Quick and Easy-to-Implement Techniques to Save Energy in the Kitchen

save energy in the kitchen

If you’ve ever wanted a few quick, easy-to-implement techniques to save energy in the kitchen, there’s good news. Not only are there simple ways to save electricity when you cook, wash dishes, use appliances, and operate your refrigerator, there are plenty to go around. In other words, whether you live in an apartment, house, or detached mobile unit, you can take advantage of multiple strategies for reducing your utility expenses based on your kitchen activities.

Getting Started

What are the first steps to take when you want to learn how to save energy in the kitchen? That’s up to you because the specific methods you select will depend on several factors, particularly how much time you spend in your kitchen and how efficient you are at using energy right now. Regardless, of the choices below, you should be able to find several that you can add to your toolbox of energy-reducing strategies. What items in the typical kitchen use electricity? Here are the most common users:

  • Lights: If you use older bulbs, opt for light-emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs instead to chop a bit of your energy usage instantly. These newer bulbs cost more but offer significant energy savings and last many years longer than older units.
  • Stoves and ovens: Models manufactured after 2000 tend to offer a better overall efficiency level.
  • Dishwashers: Beware models made before 1995. Try to replace them or simply do your dishes by hand if you have no need for the unit that came with your apartment, condo, or home.
  • Faucets: It costs money to heat any water you use. Many homeowners assume that because warm water is coming from a faucet, it’s free. It isn’t.
  • Refrigerators: Newer models are much more energy efficient than older ones and come with doors that are vacuum sealed for better cold-air retention.
  • Coffee makers: Simple units use less energy than fancy, larger ones.
  • Blenders: There’s a wide variety of products in this line, so unless you need a giant unit, it makes sense to choose a simple device.
  • Toasters and toaster-ovens: Some older models are energy hogs, so if you use one, buy a modern energy-rated version.
  • Microwaves: Check your wattage. The higher it is, the more energy you’ll use. Unless you cook regularly in the microwave, choose a smaller “office nook” model.

Most homeowners and apartment dwellers use about one-third of all their electricity on kitchen appliances to keep foods cold, to cook, to operate various smaller appliances, and to wash dishes. That means that the average person can slice a big chunk off their utility bills by learning how to save energy in the kitchen. Choose among the following ideas to save money and save electricity.

Energy-Saving Techniques You Can Use Right Now

Save energy in the kitchen with these easy methods—some save more energy than others but the basic principle is that every little bit adds up to a large annual savings amount if you pay attention to what you’re doing and act consistently through both warm and cold months:

  • Opt for glassware baking: Use glass instead of metal for baking because it transfers heat much better.
  • Exercise good fridge door management: Keep an eye on your use of the fridge door. Minimize the number of times you open it to view foods and beverages. This is a common source of energy loss in kitchens.
  • Skip oven pre-heating: Experts agree that pre-heating an oven, except for baking breads and frozen pizzas, is a waste of energy. Avoid pre-heating whenever possible.
  • Size dishwasher loads appropriately: Dishwashers use the exact same amount of energy to clean full, medium, or small loads. Only run yours when it’s completely full.
  • Steam vegetables: Steam vegetables rather than boiling them to save energy and retain more of the food’s taste and nutritional value.
  • Use the right dishwasher cycle and temp: Avoid using the “heat dry” function and always choose the shortest possible wash cycle.
  • Use appropriate oven burners: Don’t use large oven burners for small pans. Likewise, using a small burner for a large pan is inefficient. Match burner sizes to pan size.
  • Switch burners off early: Cut off the power to a stove burner a few minutes before the cooking time is complete. The coil stays very hot for up to 10 minutes after it’s turned off.
  • Never use the oven as a space heater: Never use the oven to provide warmth for your kitchen area. This is a highly inefficient use of electricity, as well as dangerous. Opt for space heaters or your central heating unit instead.
  • Use microwaves for minor jobs: Microwaves are excellent for small cooking tasks. Use them instead of stoves or ovens when you can.
  • Clean fridge coils regularly: Twice per year, clean your refrigerator’s coils, after unplugging the unit and waiting for about an hour. This helps the appliance work more efficiently.
  • Set refrigerator thermostats correctly: Try to keep your fridge thermostat at a consistent level that keeps your food from freezing or being tepid. Experiment with the right temp for your particular needs.

Plan an Overall Strategy

Once you get the general feel for how to save energy in the kitchen, map out a written strategy for reducing your energy costs so it will be easier to save electricity in the longterm. Write down the methods you chose from the above list and post them in an obvious, visible location in your kitchen. The fridge or microwave doors are usually spots that you see every day so they typically make good choices for list posting.

Make it a habit to save energy in the kitchen by looking at the list each morning when you begin your day. Eventually, the techniques will become second nature to you and you’ll be on your way to lower utility bills and a more environmentally conscious way of life.

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