14 Tips for Saving Energy Around the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in any home. Not only do we use it to whip up delicious meals and entertain friends, but as homeowners, it's also a major source of energy consumption and expense.
By following simple tips for saving energy around your kitchen, you can enjoy all that this space has to offer while reducing your environmental impact and keeping more money in your pocket. In this blog post, I’ll be providing 14 must-follow strategies that can help you reduce your energy usage within the kitchen - let’s get started!
1. Invest in Smart Appliances
With increasing energy costs, it makes sense to invest in smart appliances. Smart appliances in the kitchen can save energy and money as they are designed for efficient use of energy. For example, low-energy fridges can cost more initially but will pay for themselves over time due to reduced electricity bills. Smart ovens promise to cook food faster, reducing the amount of energy used whilst also providing maximum results.
Furthermore, smart dishwashers come with built-in sensors that keep track of each cycle, auto-adjusting the water temperature and duration, depending on the load size - ensuring no unnecessary wastage of water or electricity.
2. Cook with Less Energy
Cooking with less energy can be an easy and effective way to reduce energy use in the kitchen. Switching from oven-cooked meals to stovetop options like stews, risotto, and stir fry can lead to significant energy savings. A wide variety of recipes that use alternative sources of heat like slow cookers or pressure cookers allow for meal preparation with the minimal required energy. To further save energy, set the refrigerator and freezer temperatures at appropriate levels - cold enough for safe food storage without consuming more than necessary.
Additionally, always match the size of the pot or pan you're using to the size of the burner so that no energy is wasted heating a larger area than is necessary. When preparing meals you'll also want to ensure you are covering pots and pans while cooking as this will help contain heat, resulting in shorter cooking times and less energy usage overall.
3. Utilise Smaller Appliances
Focusing on energy efficiency in the kitchen is a great way to help the environment and reduce your monthly electricity bills. Investing in smaller appliances like microwaves, toaster ovens or slower cookers can be a great choice for cutting down on energy consumption.
These smaller appliances are great for preparing meals quickly and also tend to use much less electricity than traditional ovens. Additionally, avoiding preheating unnecessary appliances like the oven if you don't really need it can save a significant chunk of energy too. Taking advantage of the energy efficiency of smaller appliances is an excellent way to cut back on your environmental impact and make the most out of your time and money in the kitchen.
4. Air Dry Dishes and Clothes
Save energy in the kitchen by air-drying dishes and clothes instead of using machine dryers. This simple switch helps reduce your carbon footprint while also freeing up electricity. Air-drying is a natural, energy-efficient way to dry damp or wet cloth items, such as towels or clothing.
Instead of running a noisy and energy-consuming machine dryer, let them air dry outside or indoors on hangers or a laundry rack. Likewise, when it comes to dishes, rather than running an energy-hungry electric dishwasher all the time, switch to hand washing for small tasks and then hang dishes on a drying rack for easy access to space and leave them to air dry—saving both energy and water!
5. Unplug Large Appliances When Not In Use
Every moment spent in the kitchen should be about creating great energy. What better way than to ensure that all large appliances get unplugged when not in use? It is an easy yet important step to help reduce the amount of energy used in the kitchen. Unplugging large appliances when not in use can help improve energy efficiency, reduce monthly electricity bills and help save money.
Moreover, it is a considerate thing to do for the environment by conserving valuable natural resources. Doing this simple task helps lead to a greener planet, where everyone can benefit from the savings made on their electric bills while playing a part in preserving our precious environment.
6. Adjust the Refrigerator Temperature Setting
To save energy in the kitchen, it is important to ensure your fridge and freezer settings are properly adjusted. Refrigerators should ideally be set between 37˚F and 40˚F, while the ideal freezer temperature is 0˚F. Small adjustments can drastically reduce electricity bills and help cut down on unnecessary waste.
That’s especially important when trying to save money during times of economic downturn or uncertainty. Adjusting your refrigerator temperature setting is a simple way to increase savings in the long term without sacrificing food safety, taste or quality.
7. Let Your Food Cool Before Refrigerating It
When it comes to saving energy in the kitchen, one of the most important steps you can take is to let your food cool before refrigerating it. You see, when you put hot or warm food directly into the refrigerator, the appliance has to work harder (and longer) to adjust its internal temperature. This means that your refrigerator could be running much more than necessary, wasting valuable energy and possibly even increasing your electric bill. Taking just a few extra minutes to let food cool before popping it in the fridge might not seem like a big deal at first – but over time, the electricity saved really adds up!
8. Avoid Preheating Ovens When Possible
Making a few simple changes to your cooking behavior in the kitchen can add up to big savings on energy costs. One such change that is often overlooked is avoiding preheating ovens whenever possible. While we’ve all grown accustomed to preheating the oven before adding our dishes to bake, this step may be unnecessary for many recipes, and reducing or eliminating the preheating step need not compromise flavour or texture at all.
Beyond standard baking recipes, traditional dishes like enchiladas, stews, pot roasts and casseroles can all benefit from being cooked without prior preheating, allowing you to reduce energy consumption while preparing delicious meals.
9. Use Microwaves Instead of Stovetops/Ovens
Using a microwave instead of stovetops or ovens can be an excellent way to save energy in the kitchen. Microwaves reduce cook time significantly, as well as require less electricity than other appliances. They are particularly useful for quickly reheating leftovers and for foods that require shorter cooking and steaming times such as vegetables, fish fillets, and rice.
For those on the go or those who don't want to spend too much time skillfully preparing meals, microwaves are both economical and convenient choices to stay energized throughout the day. Plus, there's nothing quite like having all the ingredients at your fingertips – with only one microwave meal away from a delicious mid-day snack!
10. Line-Dry Clothes Outdoors When Possible
Saving energy in the kitchen is not just about changing light bulbs and keeping appliances unplugged; you can also cut down on energy use by line-drying clothes outdoors when possible. Not only is this an environmentally-friendly way to reduce electricity from energy-consuming dryers, but it's also cost-effective as drying clothing outside does not cost you any money.
Drying your clothes outside can give them a naturally refreshing aroma, giving them an organic smell and extending their life with gentle care and reducing wear significantly. Additionally, sun-dried clothes look brighter without losing colour or shrinking down too much. Line-drying clothes outdoors whenever you can sends a message that you're committed to living sustainably while saving money at the same time.
11. Choose Efficient Lightbulbs For Your Home
If you're looking for a way to save energy (and money) in your kitchen, choosing efficient lightbulbs is a great place to start. According to Energy Star, up to 10% of your home's energy costs can be attributed to lighting alone. You should think about replacing old incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR-certified LEDs or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
These are both incredibly efficient and will help you use less electricity and ultimately reduce your monthly bills. Furthermore, LEDs tend to last up to 25 times longer than regular bulbs - this means that if you install them properly, you won't have to worry about brightness and energy savings again anytime soon!
12. Take Advantage of Natural Light When Possible
Kitchen lighting can be a huge energy suck, especially in households that rely on a lot of artificial light sources. Taking advantage of natural light when possible is a great way to save energy in the kitchen. Not only does it provide wonderful illumination without tapping into energy resources, but streaming in natural sunlight also serves to lighten any dark areas and can make even small or cluttered kitchens appear larger and more open. Opening the curtains when there's plenty of sunshine outside and getting creative with windows can ensure your kitchen enjoys all the warm light nature has to offer without putting undue stress on your utility bill.
13. Shut Off Lights When not in Use
Reducing energy consumption in the kitchen doesn’t have to be a difficult task. In fact, one small gesture can make a huge difference - shutting off lights when not in use. This seemingly minor change can actually have a positive effect on the amount of energy used by your home. Not only will you save money on your electricity bill, but you’ll be supporting sustainable living practices and helping create a healthier environment. The best part is that it only takes an extra few seconds out of your day to switch the lights off – it couldn’t be easier!
14. Rinse Dishes Before Placing Them in a Dishwasher
Rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher is a simple way to save energy in the kitchen. Not only can it save your wallet by using less energy, but it can also increase the longevity of the dishwasher. Avoiding having food particles stuck inside can help to reduce the need for a deep clean in the future by preventing jamming or clogging of filters and other vital components of a dishwasher’s performance.
By rinsing off your dishes, you’re taking an easy step that doesn’t require any tools or special products; just use running water and soap - and of course, your trusty sponge! Run that water until each plate, bowl or utensil is squeaky clean and then place it with care into your dishwasher – then sit back knowing you are one step closer to creating an efficient kitchen environemnt.
With a few easy changes, your kitchen can be more energy-efficient. These 14 tips for saving energy around the kitchen will help you make a difference without sacrificing convenience or comfort. Your wallet - and the planet - will thank you!