Written By John Westenhaver
Your mother almost certainly told you to "shut that refrigerator door!" when you were a kid; mine certainly did. There is something magnetic about the refrigerator; my kids will open the door and stand there, mesmerized, patiently waiting for inspiration to strike and tell them what they want to eat.
Echoing my mother, I generally shout, "Shut that refrigerator door; you're letting all the cold out!" Being me, however, I also wonder; just how much cold is being let out? That is why, last night, I enlisted the aid of my youngest daughter, a stopwatch, and a digital thermometer for little science experiment.
Here's what I discovered: Opening the refrigerator door at all raised the temperature inside by about 1 degree F. Leaving the refrigerator door open for 15 seconds raised the temperature inside by 4 degrees F and leaving it open for 30 seconds raised the temperature by 6 F. Every appliance is different, of course, so your results may vary if you want to check this for yourself; but now you can answer the question when your smart-aleck kids (or grandkids) ask.
Just for reference, according to various experts, refrigerators should be set at 35 to 38 degrees F.
This is a guest written article by our friend John Westenhaver from the energy conservation blog Energy Watcher.