Although everyone loves their bedroom, and the family room sees more than its fair share of action, it’s the kitchen that is truly the center of any home. If you love to cook, the kitchen is the place where culinary magic happens, feeding your friends and family and helping to create hundreds of lasting memories. Even if you’re lost in the kitchen it’s still the place where you heat up leftovers and mix together cocktails during a friendly gathering. But all of the benefits of an amazing kitchen leave you with quite a utility bill. The kitchen requires a ton of electricity, and if you love your gadgets you’ve probably seen your electric bill rise consistently from month to month. Luckily there are some easy changes you can make that will save you a bundle. Here are five ways to save electricity in your kitchen.
First and foremost, consider how you use your dishwasher. One of the best things you can do to save some electricity is to skip the heated dry cycle. It takes a ton of energy to create all of that hot air, and as it seeps out of the dishwasher it battles the efforts of your air conditioner, causing that unit to work harder as well. You should also only run the dishwasher when it’s full. It will use the same amount of energy whether it’s packed to the rim or only contains a couple of glasses. So get the most bang for your buck by only running it when necessary.
Now you should take a look at the refrigerator. Periodic cleaning of the cooling coils will save you a bunch of energy. Check either behind or beneath the fridge to locate the coils and give them a good dusting every couple of months. Also make sure your fridge is placed so that it gets a clear flow of air. If you squeeze it in next to the wall or surrounded by cabinets it will have to work harder to keep the food cold.
It’s tough to keep the lookie-loos out of the refrigerator and the oven. If you’ve got cookies warming up the kids won’t be able to help but snag a peek at their progress. And there are plenty of times when someone wanders in to the kitchen looking for something to eat, only to open the fridge and stare at its contents for minutes at a time. Opening the oven will cost you as much as 20% of the heat you’ve just paid to generate, and cracking open the fridge again and again loses a ton of cool air as well. Avoid this behavior and you’ll save a bunch of money.
At this point you should consider other ways to minimize the loss of energy in the kitchen. For example, you should always match the pot or pan size to the size of the burner. If you put an oversized pot on a small burner it will take far more energy to get it heated up. If the pot or pan is too small, you’re wasting a bunch of resources that just seep off around the sides. Think this way with your cooking as well. If you’re just heating up a slice of pizza or one plate of leftovers, consider using a microwave or a toaster oven instead of your full oven. It will take far less energy to heat up, and you’ll get the job done faster as well.
Finally, consider ways to avoid using electricity in the first place. For example, just by remembering to unplug your kitchen appliances when they’re not in use you’ll save a noticeable amount on your utility bill. And you don’t need the latest environmental data resources to know that if you don’t use electricity in the first place you’re saving money. So go with old fashioned kitchen tools that are simply powered by your efforts instead of modern, plug-in versions that do the same thing. It might take you a little bit longer to prepare your meal, but you’ll appreciate the dip in your electric bill.