Should you leave oven door open to cool?

Open ovenOne of the most frequently asked questions we get about ovens is their effectiveness in heating your kitchen. For those in warmer climates, it is a concern that an oven will make their kitchen unbearably warm. In colder climates, people are interested in the effect an oven might have on heating their home.

We have also found that many people are concerned over whether an oven door should remain open or closed when you are cooling the oven down after use. We answer these queries in full in this article, letting you know once and for all if your oven can heat your kitchen, and the best way to cool it.

Should you leave the oven door open to cool?

You can leave your oven door open to cool if you wish. Whether you should or shouldn’t is irrelevant because it will make no difference either way. The same amount of heat will be lost whether the door remains closed or you open it up. 

What does change when you open the door is how quickly it can cool down. Opening the oven door and exposing it to the cooler air outside the oven can encourage the hot air to come out faster, thus, cooling your oven down more quickly. 

If you keep the oven door shut, it will keep the hot air in for longer. It will, however, slowly cool down as there will no longer be a heat source to keep it heated. 

This may not be a good idea in the throes of summer, especially if you are in the kitchen doing food preparation or any other cooking, as it is a recipe for a sweaty, hot disaster. 

Photo of open oven

However, if you are leaving the kitchen to eat or relax then there is no reason why you shouldn’t open the oven to cool it down. It will be cool much quicker, allowing you to go back into the kitchen to do the washing up without the risk of getting too warm. 

It may also be a good idea to open your oven door to cool it down faster if you have a fan oven. The internal fans can run for a long time if they sense heat. The quicker the oven cools, the less time the runs will run. This may not seem like a big deal, but running the fans unnecessarily can consume energy and wear the fans out much faster. 

Leaving the oven door open to cool down may also help to reduce food smells from staying in your oven. They will be released into the open air, where you can crack open your kitchen window to release them. This may be especially desired if you have cooked something particularly stinky. On the other hand, this does mean the smell may linger in your kitchen for a short period instead, but as we say, some fresh air from a window will solve this. 

Can you warm a kitchen by leaving the oven door open?

Yes! You can warm a kitchen by leaving the door open. In the winter, it is recommended that you leave the door to your oven open after every use. This way the heat is released into the kitchen, providing warmth and heat to you and your family. 

Many people worry that this wastes energy. However, we are happy to tell you that it is quite the opposite! When your oven is turned off and ready to cool down, there is a lot of heat left inside there for a long time afterward – don’t believe us? Next time you use it, turn it off and check it in 10 minutes – we bet you it will still be hot! 

Now, all that heat has already been created. When you turn off the oven you are preventing any more heat from being created. Any heat that is left inside there has already been made, and therefore, has already been paid for. It has been used for its intended purposes, whether that be heating your food or baking a cake, and now all the leftover heat is spare. 

With this in mind, leaving the heat inside the oven with the door shut is, in essence, wasting heat that you have already paid for. It will be much more beneficial for you to use this spare heat for another purpose, such as heating your kitchen. You can do this for all ovens, but it works particularly well for those people with electric ovens, or electric and fan-operated ovens. 

You may feel differently, however, if you live in a hot climate, especially if your air conditioning has cut out or you have a compact kitchen. Do not leave your oven door open if you want your kitchen to cool down. Shut that door up!

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