Simple Ways to Use Less Energy in the Kitchen
The kitchen tends to be a hotbed of energy consumption. Large appliances such as your automatic dishwasher, refrigerator, and oven are some of the biggest energy hogs in your home, right after your air conditioner. If you’re looking to cut down on consumption, use these tips from the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce the amount of energy your home uses in the first place.
Shopping for Savings
Buying energy-efficient appliances is one of the best ways to reduce consumption in the long-term. Instead of adjusting your behavior on a day-by-day basis, energy-efficient appliances do most of the work for you. When shopping for appliances, look for the EnergyStar label. These products are designed to use a fraction of the energy that some older models require. When shopping for a refrigerator, look for models with a top-mounted freezer. They use anywhere from 10 – 25% less energy than side-by-side models and those with bottom-mounted freezers.
Reducing Energy Consumption by Changing Your Behavior
Let’s face it: most people don’t have the money to buy new energy-efficient appliances. Instead of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars at your local appliance store, you can reduce consumption by being mindful of how you use your existing appliances.
Stove and Oven
The best thing that you can do for your stove is to keep it clean. Messy burners and stovetops become barriers for heat, boosting the amount of energy needed to heat up a cup of soup or boil some water. Make sure that you use pans that match the size of the burner. Using a small pan on a large burner is a massive waste of heat. Using lids and kettles instead of open pots also helps to lock in the heat.
Most of the energy used to power your automatic dishwasher comes from your home’s hot water heater. Check your user manual to see if you can lower the water temperature. Try to scrape off your dishes as much as possible instead of rinsing them before you load them into your dishwasher. Make sure that your dishwasher is full and not overloaded. And, lastly, try air drying your dishes by laying them out on the counter instead of using the dry cycle.
Operating 24/7, the refrigerator is a major energy hog, generally the second biggest consumer in your home. Keep an eye on the internal temperature of your unit. You should be able to control the temperature using a knob in the back. Your refrigerator should be set at around 36°F and your freezer should be at, you guessed it, 0°F. If you suspect that your internal temperature monitor is not accurate, which is often the case, fill a small glass with water and a thermometer and let it sit overnight. Compare the readings with what’s on the internal monitor. If the readings are off, the doors on your fridge might not be sealing properly. If that’s the case, it might be time to replace your fridge.
You can also reduce consumption by covering liquids and wrapping foods. You should also clear away spills, crumbs and any built-up frost that might be collecting in your fridge or freezer. All that extra gunk is just one more thing that your refrigerator needs to keep cool.
If you’ve noticed a major uptick in your utility bill, some of your appliances might be the culprit. Make sure that your large household appliances are working properly by calling Absolute Appliances Repair, your number-one choice for San Francisco Bay Area appliance repair.