Not many people realize this, but humidors and wine coolers are quite similar. While humidors are used to store cigars, wine coolers are used to store your bottles of wine. While both serve the same general purpose, their inner workings and cooling mechanisms differ slightly.
If you’re having trouble with humidity in your wine cooler, there are some things you can do to fix it. Here are some tips to increase humidity in your wine cooler…
1) Check Cooler Temperature
Most wine coolers are built to maintain a temperature range of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. An easy way to check your cooler’s temp is with a thermometer that can measure in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
The lower you can keep your wine cooler’s temperature, the better! If it is too cold or too warm, neither will cause any harm for your wine or beverage collection, but it could be messing with how well your product is aging.
Before moving on to other humidity-increasing techniques, make sure you’ve done everything you can to bring down temperatures.
2) Adjust Vents For Proper Air Circulation
If you’re looking to increase humidity in your wine cooler, adjust air vents to allow for more air circulation. The placement of these vents is vital for cooling, which can be a problem if there isn’t proper ventilation.
A professional service technician can help you with any adjustments that may be necessary, but in most cases all it takes is a little TLC and creativity.
For example, placing wood slats on top of your vents may not only increase air circulation but also make your cooler look like it came straight out of an old-time saloon! (Of course, there are different ways to increase humidity in wine coolers and other ways besides adjusting vent settings.)
3) Balance Water Level Between Shelves
If you’re not careful, you could wind up with a wine cooler that’s warmer on one shelf than another. That’s because temperature will vary across a single shelf as wine bottles come in contact with either cool or warm walls. The easiest way to correct for that?
Make sure there’s enough water to fill all of your shelves. This prevents bottles from sticking to walls, and it also helps bring down temperature on any given shelf. Just make sure your wine cooler can handle excess water; some are limited by their size, so keep an eye out for capacity levels before purchasing an oversized cooler.
4) Add Beads Or Crystals
Some wine coolers come with a small bottle of water beads or crystals that can be added to a compartment of the cooler. Adding these is an easy way to increase humidity and keep your wine tasting fresh.
We recommend using at least 10-15 beads if you are going to add them to your cooler, though more is always better! It’s best to leave them in for several days before adding more, as they will lose their potency if added frequently.
These should not be used as a replacement for maintaining proper levels of humidity in your wine cooler through other means. If you do not have an automatic humidifier system in place already, we recommend purchasing one from companies like Danby, or GE Appliances.
5) Keep The Light On
When I say light, I don’t mean that your house should be bathed in soft natural light all day long. What I mean is to turn on all of your house’s lights for a few hours at least once every 24 hours.
This helps to keep mold from growing inside of your wine cooler and also allows for better circulation, which helps keep your wine cooler at a consistent temperature.
Here’s another reason why you should never leave any of your lights on: If you turn off a light with a bright bulb, it will leave behind an extremely hot ghost when it turns off.
A little-known fact about electricity is that if you touch an ungrounded object after turning off such a light, you could be in for quite an electrical shock!
6) Use A Dehumidifier in Winter
The problem with wine coolers, especially during winter months, is that moisture can build up inside. The easiest way to increase humidity in your wine cooler is to use a dehumidifier. Be sure that you don’t run it continuously as you’ll end up lowering both humidity and temperature at once.
A single dehumidifier will lower both temps and humidity while running, and you may find yourself having to shut it off or adjust its settings periodically throughout the day or night if things get too chilly or dry.
If you want to keep your wine cooler at a specific temperature – check out some of our recommended thermometers here – then invest in a room humidifier/dehumidifier unit instead.
7) Don’t Have Too Many Bottles On The Shelf
If you have more bottles than can sit on your wine cooler’s shelf at once, then you don’t have enough humidity. The optimal temperature range for proper humidification is between 52 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of 70 percent.
Wines that fall within those temperature parameters will age more gracefully—but you need to make sure there’s enough moisture in order to maintain that optimal range.
If you have too many bottles on one shelf and too few on another, chances are your cellar’s humidity isn’t where it needs to be. Take care of your wine collection by spreading out some bottles across different shelves; if that means buying new racks, then so be it!
8) Reducing Bottle Contact
Most wine coolers today come with racks that fit in a standard space and hold 24 bottles. When it comes to storing wine, it’s often said that red wine tastes better if it is stored on its side and not laid flat.
If you want to store your red wines in optimal conditions, it might be a good idea to buy storage cases for them that don’t come into contact with each other. This will reduce oxidation and increase humidity levels inside your cooler.
9) Rotate Bottles
One of the easiest ways to increase humidity in your wine cooler is to periodically rotate your bottles. If you’re storing bottles at a slight angle (just enough so that their base is sitting on a different part of your rack), it will allow air to circulate.
This helps keep your bottles from losing humidity and from acquiring an off flavor caused by condensation collecting on them, which can get transferred into your wine over time.
Rotation is especially important for those bottles stored on lower racks; these are usually stored closer to cool surfaces, which have less of an ability to transfer moisture up through them than warmer upper racks do.
Keeping wine at a consistent temperature is vital to preserving its flavor and quality. Room-temperature wine won’t necessarily spoil, but its flavor will change over time as it becomes more acidic or loses its crispness.
If you want to preserve your wine for years to come, increase humidity in your cooler and avoid temperature fluctuations.
Keep in mind that temperature is one of several factors that can affect how your wines age, so if you’re trying to decide whether or not you should invest in a wine cellar rather than just a cheap cooler, consider other factors before making your decision.