When looking to improve the energy efficiency in your home, the kitchen is one of the best places to start. Kitchens typically have high energy usage from all of the different appliances as well as using a lot of water, so here are some tips to start saving energy in your kitchen.
Whether you have a dishwasher or you hand wash, there are always ways to wash more efficiently. Water usage has an effect on your overall energy bill. With small adjustments, you can save up to $72 a year. Some ways you can wash dishes efficiently include: stacking dishes in your dishwasher the right way and making sure there isn’t excess food on them. If you stack your dishes inwards they’ll be cleaned better due to most dishwasher spray water and soap from the middle. Additionally, run the dishwasher on a full load. This keeps you from running it multiple times during the day half filled. You use the same amount of water whether your washer is full or not. So save some money and only run it when it’s full.
If you hand wash your dishes, it helps to have a little bin for soapy water and another to rinse. If you don’t have space in your sink for more than one bin, you can still use just one bin, this will still be more efficient than running the faucet the entire time you’re cleaning dishes.
Your refrigerator is one of the biggest energy consumers in your kitchen. You can help your fridge run more efficiently by doing the following:
Make sure your fridge is about 2/3rds full. Especially if you frequent your fridge often. Every time you open your fridge you lose cold air that your fridge has to work harder to make up for. You can also clean your condenser coil frequently to keep it functioning effectively. When dust builds up on the coils it forces them to work harder and hinders the airflow. Your fridge uses about 15% less energy when it has clean condenser coils.
Additionally, don’t put hot foods in your fridge if you can help it. If you’re storing food, let it cool down before putting it in the fridge. Your fridge works harder and uses more electricity trying to cool down a hot item. Lastly, don’t leave your fridge open for long periods of time. Just open, grab what you’re looking for, and close it.
Using your oven efficiently
The oven is probably the biggest energy consumer in your kitchen besides your fridge. If you’re not an avid baker, you’re probably not using your oven often. However, you can still use these tips to use your oven efficiently on the days you do use it.
Cleaning your oven helps it run more efficiently. Do occasional checks to make sure your oven seal is still in good shape. A loose seal leads to heat loss which causes your oven to work harder to maintain the set temperature. Preheat the oven when you’re ready to start baking/cooking, not an hour or even 30 minutes before. Most ovens take 10 minutes or less to preheat. Anything longer than that and you’re wasting energy.
Lastly, DON’T PEEK! Frequently opening your oven to check on your dish wastes energy. You lose about 25 degrees every time you open the oven door. This makes your food cook slower and your oven work harder to maintain the set temperature. Alternatively, turn on the oven light and peek through the window on the door.
For more tips on energy efficiency in your home, check out our other blogs here!