Open fridge door - just how much energy wasted?

OK, I open the fridge door to get what I want, and close it. I even close it during the time it takes to pour orange juice, and open the fridge again to return the pitcher.

My live-in girlfriend, however, opens the fridge door and leaves it open for however long it takes to “use” whatever she pulled from the fridge before returning it. For example, she gets the butter out of the fridge, butters her toast, and returns the butter - then closes the door. Or, she grabs some things to prepare tomorrow’s lunch, and leaves the door open the entire time while preparing. Only after she is finished with all refridgerated goods does she put them back and close the door.

Most of the time the door is open no longer than maybe sixty seconds. Sometimes (as with the lunch scenario) it might be two or three minutes.

Horrors aside (you can imagine my daily shock and slow burn), how much energy does this waste? I postulated that it’s like removing your house’s outside wall on a hot day while you’re struggling to keep cool. All cool air is lost. Everything immediately starts to warm. In the case of very perishable things (dairy, meat) you have an outside layer of food that cools and warms. Isn’t all this inherently bad?

Again, we’ve always been taught to be very emotional about this tyoe of thing - I’ve been there, and am trying now to be objective. What are the facts? Help!

The difference is going to be negligible. Don’t sweat it. You can leave the door open. In fact, Opening the door for ten seconds every fisteen minutes is much worse than leaving the door open for a couple of minutes and then leaving it closed for a long time.

I haven’t researched it, but I’d imagine all the turbulance of opening the door is what’s gonna be responsible for the mixing of warm and cold air, the more you do it the more warm outside air swirls around the food and the more you allow things the opportunity to heat up. Leaving the door open will allow the cold air to flow out the bottom over several seconds. Either way I’d say you’re gonna loose most of the cold air from the fridge. That’s not such a big deal. It’s the mass of the food at the cool temp that keeps things from instantly spoiling once the door opens. Your milk is going to take an hour to warm up to room temp anyway. So I just go by what’s easiest (open & close once), since you shouldn’t loose any more cold by letting it dribble out than by fanning the door every 15 seconds.

Really? You don’t think the compressor would have to work harder to bring the temp. down to 55 after being open for longer?

Food spoilage aside, after a long opened period the fridge must be chugging harder (or longer) to make up for a greater temp. difference than when the door was briefly opened.

Plus, it looks like the “fanning effect” takes place in either case, bracketing both a long and short open-door period. So the fanning effect is constant, ignorable and moot, right?