Friday, August 26, 2022

Doors to Open, Doors to Close

As part of her advice to the graduating fifth grade class years ago, the principal of my younger daughter's elementary school said "If you open something, close it." I immediately remembered a scene in a movie in which Tina Fey comes around a corner and rams into drawers left open by husband Steve Carell. All my life, I have closed any drawers or cupboard doors I opened. It was automatic, but when someone else in the family began leaving them open, I started doing the same sometimes, a vexing corruption of habit that then required me to consciously remind myself to close them. 

What the principal didn't have time to go into is that, in a house, there are doors to purposely leave open, and doors to keep closed.

In our house, the doors of the refrigerator are immediately closed, of course, but the doors of a second refrigerator, unused and unplugged to save energy, need to remain open a crack. It looks funny and is counterintuitive, but if left closed, the anaerobic bacteria, which thrive in warm places where the air can't reach, will take over inside the unused frig and cause a stink. 

And in the laundry room, the door of the front-loader washing machine has to stay open when not in use. If it's closed, which looks nicer, the smelly anaerobic bacteria start flourishing there as well.

But the dryer? That door stays closed. Why? Because the dryer is vented to the outside, so keeping the dryer door closed when not in use will keep the outside air--too cold in winter, too hot and humid in summer--from coming inside.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Steve!

Jim said...

We do the same. Also pull the laundry detergent drawer out an inch when not in use, for the same reasons!