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Easy-open fridge door

Refrigerator (or freezer) that releases its suction to make opening easier
  [vote for,

Most fridges and freezers pull a slight vacuum on the inside when you close the door, to suck the door closed and form a better seal. This makes opening the door more difficult, because you have to pull hard enough to overcome the slight external air pressure multiplied by the area of the door.

Solution: Put a sensor on the door handle. It can be a simple switch activated by pulling, or a capacitive sensor that detects a pulling grip (e.g. [link]). This activates a solenoid to release a flap valve somewhere around the back of the fridge, to let air in and the door open more easily.

Fancy version can reverse the suction pump to help push the door open.

Cheap version can have the handle pull directly on the door seal. On most fridges, this is just a rubbery thing that you can pull away from the doorframe with your fingers to break the seal, if the surround doesn't get in the way. So just mount the handle so that it pulls on that rather than on the door. Once it's pulled open, then the seal will spring back and push the door open.

46/340 [2018-05-10]

notexactly, May 11 2018

Capacitive touch sensor that can tell apart different touches https://spritesmods.com/?art=engarde
Mentioned in idea body [notexactly, May 11 2018]


       My freezer handle pulls out slightly, operating a small lever that pries the door open far enough to break the suction. It works great. For some reason they didn't think this feature was needed on the fridge. Combine that with smooth rolling wheels and a hard-wood floor...
scad mientist, May 11 2018

       ... and the case for chocks becomes cogent.
pertinax, May 12 2018

       Replaceable Nitrogen bottles regulated into the fridge?
wjt, May 12 2018

       It's Ford's fault for not having a deconstruction/R and D line. He wasn't to know that Humans would choke themselves with all the different vehicles.
wjt, May 12 2018

       Hmmm ... airbag cartridge ? That would open the door ...
8th of 7, May 13 2018

       // The one at work is also long broken.//   

       WHAT????? SAY THAT AGAIN?????? You have a job?? [Ian], I have been labouring under a misunderhension.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 13 2018

       He didn't say it was his work.
FlyingToaster, May 13 2018

       He might work at home, repairing his broken fridge - and he didn't say he was paid for his work
hippo, May 14 2018

       This is, actually, a real problem. In our lab, many things are stored with various levels of frigidity. One particular fridge/freezer combo that's used the most suffers dreadfully. My solution was to build up a gap in the seal with a couple of ramps of layered tape. Works a bit but it's still a problem. The -80 freezers have a tenacious grip and it's best to go equipped with an ice scraper to pry the seal. All these problems are MUCH worse in summer when the humidity is high.   

       The door handle could at least open a little hole to allow air in, but I guess that would ice up very quickly. Some older -80 freezers are hooked up to a CO2 supply, mainly as an emergency coolant, but CO2/Nitrogen would be pretty useful to break that pressure gradient, instead of moist O2 soaked room air, some nice dry inert gas would rush into the freezer, would really cut down on the ice build up.
bs0u0155, May 14 2018

       My -80 has some sort of a valve. I think its purpose is to let air in to relieve an internal vacuum. In any event, once the door is closed, it opens again quite easily after about a minute.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 14 2018

       //about a minute//   

       oh, the productivity..
bs0u0155, May 14 2018

       Added an economy version.   

       Several of the ULT freezers I've seen at the government surplus store have lever handles, IIRC, and I guess now I know why. Would heat tape around the door help, or would too much heat get into the freezer?
notexactly, May 16 2018


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