Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Kitchen
If you're striving for energy efficiency in your home, you know that no room wastes energy like your kitchen. But don't despair; there are several small practices you can follow that will help you create a more energy efficient home. Tonight, when you head home to prepare your next meal, keep these tips in mind.
Before the meal
- Your refrigerator is one of the biggest energy consumers in your home. Check the temperature inside to be sure you're being energy efficient. Your fridge should be between 37 and 40 F, and 5 F for the freezer. If your refrigerator is running cooler than that, you are wasting energy.
- Protect those temperatures by limiting the number of times you open the refrigerator and allow warm air to travel inside. Keeping your fridge well stocked will make it more energy efficient as well, as the items inside prevent cold air from escaping.
- Check the seals on your refrigerator. The key to your fridge's energy efficiency is being able to maintain its temperature. Faulty seals around the door allow cool air to escape and cause your fridge to run inefficiently.
Preparing the meal
- One of the keys to energy efficient cooking is using the right pot for the job so you don't waste time heating empty space. Besides that, try to use as few burners as possible. If you can use one burner instead of two, you cut your energy usage in half.
- Turn down the burner once your water is boiling. Remember you turned the burner to high to boil the water, you don't need to keep it on high to maintain that boil.
- Open the oven as little as possible. Just as opening your refrigerator lets warm in, opening your oven lets the warm air out, jeopardizing your oven's energy efficiency.
After the meal
- Never run the dishwasher until it is completely full. There's no reason to wash empty space.
- Dry your dishes by hand or let them air dry. A dishwasher's drying cycle consumes a lot of energy and you can save energy by cutting this step.
- Look for new appliances. Even if you follow all of these tips, older appliances will still run inefficiently. If this is happening to you, replace your old, inefficient appliances with new, efficient, Energy Star® appliances.