One of the most frequent questions that people ask when buying a beverage or wine refrigerator is can the unit be placed either outdoors or built in to an existing cabinet space. There are some simple options that will make this clear.
When a refrigerator is rated for “Built In” installation it means that refrigerator is configured with a front breathing panel that vents the warm air that is created when the unit is cooling. This warm air comes out of the front of the unit and allows the unit to function properly with no extra space around the back and sides of the unit. These types of models tend to cost much more than traditional refrigerators that cool by releasing heat through the sides and back of the unit.
You can install what is called a “Free Standing” beverage refrigerator into a cabinet or enclosed space, however, you generally will need to leave several inches around the sides and back to allow for the unit to work properly. If you do not leave the space around sides and back, then the unit will run the risk of malfunctioning and ultimately not working. Most people looking to install a refrigerator into an existing space do not like the aesthetics of having this space showing, so they will usually opt for a Built In model.
Another common question when looking at beverage refrigerators is whether the unit can be installed outside or not. Any beverage refrigerator can be stored outside, however, unless you purchase a model that has been U.L. approved for outdoor installation, you will run the risk of the refrigerator not lasting very long. Most outdoor beverage refrigerators are both Built In since these units will generally be installed into an existing space that houses a grill and other outdoor appliances.
Some of the other features to consider when buying a beverage refrigerator is whether you plan on storing cans, sodas, beer bottles or wine bottles, and what combination of this storage options you plan on accommodating. Some beverage refrigerators have more space for wine storage, while others are built for mostly beer and sodas. You should have an idea of the configuration that may be best for you before making a purchasing decision.
Some other features to look for when buying a beverage refrigerator is door type. Do you want a glass front so you can showcase your collection of beverages or would you prefer a specific color to best match the interior of your house? Some beverage refrigerators come equipped with a small ice maker or freezer compartment. If you want a dual functioning unit this is something you should consider. When buying a dual freezer or ice maker model you will generally have to give up some can or bottle storage.
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