With the fridge running 24/7, the stove and the dishwasher, your kitchen is the room in your home that utilizes the most energy. With just a few minor adjustments, you can significantly cut the amount of energy you consume. With US household energy costs increasing exponentially, we all need to adopt energy-saving habits and trying just a couple of these can result in significant savings.
- Using ceramic or glass cookware helps to retain heat, so lower the oven temperature by 20°C.
- Always defrost frozen food to reduce cooking times.
- Keep your metal burners clean or use foil inserts as this helps to reflect heat.
- Use the right size burner for each pot—a small pot on a large burner is just a waste of energy.
- Unless it’s part of the recipe, keep a lid on all your pots while cooking.
- Use your oven light to take a peek at your dish—opening the oven door allows at least 20% of the heat to escape.
- Cook in off-peak times to save significantly on your energy costs and cook more than one meal at a time.
- Gazing lovingly at your food can cost $30-$60 a year, so decide what you want before you open the fridge door.
- New fridges are up to 75% more efficient than old ones. You can use this calculator to see where your fridge falls on the efficiency scale and how much you can save buying a more efficient, EnergyStar appliance.
- Cover any liquids and foods prior to placing them in the refrigerator as moisture in your fridge makes your compressor work harder.
- Allow foods to cool before placing them in the fridge.
- Leave a 10cm gap between your fridge and the wall so that airflow allows it to cool.
- Defrost your fridge regularly—don’t let the ice buildup exceed half an inch as increases energy usage.
- Set your fridge temperature between 0 and 5°C and keep it well-stocked to improve efficiency.
- Dishwashers use most of their energy to heat the water. You can reduce the temperature at which your dishwasher washes and reserve pre-washing or soaking for those really bad dish days. Just because your Vitamix blender is dishwasher safe, doesn’t mean you have to put it in there after every use.
- Leave your dishes to air dry by propping the door of your dishwasher open a little when the cycle is done.
- Keeping your dishwasher clean and clog free means it runs more efficiently. If your dishwasher gets clogged, you may need to call a plumber, but if you are more of a DIY person you can fix it by yourself. A clogged dishwasher means your grease trap needs to be cleaned. If neither you or your plumber can’t fix it, it’s best to call a professional grease trap cleaning company.
- Avoid leaving appliances on standby. These ‘vampire loads’ account for 10-15% of your energy consumption. Get a power bar on a timer or turn appliances off when not in use. Get a coupon for a power bar here.
- Avoid using appliances for small jobs like opening a can or peeling an apple. When you are using appliances, always choose the smallest one for the job. For example, a hand-held blender uses less power than a food processor and a toaster is more efficient than the oven. Explore InductionPros.com for some energy-efficient kitchen appliances.
- Get coupons for lightbulbs, ceiling fans, outdoor clothes lines and other energy-saving household items here.