What happen if you leave the refrigerator door open ?

Have you ever think about it, what happen if you leave the refrigerator door open? I am sure you don’t have so much of time to think about this. But that’s why we are here to get you know each and every interesting engineering topic with proper explanation.
So, today we will discuss about the fact that what happen if you leave the refrigerator door open ?


Now a days, refrigerators have become the one of the most important appliance in our household. It is quite impossible to survive without a refrigerator, specially in summer. We also love to open our refrigerator time to time to check whether there’s something in it to eat.

It is also quite possible that in doing such activity, we might forget to close the refrigerator door. So, in this scenario, there probably one question arising in your mind that what will happen if I leave my refrigerator door open for a long time?

What happen if you leave the refrigerator door open ?

Below are the some results which might occur when you forget to close the refrigerator door for a long period of time.

  1. The contents of the refrigerator will start to warm up and cause damage

We use refrigerators to store food at cooler temperatures, as cooler temperatures are ideal for keeping food fresh and long lasting. This helps us to avoid any kind of wastage and spoilage.

If you leave the refrigerator door open for too long, the temperature inside your refrigerator will start to rise as all the cooling will be ventilated and this will warm the food.

If you keep the refrigerator at the right temperature then the cooling will last longer and the food will not spoil if you are lucky enough. Items such as bread, milk, fruit, and vegetables are less likely to be damaged.

On the other hand, there is a type of food that is very sensitive and spoils quickly if you leave the fridge open. Therefore you should check before eating such types of foods. Anything with cream or cream tends to spoil quickly as it has a very low level of tolerance.

Food spoilage depends on the time you leave the fridge door open and I would strongly recommend that you check before eating anything after such situations. It is recommended that if your refrigerator has been operating at 105 Fahrenheit (40°C) for more than 120 minutes do not eat from it. Wastage and spoilage are highly dependent on the type of food and the time the door was opened.

  1. Formation of Moist

If you leave the refrigerator door open and unattended then the air flowing inside the refrigerator will automatically mix with the cool air inside your refrigerator. Naturally, warm air combined with cooling causes the formation of moisture.

This will lead to the formation of moisture in all parts of the refrigerator and the food items will be wet. The refrigerator automatically shuts off or lowers the temperature when it reaches the correct temperature but in case you leave it open and there is warm air then the compressor will work continuously because the sensors will not be able to feel the right temperature and this will lead to more moisture.

  1. Cooling will also take longer

After you go back to your fridge and see the door open and finally close it. The refrigerator is trying to return to its normal temperature.

However, this will take longer than usual due to frozen coils and the process of defrosting will begin before the refrigerator returns to its normal temperature. It may take up to 24 hours to cool down again.

  1. Compressor might be damaged

There are some chances when you leave the refrigerator door open for a long time unattended and after that, there is a failure of compressor .

This is because the compressor is constantly working to cool the refrigerator as the sensors cannot detect the right temperature and this may cause compressor failure.

This may be rare and you should not worry too much about it if you have a good quality modern refrigerator.

Why room become warmer if the refrigerator door opened for a long time ?

Have you ever think, what will be the effect in room temperature if the refrigerator door opened for a long time ?
Your answer will be immediately “The room temperature will decrease and room will become cooler”. But here’s the twist. That’s why the world of engineering is so interesting and mysterious.
For your kind information, if you leave the refrigerator door open for a long time, then your room will become warmer gradually. Now, the question arises, how is it possible?

To understand this, you have to understand the working of a refrigerator. In a simple way, refrigerator is heat absorbing device which simply extract heat from one place and release to another place. In case of a room fridge, it extract heat from the inside of a fridge by the help of refrigerants and release to the atmosphere by the help of condenser tubes which you can clearly see in the back side of your fridge.

When we leave the refrigerator door open for a while, it takes heat from the room surrounding and release back to the room. To cool down the whole room, the compressor will work more and more. Thus it will release it’s heat to the atmosphere as well (as we have discussed earlier in this article). As we know that, from the first law of thermodynamics, no machine can be 100% efficient. Thus, a compressor also converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. During this process, some part of electrical energy converted into heat energy. Ans so thus when the compressor works more and more, the heat energy also released more and more.

Thus, gradually the room becomes warmer.


Leaving the refrigerator door open may result in some kind of wastage and spoilage but you will probably not suffer much damage. Forgetting to close the refrigerator door is very common.

But I would highly recommend that you check the food before using it if such conditions occur.

I hope you find this article helpful and all the questions inside your brain were answered by me and now you know what can happen if you leave your refrigerator door left open and unattended.

You can also read this –


Q. Is room become warmer or cooler, if I left my fridge door open ?

The room gradually become warmer if you left the refrigerator door open for a long time.

Q. What happens to the temperature of the room when you leave the fridge door open?

The average room temperature in the room will rise.

Q. How long can the fridge door be left open?

This question cannot be answered precisely as there are many factors which evaluate this. The type of food and the model of your refrigerator will play a vital role in this.

Some refrigerators can keep food cooler longer than other ones. The average time a refrigerator door can be left open without spoilage is 60-240 minutes

Q. Does leaving the fridge door open damage it ?

If you leave the fridge door open for a long time and start worrying that what damages can take place ? Then you do not have to overthink about this as nothing will happen to your refrigerator. It will automatically start working normally once closed again.

Q. What is the average life of a refrigerator ?

According to the United States Department of Energy, refrigerators last approximately 12 years. At that point, it is likely to be replaced. Refrigerator life span also depends upon how you take care of this. If one keep a refrigerator in well maintained situation then it might be differ.

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