From appliances and lighting to home sealing and small cooking tips, there are plenty of ways to improve the energy efficiency of your kitchen and save on energy bills this holiday season.
First, use your microwave or a slow cooker when heating smaller plates and save your oven for larger items like Turkeys.
Second, cook many dishes together when using the oven. If the dishes call for separate temperature settings, just set it in the middle. Adjust cooking times rather than using the oven twice. Also, if you have a self-cleaning oven, turn it on just after use while the oven is still hot.
Remember to cover your pans with their cooking lids. For example, boiling water without a lid on the pot can use three times as much energy.
Installing an ENERGY STAR qualified kitchen range hood will also help you control moisture and remove odors from cooking. ENERGY STAR qualified ventilation fans use 60% less energy on average than standard models, saving more than $60 in electricity costs over the life of the fan. They are quieter and use high-performance motors and improved blade design, providing better performance and longer product life. Qualified models can be found at many home improvement stores or from your HVAC or electrical contractor.
After you’ve finished cooking and you are ready to clean up, be sure to avoid running small loads in your dishwasher. Also, many dishwashers have energy-saving wash cycles that use less water. Using these cycles can save $5-15 per year. A no-heat air dry feature also can save energy by as much as 15 to 50 percent. If you have an older dishwasher, turn the dishwasher off after the final rinse cycle is complete and open the door. This allows air drying.
If you wash dishes by hand, fill wash and rinse basins instead of letting the water run. This uses half as much water as a dishwasher does. Also, be sure to use cold water when running your garbage disposal. Cold water congeals grease better and keeps the disposal cooler, helping the unit run more efficiently.
And when it comes to leftovers, keeping a freezer well stocked saves money in the long run too as all items frozen keep each other cold too. A full freezer also keeps freezer burn from foods longer, less air circulation and less temperature variations.
Also, be sure to check your fridges’ seals. An easy test is to place a dollar bill between the doors and if it slides out with little effort, it is time to replace them.
Check out these videos below for more energy saving tips in your kitchen.
Lastly, remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room.