Stop Opening the Refrigerator! Use Insulated Water Bottles Instead

Simple lang naman: fill up insulated bottles in the morning so you don’t constantly open the refrigerator. You’ll be surprised that the electricity you save is substantial, and it’s a great way to fix your water drinking habits. This is my routine.


Really just two points on the why: first, that drinking water is great, and second, you really don’t want to be constantly opening your refrigerator. 

First, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommend 2.7 liters of water for women and 3.7 liters for men daily. There are many articles out there about the studied effects of drinking water, but let me highlight those I like the most:

I love that first glass of water in the morning: it becomes my body's signal to really start my day. And that slight headache you have in the morning is often dehydration that can easily be solved by a glass of water.

I experience what they say that sometimes you may not be hungry as much as thirsty. A glass of water at the start of the meal often stops my binge habits.

I also noticed that my bowel movement is much easier when I’m close to the recommended liters of water per day. (never force a bowel movement!)

Finally, physiologically, sweating is healthy (it’s another discussion if over-sweating is psychosomatic, etc). I just notice that on days I don’t drink as much, I am more oily and feel “dirtier”: it’s when I sweat that I feel like my body temperature is controlled better, etc.

Second is just a reiteration that when stable, a refrigerator doesn’t actually need that much energy to keep cool. Refrigerators nowadays are made very well as insulators. This means that they can maintain a cool temperature just by how they are made (basically a foam that acts as a temperature transfer barrier between the cool inside and the possibly hotter outside). This means that when the target temperature is achieved inside, there’s not much to do to keep it cool. What costs a lot of electricity are when changes happen:

  • opening a ref causes cold air to move down and out, and air that replaces that cold air has to be cooled again
  • placing food and liquids that are warmer, need to be cooled separately from the air (but through the cold air)

In these cases, that sound you hear is the compressor and other parts of the ref working harder and using more electricity to bring down its internal temperature. A lot of assumptions here, but if it takes around an hour to bring down the temperature (due to a lot of hot air coming in, or a lot of food or liquids being placed), and we assume the compressor works 2 times as hard, we are looking at maybe an additional ₱2 every time you open that fridge (inverter ref estimates). 5 unnecessary times this is done costs around ₱1,825 yearly. 

One of the worst offenders? That’s taking out an already-cooled glass or plastic pitcher of water, pouring out some of it, leaving it out, and then having to cool it again. And this is where insulated water bottles come in.


And for how long my why is, the HOW is really short and simple. Invest in one or two of those big insulated water bottles. You’re looking at spending around ₱1,295 for a 2-liter bottle: I would stay away from the more expensive brands because the technology to manufacture these bottles is widespread already. They keep water cold for about 24 hours (warm liquids stay close to initial temperature for 12 hours), and you can feel them as slightly heavier than their plastic counterparts.

My routine is simple, once I wake up I take out all the plastic pitchers of water I need to fill up two of these insulated water bottles. DO NOT cool water in these insulated water bottles by putting them in the fridge as the insulation works both ways: it’s very hard for the ref air to cool the water inside these bottles. I refill the pitchers of water and I put them back in the ref. Whenever I need a glass of water, I then just pour from the insulated bottles, and it saves me from opening the ref for at least 7 times (sorry---I drink a lot of water), because these last me the whole day

So there it is, a simple but quite impactful routine. 

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