5 Things You Can Do Right Now for an Energy Efficient Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most energy-intensive rooms in a home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work to make every kilowatt hour count. While comparing your rates and choosing appliances marked with the Energy Star logo can yield significant savings on your yearly energy bill, there are several measures you can take to start lowering your costs today and have an energy efficient kitchent.

Unplug Unused Appliances

Many common kitchen appliances such as a blender or toaster over can use energy even while idle, working to slowly drive up your electric bill. Your microwave is likely using more energy just being switched on than when it’s in use. Kitchen appliances can be some of the most demanding items in the typical home, so be sure to unplug these items when they are not in use to avoid “vampire energy” draw.

Full view of a modern kitchen cream coloured

Full view of a modern kitchen cream coloured

Residual Cooking Heat

Many types of cookers, such as ovens and electric stove tops, maintain heat that can be used to finish cooking foods even after they are turned off. Shutting off a burner or turning off the oven a few minutes before the end of cooking time can quickly add up to big savings over time.

Eliminate Preheating

Oven preheating is an overlooked cause of wasted energy, and for most non-baking applications, it’s actually unnecessary. You may add a few minutes to the recipe time by cutting out the energy hungry preheating phase, but every second of it will be spent cooking your food instead of the air inside the oven.

Use Your Dishwasher Wisely

As a traditionally energy-intensive appliance, the dishwasher may seem like a counter intuitive tool for saving on your energy costs, but with proper use a dishwasher can be much more energy efficient than manual washing, which can waste both running water and the power used to heat it. Dishwashers run most effectively when fully loaded and usually require the same amount of energy regardless, so be sure to run your dishwasher only when it is full as well as taking advantage of any energy saving settings it may have.

Clean Your Fridge

A refrigerator is one of the most demanding appliances in the typical home even when functioning properly, and issues such as ice buildup on the inside of the freezer and dust on the condenser coils on  the back or base of the refrigerator make it more difficult to maintain a consistent temperature. Remove any buildup from the refrigerator coils at least twice yearly, and remove excess ice buildup from your freezer on a regular basis to keep them working as efficiently as possible.

Closeup on table with vegetables in kitchen

Closeup on table with vegetables in kitchen

Skip the Ice Maker

Automatic ice makers are incredibly convenient, but can increase the energy consumption of a refrigerator by as much as 20 percent. Using ice trays to make ice instead of an automatic ice maker is an easy way to save on your energy bill, and you can even remove the unit from your refrigerator entirely for extra storage space.

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