The Recipe for Energy Savings: Pt. II – Kitchen
This post is the second in our series featuring ways to reduce consumption and save money in your home’s most used rooms.
While the best meals often involve secret family recipes, the perfect recipe for saving money by keeping your kitchen energy efficient is well-known. The kitchen is a major contributor to the energy waste that occurs in many homes. By taking a few steps around your cooking station, you’ll be on your way to lower utility bills.
It starts with your refrigerator, which should be set between 37°F and 40°F to keep food cool without using too much energy. Likewise, you can set your freezer at a steady 5°F. Remember that refrigerators run inefficiently when dust builds on the coils behind the unit, so cleaning the coils will allow your appliance to run easier and longer. And while you’re improving your fridge, slip a piece of paper between the door and pull the paper out – if it comes out easily, you may need to adjust the latch or replace the seal to ensure air doesn’t escape.
When planning your meals, consider grilling instead of using the stove or oven. Grilling saves energy and money and doesn’t add unwanted heat to your home. Here are a few more things to consider when cooking:
- Allow your oven to multi-task – bake several items at once; using glass and ceramic pans allows you to reduce the heat by 25 degrees while cooking just as well.
- When possible, use a toaster oven or microwave instead of your large oven.
- Try to avoid checking your food in the oven by repeatedly opening the door. Instead, use the oven light (but make sure to turn it off after you’re done cooking!).
When it’s time for cleanup, hand wash dishes and allow them to air-dry. When you do use the dishwasher, flip on the automatic air-dry switch or turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly so the dishes will dry faster.
Looking to renovate your kitchen for long-term savings? Purchasing ENERGY STAR appliances will keep your energy bills down for years to come:
- Save up to $100 a year on energy costs with an ENERGY STAR refrigerator; a top mounted freezer uses 10-25% less energy than side or bottom mounted models.
- Install a range hood to help remove cooking odors and control moisture; ENERGY STAR qualified models are quieter than standard models, use 65% less energy (for models with lighting) and save you $120 in energy costs over its service lifetime.
Don’t stop at your kitchen, check back next week for our third installment.