I'm well aware that the default answer to this textbook default question is "it doesn't work", but still, I believe it does.

To cool the insides of the fridge, the compressor must do work, and since the efficiency isn't 100% you are constantly warming the whole room to cool it's insides, the winning move here is simply turning the fridge off. However, let's suppose the fridge must stay on, wouldn't it be better to open the door?

In other words: Isn't opened fridge turned on better than closed fridge turned on for the whole room temperature?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Let me see if I understand the question. Are you asking if a room is cooler with a running fridge that has a door closed vs a running fridge with a door open? $\endgroup$
    – cspirou
    Aug 3, 2013 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. In summary, this was my initial question. $\endgroup$
    – ShizukaSM
    Aug 3, 2013 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ Even though this question - Can we cool a room by opening the door of a refrigerator? - has been closed as a duplicate of this one, it has some really great answers! $\endgroup$
    – Vishnu
    Apr 12, 2020 at 11:04

2 Answers 2


No, you are making the fridge do extra work, so more energy is coming in (through the plug) as the pump continues to run since it's not reaching it's cold point. A normal operating fridge does not manifest cold air; it just pumps all the heat out of the inside of the fridge.

The action of pumping the heat out also has heat as a byproduct (which is waste heat from the power coming through the plug as it does work with the pump). So you're really just generating more heat and moving heat around.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hmm, it seems that my doubt was because I didn't understand how fridges works, then. I didn't know the compressor could in fact monitor temperature changes and adjust it's work accordingly, that makes sense. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – ShizukaSM
    Aug 2, 2013 at 23:14
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    $\begingroup$ @ShizukaSM if you vented the heat off the back of the fridge outside of the room, then it would cool the room. You need to isolate the heat from the fridge evaporator from the room in order to cool it down just like the little window AC units do. $\endgroup$
    – user6972
    Aug 3, 2013 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ Opening the door will probably cool the room temporarily, as the cold air in the fridge flows into the room. But over time, the extra work done by the compressor will tend to heat the room. $\endgroup$ Aug 3, 2013 at 18:43

NO. What allows a fridge maintain cool inside is the fact that the walls of the CLOSE fridge prevents heat from outside (the room heat) flows to the inside of the fridge WHILE the rate the fridge's compressor is drawing heat out (from the back or lower grills of the fridge). But if you open the door, the same amount of heat that flows INTO the fridge will be the same as the heat flowing out by the compressor.

If you open the door is like you taking the compressor of your air conditioning unit at home and moving it from its outside location to the center of the family room. All the heat taken from the AC unit bill be blown back into the inside of the house.

There are other details about entropy and maximum heat removal not explain here. But , for the sake of simplicity of your question statement, I offered to provide a simple none elaborated answer.


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