The kitchen is often the most popular room in the house. It might not contain a television, but the delicious creations that come from the kitchen are plenty entertaining. No matter how big or small your party or family gathering, there’s a good chance that at some point everyone will end up in the kitchen. There’s just something warm and inviting about it. But what a kitchen isn’t naturally good at is saving energy. Your kitchen is probably the largest energy sucker in your home, which makes it the perfect place to focus your conservation efforts. If you can cut down on just a bit of your electricity usage in the kitchen you’ll be doing your part for environmental sustainability, while saving a bunch of money at the same time. Here are five tips for conserving electricity in your kitchen.
First of all, think of ways to use human power instead of electricity. All of those small gadgets and gizmos you’ve picked up over the years might make the work a little easier, but they all come with an electrical cost. Each time you use a knife over that electric slicing tool or a hand beater instead of the blender you’ll trim down your electric usage. You’ll also burn some calories as well, which should make you feel better about those brownies you’re mixing up for dessert.
There’s a lot of curiosity in the kitchen. People wander in unsure of what they want to eat, and browse like they’re in the library. Or they want to check out just how close you are to serving up that favorite meatloaf, and can’t help but peek into the oven. Every second the oven, refrigerator or freezer door is propped open costs you energy. And that energy costs money. Did you know that opening the oven for a look loses about 20% of the heat you’ve built up in there? Keep the window-shopping to an absolute minimum and you’ll conserve a bunch of energy.
You should also try to match the tool to the task at hand as closely as possible. For example, reheating a sandwich in your full-sized electric oven costs you a ton of unnecessary electricity. You will serve yourself much better if you can utilize a toaster oven instead. The same goes if you can forgo the food processor for a simple handheld blender. Make sure you use a pan that matches the size of the cooking element, and a baking dish that fits your foot perfectly.
The refrigerator probably deserves its own section, as it may be the largest energy drainer in the kitchen. A couple of simple maintenance and operational tips will save you a bunch of electricity. For starters, make sure you clean the refrigerator coils on a regular basis. Check the back or the bottom of your fridge to locate them. By giving them a good dusting the fridge won’t have to work so hard. You should also try not to overfill it either. Space everything out, so the cold air can run evenly across your items.
If you have a dishwasher you should look there for your final attempt to conserve energy. One of the best things you can do is skip the heated drying cycle. By air drying you’ll save a ton of energy, and you won’t heat up the kitchen in the middle of summer when you’ve got the air conditioner pumping. All the environmental data resources out there also suggest you shouldn’t run the dishwasher until it is full. Every time you run this appliance takes the same amount of energy, so you might as well maximize the results you receive from this expenditure.