How to Make Your Kitchen Energy Efficient
Your kitchen likely uses more energy than any other room in your home, despite what you might believe. Think about it: your kitchen appliances are significant contributors to your monthly energy bill, between your fridge, stove, and dishwasher, not to mention your coffee makers, blenders, or other smaller devices. The good news is that you can adopt several small changes that can make a serious difference in your energy bills.
Small is the new big
Who says you always need to use your stove to heat up a meal? Microwaves use between a fifth and a half of a stove’s typical energy to perform the same function. If you have a small meal to heat up, rely on your microwave to do the same job in a fraction of the time. Food cooks faster in a microwave because of the increased surface-to-volume ratio. Microwaves are simply the most efficient way to defrost or cook a small meal.
The same goes for any other smaller jobs in your kitchen. Only use your food processor when you need to: rely on your hand blender when you can. You can even rely on human power! Sometimes the old ways are best, after all. Get a manual coffee grinder, a manual blender or beater, or just use a plain old knife. Cleaning all those supposedly time-saving devices will likely take you just as long.
Cook smarter, not harder
Did you know that a dirty stove is not just hard on the eyes, but hard on efficiency, too? Keeping the metal burners on your stove clean makes them more productively conduct and reflect heat.
After cleaning your burners, make sure the pots you use correspond to the size of the burner. Using your biggest burner to heat a pan of broth does not make sense. Put it on the back burner instead! And keep the lid on the pot as well. Unless you are purposefully leaving the lid off, you should always try retaining as much heat as you can. If your broth is frozen, take it out of your freezer the night before so you don’t waste time and energy trying to defrost it.
Inside your stove, baking anything in ceramic or glass allows you to lower your stove’s temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius. These materials are better conductors than metal so you can cook your food in the same amount of time.
Cooking curiosity isn’t doing your energy bill any favours. You lose about one quarter of your stove’s heat every time you open the door to peep at your meal. Patience is a virtue! Only look at your meal if it has reached its allotted cooking time. Many newer models of kitchen stoves come with interior lighting as well to help you avoid this predicament!
Make efficiency your kitchen appliance priority
Installing an aerator on your faucet is a perfect way to reduce your water costs, as long as you don’t mind waiting a little longer to fill your pots. Water consumption could reduce by up to 50%. That’s a very smart play, considering the rising costs of water around the world!
Fridges are one of the highest consumers of electricity in your kitchen, so be sure that yours is running to the best of its ability. Check the gasket on the door to ensure there are no cracks. If you can place a piece of paper in your closed fridge door and easily remove it, you should consider adjusting the latch or replacing the seal.
You should avoid placing any of your kitchen appliances near heat sources for safety reasons, but you definitely shouldn’t have your fridge near one for efficiency reasons. This puts more strain on the fridge and forces it to work harder than it should, ultimately wearing the appliance out in the long run.
Sometimes there is no escaping it, however: purchasing new energy-efficient kitchen appliances might be the best solution to your hydro bill woes. Watch for the Energy Star label on your appliances. Appliances with this label are the most efficient in any product category, often surpassing government-specified requirements for efficiency minimums.
Energy efficient kitchen appliances don’t just help save the environment—they save you money too. Start yourself on the path towards efficiency today. You can spruce up the aesthetics of your kitchen at the same time!