In these busy times, it is now common to forget to close the refrigerator doors. It is understandable that you should worry about what might happen if you leave the fridge door open and you are already a long way from home.
In this article, I will do my best to answer the possible things that will happen when the refrigerator door is left open for a few hours.
Without wasting any of your time, let’s jump straight to it.
What Will Happen If the Refrigerator Door is Left Open?
1. Moist Formation
When the door of the refrigerator is left open and unattended, then air coming from the outside, which is warm, will mix with the cool air from the refrigerator. As a result, the whole fridge will be moist, and everything else in the fridge will be wet.
Due to the nature of how a refrigerator works, the compressor in the refrigerator will start to run continuously because the sensors on your fridge will find it hard to reach the “cool” temperature to slow down. This also leads to even more moist conditions.
2. Items in the Fridge Will Start to Be Warm & Food Spoilage Begins
The reason why we use refrigerators is the fact that we are trying to prevent any spoils from food. In leaving the refrigerator open for a while, the temperature will start to increase, and as a result, the food will start to become warm.
Fortunately, if the fridge is set to the right temperature and is cool enough, most foods won’t get spoiled. Things like milk, bread, fruits, and veggies won’t get spoiled.
However, some foods are really sensitive, and you must examine them before you consume them. Anything that is classified as creamy has a shorter tolerance rate and gets spoiled quickly.
Depending on when you left your fridge open, I urge you to check every item before consuming it.
3. It Will Take Longer to Cool the Refrigerator Again
Now when you finally come back and close the fridge, it will take longer than usual to get the fridge to get cold again due to the coils being frozen, and a defrosting process would need to begin before the fridge gets cold again.
4. Higher Electricity Bill
With the fridge left open, the compressor will work harder than it should, resulting in more electricity consumption. If this happens regularly, you should expect a higher electricity bill afterward.
5. Nothing Will Happen to Your Refrigerator
Most people worry about the fridge getting damaged due to being left open. Luckily, it is unlikely that your refrigerator will get damaged. As soon as you close the door, the refrigerator will take a while to reset, but once that is done, everything should be back to normal.
Are There Products to Let You Know If Your Fridge Door is Open?
- GENTLE ALARMS - Alert after 1 minute (for 2 seconds), a second alarm after...
- CONTINUOUS ALARM - Alert after 3 minutes (stay 60 seconds) will help you...
- REPEATED SIREN - Loud Mode includes an additional 110dB Siren every 4...
- Digital Thermometers: Includes one refrigerator thermometer and one freezer...
- Easy-to-Read LCD Display: Comes with magnetic backing for fridge mounting,...
- Customizable Temperature Alarms: Be alerted to temperature spikes caused by...
- Wireless freezer alarm goes off if the freezer door stays open for...
- Simple peel and stick installation, easy to install on most of...
- This alarm with 4 modes, it’s not only a refrigerator alarm, but also a...
- 【Temperature Range】The indoor/outdoor thermometer range: Indoor -10℃~...
- 【Audio Alarm】The Wireless Thermometer console includes audible and...
- 【Easy to Read Display】The LCD screen with large digit.Records Min and...
How long until food goes bad if a refrigerator door is left open?
Now, depending on various factors, including the type of foods in the refrigerator, the temperature at which the refrigerator was running. The most obvious way to check if the food is not good to consume is to taste or smell it. If the fridge door is left open for just 4 hours or less, then food is still generally safe to eat.
However, if you are extra health-conscious, it is recommended by USDA that you check the thermostat on the fridge. If the fridge was running below 105 Fahrenheit for more than 120 minutes, it is not advisable to consume the food.
What should you do if you forgot to close the refrigerator door?
If you accidentally forgot to close the refrigerator door, unplug your fridge immediately, remove the items, defrost it, get rid of condensation, plug it back in, and let it run for at least 6 hours. Once the temperature has normalized, return the food inside.
How long can a fridge stay open?
The average time you can leave a fridge open without food spoilage is 60 – 240 minutes. This is a very difficult question to answer due to many different variables that come into play, including the type of foods in the fridge and the type of fridge you have. Some refrigerators can keep food cooler for longer than other refrigerators.
How long does it take for a fridge to get cold after being left open?
It will take approximately 24 hours for the fridge to get cold after being left open. It will take the fridge a longer time to get cold after being left open because it will need first to defrost and clean itself before the cooling process begins once more.
Forgetting to close the doors on your fridge after using it is common and can be stressful, especially if you are far away from the house and there is only so much that you can do to help the situation.
Fortunately, not a lot of harm will be done. I hope this article helped answer the questions you had.
Agnes is a kitchen and cooking enthusiast as well as a fitness fanatic. She loves to help readers upgrade and furnish their kitchen with the best available products! She is the primary writer behind SmartKitchenImprovement.com and hopes to share little tidbits of knowledge she’s picked up over her years as a mom and wife.