you can enjoy from a specific beverage refrigerator. These additional features usually add to the safety, style, and convenience of the unit. Here are some of the best features you should add to your list:
UV Protection: If you want a unit with a glass door, look for one that uses UV-resistant glass. This will prevent the UV rays from affecting your beverages inside, which usually affects the flavor, especially of the wines.
Security Lock: The lock allows you to prevent unauthorized access to your drinks. This is extremely useful if you have minors and small children around and alcoholic beverages in the fridge. With one, you can have peace of mind that they won’t be able to drink what they’re not supposed to. If you have a wine collection, this feature will help you keep your collection safe.
LED Interior Lighting: This allows you to easily see and look inside for your drink. It even adds up to the aesthetic look of the fridge. Also, fridges that use LED lighting proved to be more energy efficient than those that use standard lighting.
Reversible Doors: These let you install the door from either the left or right, whichever would be best and most convenient for you and your space.
Always look at your budget since it will significantly influence your choice. The costs of these refrigerators vary depending on how basic or high-end they are, especially if they have lots of features.
Decide on what you need first and look at the factors that we mentioned above. They should help you determine a price range for your budget. The cost can then narrow down your options.
A beverage refrigerator makes a good investment and comes with many benefits for your favorite beverages. When choosing, always consider the factors we mentioned above to narrow down your choices and make a good purchasing decision.
For the best unit, we recommend the Allavino 47" Wide FlexCount II Tru-Vino Dual-Zone Refrigerator. It comes with lots of features that you can enjoy, especially if you have a large collection. You can always check out our top-rated collection for more options that would match your needs.