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Can A Refrigerator Cool A Room?
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During a hot summer day, people try to find creative ways to cool down a room. Some people may even come up with the idea of opening their refrigerator or freezer door to help cool a room. These people may be surprised that by doing so, they will be increasing the temperature of the room instead of cooling a room.

The reason that an open refrigerator heats a room is because a refrigerator does not pump cold air into the food storage area. What a refrigerator does is draw the heat away from the food storage compartment and vents that heat behind the refrigerator. It is simply transferring warm air from one location to another. In other words, it is decreasing the temperature of one area and increasing the temperature of another.

By opening a refrigerator door, you are only allowing heat from the room to enter into the food storage area. As the temperature rises in the food storage area of the refrigerator, the thermostat will activate the refrigerator’s power to transfer the heat away from the food compartment in order to bring the temperature down to the preset temperature. The heat emitted from behind the refrigerator flows through the room and finds its way back through the open door of the refrigerator and no cooling of the food compartment can be achieved.

In fact, the room will actually get warmer than if the door of the refrigerator had remained closed. This is due to the fact some of the electricity used to run a refrigerator, as with any electrical device, is lost in heat energy. When it comes to refrigerators, roughly 20% of the electricity used to run the fridge will emit heat energy. Without this energy loss, the room would simply stay at a constant temperature, but since energy loss is unavoidable in the real world, this extra heat energy increases the temperature of the room.

The only way that you can get a refrigerator to cool a room is to remove the component of the refrigerator that is generating heat. The easiest way to do that is to unplug the refrigerator from power. By opening the refrigerator doors, the cool air from within the refrigerator can mix with the warm air of the room, providing a temporary drop in room temperature. Even if you keep the refrigerator doors closed, unplugging the refrigerator from power will cause the room temperature to drop slightly.

Another way to cool a room using a refrigerator is to put the refrigerator into two different rooms. The concept is to put the heating side of the refrigerator into one room, and the refrigerating compartment of the fridge into the room you want cooled. The two rooms will need to be sealed off from each other. One side of the fridge will warm one room, and cool the other. This is the basic concept of a heat pump.

In conclusion, using a refrigerator to cool a room will only increase the temperature of that room unless you are going to go to great lengths to redirect the heat generated by the refrigerator to another room or outside of the building. Manufacturers make heat pumps designed to do this already with greater efficiency. Heat pumps can also reverse the flow of heat during the winter to warm up a room. Your best bet is to get an air conditioner, heat pump, or fan installed before the hot weather arrives.


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