The kitchen is the heart of every home, but also one of its main energy consumers. However, reducing energy usage in the kitchen can be easier than you think, and it doesn’t always mean replacing all your appliances with ENERGY STAR ones! Here are 6 ways you can save energy in the kitchen.
1. Switch to LED Lighting
LED lights are the most energy efficient available. Not only will they save you money, but also keep your kitchen cooler during those hot summer months as they don’t generate large amounts of heat.
- Incandescent bulbs can cost up to $7.80 annually to run compared to $1.50 for LEDs.
- An average incandescent bulb will last one year, while an average LED can last up to 23.
2. Change the Way You Cook
Bad cooking habits are a major source of wasted energy. These include:
- Opening and closing heated oven doors frequently
- Not putting lids on pots while boiling water
- Using incorrectly sized pans on burners (i.e., using a 6-inch diameter pan on an 8-inch burner wastes over 40% of the heat produced)
Use a convection oven instead of a conventional one; it’s 25% more energy efficient due to shorter cooking times. For smaller meals, consider using your microwave; according to ENERGY STAR, you could experience savings of up to 80% when you do.
3. Use Your Refrigerator Wisely
Keep your fridge door shut as much as possible to retain the cool air. Every time you open and shut your refrigerator, it has to work extra hard to cool the inside space and maintain the set temperature. Also, keep the shelves full to reduce the amount of warm air and moisture in the space.
4. Use Your Appliance’s Energy Saver Settings
Most appliances have energy saver or economy settings that reduce the amount of energy used. Enable these settings to benefit from energy savings.
- Disable the “heated dry” function on your dishwasher; it’s responsible for a lot of the energy used. Air-dry your dishes instead.
5. Unplug Your Gadgets
You would be surprised by how much energy small appliances like toasters and coffeemakers use when sitting idle but still plugged into a wall socket. Cut down on your energy costs by unplugging unused gadgets and small appliances.
6. Keep Your Range Hood Clean
A dirty range hood has a harder time ventilating, which results in a hotter kitchen and your HVAC having to work harder. And that, of course, means higher energy costs. Your hood should vent to the outside but once you’re finished cooking, turn it off. Otherwise, in summer you’ll be sucking in cool indoor air and sending it outside, and the opposite in winter. Again, that results in your HVAC having to work harder and therefore use more energy.
To learn more ways to save energy, and how to make your home more energy efficient, contact a certified RESNET home energy professional.