If your energy bill is getting you hot under the collar, it might be time to take a closer look at your kitchen. Your kitchen can be a huge energy waster if you are not careful. Unless you plan to eat out every day, you will find yourself in your kitchen at some point. Fortunately, it is also a great place to be energy efficient, be it washing dishes, cooking food, or keeping your food and drinks cool.
Smart cooking practices
The costs involved in preparing a meal extends beyond the ingredients you buy from the store. All those kitchen appliances that seem to make your life easier also use up a lot of energy. In fact, depending on your cooking practices, between 4% and 30% of your average electricity and gas bill may be down to food preparation alone. The following practices will help you save energy while cooking:
- Choose the most energy-efficient cooking method, e.g., using a microwave.
- Use lids on pans and pots.
- Keep the oven door closed while cooking.
- Choose the right sized pan and match it to the burner.
- Prepare as much food as you need in one go.
- Defrost food naturally.
- Use the right cookware.
- Keep your stove and oven top clean.
- Do not use too much water while cooking. Only use as much as you need as every extra drop will need more energy to heat.
- Cut the power early.
- Avoid preheating the oven, which is unnecessary for all but baking cakes and bread.
Ensure large kitchen appliances are regularly maintained.
Spending less energy in your kitchen does not mean you need to rush to your nearest appliance store and buy a new set of Energy Star gadgets. With good habits and regular appliance maintenance, you can drastically reduce your energy usage without sacrificing convenience. Regular appliance maintenance is part of a good home energy efficiency plan.
The fridge, for example, is one of the biggest energy hogs in your home. In fact, since it cycles on and off 24/7, it consumes more energy than most other home appliances save the heating and cooling systems. Fortunately, a few simple adjustments and practices, such as adjusting the thermostat, cleaning the coils, and using an ice tray, can trim up to 45% off the average refrigeration costs. Other kitchen appliances you need to maintain include the dishwasher, ranges and ovens.
Fix Dripping Faucets
This may not seem like a big problem; however, a leaking tap can waste a lot of water. If it is hot water that is dripping, you will be wasting energy as well. If a leaking tap is wasting one liter of hot water per hour, for example, that is enough to fill a bathtub in a week.
You should also avoid leaving your kitchen appliances on standby. Your washing machine, dishwasher, electric oven, and microwave will all eat up energy when left on standby. The same goes for other household appliances. Finally, not all household appliances are created equal. If you own a very old fridge, cooker, or oven, you could be wasting a lot of energy. If you have the money to purchase new kitchen appliances, choose those with the Energy Saving Trust Recommended sticker.…