If you left the refrigerator door open, what would happen to the room temperature and why?
Asked by: Sophie
The room would get warmer! Think of a refrigerator as a device that transfers heat from
inside a box to its surroundings. The room around a refrigerator is warmed as it receives
the heat removed from inside the box.
If you leave the door open, heat is merely recycled from the room into the refrigerator,
then back into the room. A net room temperature increase would result from the heat of the
motor that would be constantly running to move energy around in a circle. It would be like
hooking up a water pump to remove water from your basement and routing the discharge tube
back to the basement.
Answered by: Paul Walorski, B.A. Physics, Part-time Physics Instructor
'Our job in physics is to see things simply, to understand a great many complicated phenomena, in terms of a few simple principles.'