Since we already learned a few tips on how to save energy in our living room, the same can be done in the kitchen.
Much like the TV is to your living space, the refrigerator is the energy hog of the kitchen. Take a minute to evaluate your thermostat settings. The refrigerator should be set between 37-40 degrees F and the freezer between 0-5 degrees F. Maintaining a stable temperature can decrease this appliance’s energy consumption by 25%. Also, cleaning the coils on the bottom or in the back of the fridge every 6 months will prevent the unit to work as hard to direct cold air. Sure, the ice make is incredibly convenient, but is it necessary? No. To save 15-20% of consumed energy, switch off that automatic ice maker and fill up some good ‘ole fashioned ice trays. Finally, do you have an extra fridge for cold drinks and freezer storage? If you can consolidate into one primary unit and disconnect your ‘beer fridge’ as many call it, you’ll save tons of energy. Typically, these bonus fridges are older models that constantly run and burn energy.
You can save money with your stove/oven too. We all know that even after you’ve turned a burner off, if you touch it, it’s HOT! Put that residual heat to good use and turn off your stove or oven a few minutes before the recommended cook time. As long as your food is involved in the cool down, it will continue to cook. When you are using your stove, make sure the burner matches the pan. If you’re using a small pot on a large burner, you can just see the money slipping out of your wallet, for no good reason.
One last energy waster in the kitchen is your dishwasher. The majority of energy used is to heat the water, but no matter how new and sophisticated our appliance may be, it will still use the same amount of power and water regardless of how full it is. By only running a cycle when it is full will save you money on both electric and water bills. Growing up, I was told not to put big items in the dishwasher and I abide by that rule. Hand washing pots, pans, baking sheets, chopping boards, mixing bowls, etc. is just in my nature. Turns out, it takes 1/3 less water and power to wash those items in the dishwasher than it does by hand, due to the amount of water required and heating that water. As long as your racks are full, go ahead and run that baby!
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