Low tech problem: leaving refrigerator door open for a few minutes or somewhat longer


Golden Member
May 6, 2013
Do your roommates or family members get all upset if you do so? Assuming you yourself like me don't mind leaving the fridge door open for some minutes while you prepare food or do something else near the fridge. It's so annoying to have someone tell you "the door!", "the door is open!", "don't leave the door open!", or "close the door!."

Jeez pray you never have to live with someone else. Unless you're getting something from them like if you can sleep with them say if it's your significant other. Then maybe you could put up with the harping.

Not going to say if it harms anything by leaving the fridge door open for a few to several minutes. I tend to think it's no big deal. Others like my dad have it fixed in their mind it's a cardinal sin to not shut the door as quickly as you can. I looked on the net for advanced refrigerators that suffer less if you leave the door open for longer periods of time but didn't really have any luck.
Dec 10, 2005
It wastes energy leaving it open and warms the food inside. Warming leads to faster spoilage. What's the big deal about just grabbing what you need to prepare your meal and shutting the door?
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Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2011
I tend to think it's no big deal.
Is it on a par with some sort of global catastrophe? No. But in the ordinary scheme of things, you think wrong... Do you also "tend to think" there's no reason not to leave your front door open half an hour at a time with the AC running during August (or during January, with the furnace going full blast)?


Apr 17, 2002
i don't understand the 'several minutes open' part

do you forget whats in there or something?


Aug 3, 2006
Just tell them to fuck off, or stop sucking at life. Either way it's pretty easy.


Jan 18, 2000


There’s no need to be a great scientist to realise that a room tends to cool down when a fridge door is left open.
Based on this observation, a committee of scientists from the University of Colorado looked into this physical phenomenon for more than a year in an attempt to specifically quantify and then represent it in a mathematical model.
And it was only a few days ago that Professor Smith’s team unveiled the findings of its study.
The scientists are unequivocal: Leaving fridge doors open could help to slow down, or even stop, global warming.
“Fridges cool down the atmosphere just like air conditioners”, concluded Professor Smith.
The report thus recommends we leave our fridge doors, or better still, our freezer doors, open for at least 4 hours a day.
“While this may increase energy consumption slightly, is it not a price worth paying to leave a better world for future generations” said the visibly moved professor.
As visionaries committed to humanist values, big retail chains had already understood the environmental challenges of this study long before everyone else. As we’ve all already seen, the watchword during heat waves is to leave the doors of stores wide open with the air conditioning turned up to full blast. The planet will be forever grateful to them.


Golden Member
Sep 30, 2013
A number of new refrigerators have door alarms that start beeping after a few minutes.


Aug 24, 2008
Unless I am going right back to get more stuff out after setting other stuff down there is no reason to leave it open unless you are a lazy bastard.

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
Cold air falls, so when you open a fridge door the air is literally pouring out, it would be kinda interesting to see on an infrared actually, you won't see the actual air but you would see the floor start to get cold around the fridge and it would probably spread. The longer it's open the more time the food will have to start getting warmed by the room temp and overall it will cause the fridge to work harder. Those compressors arn't design for continuous duty cycle like A/C units so it takes a while to get the temp back to proper cooling.

This is also why deep freezers are more efficient. You could almost get away with leaving the top open and stuff would probably stay cold. Kinda like at grocery stores. There's a misconception about it cooling the room though, the grocery store ones, maybe, because the compressor/condenser is often outside, they work like A/C. But a standard home fridge, the compressor/condenser is outside the fridge. You will feel cooler standing right in front of it, but meanwhile the back is throwing off lot of heat. Fridges are A/Cs don't produce cold air, they just suck hot air away. This is why with A/C you have a portion of the machine that's outside, as you are moving the heat from inside to outside.

One thing that's always crosssed my mind with fridges/freezers though is how it's kinda silly that we use energy to heat our homes then use energy to keep the inside of those cold. It would be more efficient to have some kind of exchanger that uses outside air to cool the inside of fridge/freezers. The compressor would only need to run in the summer months. Would be a bit more involved to actually set something like that up though.


Diamond Member
May 20, 2001
If you leave the door open for 10 minutes the compressor would have to run for quite a while to lower the temp in the fridge. Its a waste of energy and hard on the fridge and might even cause a compressor to seize or blow a relay if it keeps happening. I had this happen with a 3 year old $3000 fridge. Luckily a hard start kit fixed it.


aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
It's not that hard to open and close the fridge. I can't believe you're actually looking for and willing to spend money on a fridge that could be left open longer. Lazy bastard

Just get a glass front fridge if your grey matter can't retain what's in the fridge for long enough.
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Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
I'd love to see the time and materials on that proposal.

That would be one hell of a bill of materials. lol

In think in theory it would actually work though. :p Just not sure how you shed heat in space, you can't just stick a fan over a coil. lol


No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
That would be one hell of a bill of materials. lol

In think in theory it would actually work though. :p Just not sure how you shed heat in space, you can't just stick a fan over a coil. lol

Pretty sure you can't shed heat into space. There is nothing there to take the heat.


Mar 16, 2011
How about moving out of your parents house and you can leave the door open all day if you want and not have to listen to your dad. Or just buy a walk in refrigerator?

And yes I give the same advice to my kid. ;)
Mar 11, 2004
Look, Josh, clearly you think you're the most important person on the planet, but there's no reason to leave the fridge door open. Ok we get it, you're probably a teenager or in your 20s and you're buying into the whole libertarian or anarchist view, probably had "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!" on loop in the background as you typed it. But, you'll find people unanimously telling you its stupid to leave the door open. This is one topic that both liberals and conservatives (even modern ones) can agree on. (I say we take back this country starting with the refrigerator door! Let's jump n the fridge and turn the swamp - why would we drain it? - into fucking glass by nuking it!).

You're not going to find any because you need to learn some simple physics and chemistry.

You can give off heat in space, but it's through the relatively slow mechanism of radiation.


Actually, makes you wonder if we couldn't get two birds with one stone by making space elevators also have some ability to shed excess heat or something. Maybe we could use the force of pulling things back down to convert carbon (have a mechanism that would use that force to power a press?). Or maybe it could suck carbon out of the atmosphere, feed it into tubes where it'd run out into space and get condensed via cooling and then could be stored or utilized in some way.


Senior member
Nov 3, 2008
why is there no poll in this thread?

Its OK to leave it open for a few minutes or somewhat longer.............................[] 0%
Close the door FFS, other people pay the bills and keep stuff in the fridge........[_____________]100%