How Long Can You Leave The Freezer Door Open? 

When it comes to proper storage of your food, it is very important to ensure that all necessary appliances are functioning properly.

Most times people find it difficult to always close their chest freezer door. Especially when it has ice obstructing the freezer door or when it is full.

But have you ever thought about what would happen if you leave your chest freezer door open for too long?

Keeping your chest freezer door open should not exceed 2 hours. This is especially If the temperature of the freezer is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Anytime longer than this can lead to the spoilage of the beverage, food, or perishable goods stored in it.

If you leave your prisoners for two or less than two hours, the freezer will still work perfectly fine, as if nothing happened. The perishable goods inside will not be as bad as that, except the freezer door spends more time staying open.

When your freezer remains chilled, the frozen foods, beverages, or perishables stored inside remain safe. But once there is a problem with maintaining the ideal temperature of the freezer, then you are faced with several problems. Especially with the freshness and integrity of the content of the freezer.

Continue reading to learn about this, and also to know the longest time your freezer door can be left open. You will also see what to do if this ever happens to you.

Possible Risks if Freezer Door is Left Open

Possible Risks if Freezer Door is Left Open

Every time your freezer is left open for longer than two hours, the contents of the freezer are exposed to potential dangers. This constitutes the risk of leaving your freezer door open.

Leaving your freezer door open is a situation that can happen to anyone. So everyone should be aware of this risk and know how to avoid them.

So what are the risks of leaving your freezer door open?

Spoilage of foods, beverages, and other perishables

One of the worst risks of leaving your freezer door open is food spoilage. When your freezer door is left open for longer than four hours and at a temperature that is higher than 40° Fahrenheit, the contents of the freezer won’t stay good for long. This is because at that temperature, as a result of the opened door, frozen products can begin thawing.

When this process happens, the upper part of the frozen products becomes too warm. And when it’s too warm, it can lead to the growth of microorganisms, which may lead to the deterioration of frozen products.

With this, the food is bound to get spoilt or lose its integrity.

Formation of moisture and ice

Another risk associated with leaving the door of your freezer open is the formation of ice and moisture.

As the warm air passes through the open door, it mixes with the cold air circulation which causes ice and moisture formation.

At this point, you can start experiencing problems with maintaining the temperature of your freezer. This arises because of the formation of ice around the coils of the freezer, which prevents the circulation of cold air and hence hampers the freezing process.

System overheating

Another risk of leaving the freezer door open is overheating the freezer system. This occurs mostly as a result of the other two factors because the freezer does extra work to bring the temperature down.

Another reason this could happen could be because the thermostat failed to notify the compressor of the freezer to reduce the overheating.

The additional stress on the freezer can cause overheating of the system, which can cause more harm to the freezer.

Aside from overheating, leaving your freezer door open can also lead to a waste of electricity, which is bad for the environment and your budget.

Although the increase wouldn’t be too prominent, it would still be noticeable.

Freezer Door Is Left Open For One Hour

When you allow your freezer door to be opened for one hour, it will not experience much difference. Although your frozen products will still be fresh, they’ll stay frozen to defrost including the ice in the freezer.

Also, you could experience some challenges with the freezer’s cooling which would cause an increase in the temperature. Basically, within one hour of leaving your freezer door open, the contents of the freezer will still be safe as long as you don’t tamper with the temperature.

Some factors could affect the outcome if your freezer does not freeze as a result of leaving the freezer door open.

An example of such is the number of frozen products inside the freezer.

When a freezer is filled with lots of frozen products, the probability of having food spoilage as a result of an opened freezer is low. This is because frozen foods retain the coldness of the freezer.

There is also no space for warm air from outside to get into the freezer, which allows the cold air to stay longer in circulation and keeps the freezer cold, despite the door being open.

Freezer Door is Left Open Overnight

Your freezer door should not be opened for longer than two hours. So leaving it open overnight, or for more than 24 hours will lead to all the risks I mentioned above.

When the door of your freezer is left open overnight, it is both harmful to the freezer and the contents of the freezer.

It will cause food spoilage, lead to the formation of moisture and ice, and use up lots of electricity.

What to Do When the Freezer Door is Left Open

Like I said before, leaving the door of your freezer open can happen to anyone. It’s not an uncommon problem, and nor is it something to panic about.

There are things you can do when you notice the door of your freezer has been left open, no matter the duration.

First: Check the Contents of the Freezer

After you notice your freezer door is open, the first thing to do is to check the contents of the freezer and see if the freezer is as you left it.

This way, you’ll be able to determine the state of the contents if they are still good, or estimate how long your freezer door has been open. Because the condition of the contents of the freezer will give great insight into how long the freezer has been open.

Second: Check the Freezer

After the first part, and you have ascertained the condition of your freezer content, you can then now check your freezer.

Why? You have to know why the door was opened in the first place and if the functionality of the freezer has been affected because of that.

If you find your freezer door open, it is important to check if everything is still in order. You should check the functionality of the freezer and fridge as well as the condition of the food.

After checking these two vital things, there are some particular actions you can take. Although some of these actions are diagnostic, to know the cause of a problem or measure the level of damage. Some of these actions are therapeutic and aim at fixing the issue or reducing the potential risk.

For Freezer Content

After you notice your freezer door has been open for a while, here is a list of things you can do to salvage the situation and reduce the damage.

  • Check the status of all the perishable goods inside the freezer and see if they are still frozen.
  • If still frozen, you can transfer to another freezer if the freezer is bad or refreeze if the freezer is still good.
  • If the content is defrosted, check if they have been contaminated or if they have signs of bacteria growth or mold.
  • Any such products should be discarded to avoid spreading the contamination. Remember, one bad apple spoils the other.

For the Freezer

Depending on the situation of the freezer contents, you might need to empty the entire freezer and fridge.

Although this might seem difficult, it’s important to ensure the proper working of the refrigerator and freezer.

Things to do include:

  • Empty both freezer and fridge
  • Check both the fridge and freezer but do them differently
  • If there is ice on your freezer coils, then you might need to call a technician because your freezer might need repairs.
  • If the ice formed is not much, check if the fridge or freezer is still cool. However, if the freezer doesn’t reach the optimal temperature, you can always call a technician to check it.

But if you can’t get a technician to check it immediately, you can always do the following to ensure that your freezer still functions properly.

  • Remove the refrigerator plug from the socket
  • Empty the freezer and fridge
  • Take out the shelves of the fridge and the freezer back panel
  • Look out for frost buildup in the freezer or the evaporator coil
  • If there is frost, you can defrost using hair dryers. You can as well let the coil thaw by itself
  • After defrosting, replace the shelves and the freezer back panel
  • Replace the refrigerator’s plug into the socket and monitor it for up to six hours. It should run as normal.
  • To achieve better results, don’t open the fridge during these 6 hours. If all these don’t work, then you can solicit the help of a professional.

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