How to Save Energy and Money in the Kitchen
By Audrianna Modon on August 8, 2019
A lot of work gets done in the kitchen every day. From cooking to cleaning, you devote a lot of time just in this room. But how much of your home’s energy are you using? Even when you are not actually in your kitchen, cooking or cleaning, your energy bill is going up. Consider these tips and tricks to lower your utility bills and make your kitchen even more efficient.
Unplug Phantom Loads
Appliances like coffee makers, microwaves, and crock pots draw electricity when they are plugged in. Phantom loads can cost you a pretty penny annually, even if the appliance isn’t in use. Just leaving your coffee maker and a microwave plugged in when you aren’t using them costs the same as lighting a room with an LED bulb 24/7 for a full year!
Don't Waste Space
Use the right size pots when cooking on a stovetop. Using a small pot on a large burner, especially on an electric oven, wastes energy as the heated burner is exposed. Try to fit pot size as close to the burner size as possible. While sticking to this rule, you can also make sure to save energy by using lids while cooking, these keep the heat in and allow your food to cook as fast and as hot with less energy.
If you are looking for a way to save energy without lids, try doubling up. Place a colander over your boiling pasta and fill it with your favorite veggies for a steamed side. Make sure to fill up the oven when you use it too, as cooking things that need around the same temperature at the same time will reduce the time you need the appliance on.
Prepare Ahead of Time
While preparing to cook, soak your ingredients the night before. It will cut down on cooking time. You can also skip preheating with meals that need over an hour in the oven, as it doesn’t make more than a minute or two of difference. This will also cut down on cook time as you are not cooling the oven by opening it and adding dishes after it is preheated. Turning off the oven ten minutes before the recipe calls for will also help cut down on energy use as it will reduce the time the oven is actively heating needed to finish the meal.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Saving energy doesn't stop after you're finished eating dinner. You can still save on electricity during cleanup. For starters, try not to put away leftovers until they cool. It takes more energy for your refrigerator to cool food from room temperature than right out of the oven. When cleaning dishes, opt to use a dishwasher instead of handwashing. Hand washing uses 5 times as much water as an energy-efficient dishwasher. However, if the thought of scrubbing dishes makes you cringe, only wash full loads of dishes, and make sure to disable the drying cycle on your dishwasher, as it only wastes electricity. Let your dishes air-dry instead.
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Categories: Energy Efficiency