9/17/2007

09-17-07 - 1

So we've been having problems with our fridge and I've been thinking about how they work and such and something occurs to me: There's this voice of my mother in my head that always yells "don't stand there with the fridge door open, you're letting out all the cold air". This, I suspect, is nonsense. The air in the fridge is an insignificant amount of its cold store. You could flush out the air and replace it with hot air and it would not affect the temperature of the large objects in the fridge much at all. A much larger effect, for example, comes from putting a hot or room temperature object into the fridge, which our silly moms surely often did.

The funny thing is, I do believe that standing there with the fridge door open is significant, it's just not because of the air. It's because of the light. Fridge light bulbs are typically just something like a 75W bulb, especially on older fridges, and if you stand there with it open a while, the light gets blazing hot (and also heats up everything around it with radiant heat). Then when you shut the door you're sealing the hot bulb inside. I'm pretty sure this is a bigger factor than the air getting in or out.

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