Saving Energy in the Kitchen
According to data collected by the Energy Information Administration, about 33 percent of a home’s energy use comes from the kitchen and laundry areas. This is a huge drain on the amount of energy used in the home. By reducing the amount of energy you use in the kitchen, you can drastically reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home, as well as reduce your impact on the environment.
It should be no surprise that the biggest consumers of energy in the kitchen are the largest appliances in the room. Adjusting how you use these appliances can make a big difference in your future energy bills.
The refrigerator uses the most amount of energy in the kitchen because it is always on. The unit works hard to keep food cool and has a cycle of energy use that is difficult to control. Some of the best ways to reduce refrigerator energy use are with maintenance. Make sure the seals on your refrigerator are airtight. Loose seals can lead to escaped air and increased energy use. Turn down the thermostat in the refrigerator and freezer to a slightly lower temperature. Refrigerators have to remain at 41 degrees Fahrenheit for safety, but lower temperatures are not necessary. You can also lower your freezer temperature to just below freezing. You can also replace your current refrigerator model with a new, energy-efficient one.
The dishwasher can also use a large amount of energy. Although there is little you can do to reduce the amount of energy that the unit uses during operation, you can run the unit smarter. Only run the dishwasher when it is full. Try running the dishwasher no more than once a day. Set your dishwasher to air dry, rather than using heated dry. Wash dishes using a normal or energy-saving cycle rather than a high-temperature cycle. You can also replace the unit with a more energy-efficient model.
The oven uses a huge amount of energy when on. If you have an electric oven, you will use even more energy to operate the unit. Just like the dishwasher, the best way to cut down on oven energy use is to use the unit intelligently. Make sure all oven seals are tight so that heat does not escape. Try to use the heat from the oven to your advantage. In the winter, you can use the oven as a partial heat source. In the summer, try to avoid using the oven as much as possible, especially during the day, to save on energy waste.
The stove can also consume a large amount of energy in the home. The best way to ensure maximum stove energy use is by ensuring the unit is up-to-date and working properly. Some older stoves may have connection problems or faulty heating elements that cause the stove to work harder and use more energy. Consider switching out older stoves with new, energy-efficient models.
Eliminate phantom energy consumers
Small appliances still drain energy when not powered on. As long as the appliance is plugged in, then it still uses a small amount of energy. Resolve this problem by plugging each appliance into a power strip. Turn the strip off when the appliances are not in use.
It is easy to save money and energy in the kitchen if you approach the task with intelligence. With just a small amount of effort, you can reduce the amount of energy used in the kitchen from 33 percent to a lower number and reduce the total amount of energy used in the home.