10 Aug How to Use Less Electricity in the Kitchen

The kitchen is perhaps the most energy intensive room in the home. It is filled with large appliances that all run on electricity—and sometimes, in the case of the refrigerator, that’s all the time. If you’re seeking to maintain an energy efficient home, then—a cause that saves not only on energy but also on money—a great place to start is the kitchen. Here are some key tips for using less electricity in your kitchen.

Mind your fridge use.

Outside of opting for an energy efficient refrigerator, there are many things that you can do to boost your fridge’s energy efficiency. Be sure not to leave your refrigerator door open longer than necessary, and allow your food to cool down before putting it in the fridge; these things will keep your fridge from working harder than it needs to. It also helps to defrost frozen food in the fridge, as the frozen food works as an ice pack to lower the temperature inside your fridge without electricity. In addition, keeping your fridge about three quarters full the majority of the time will keep things well insulated without inhibiting airflow. An ideal temperature for the inside of your fridge is between 36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit—any colder, and you’re wasting electricity; any warmer, and you’re risking food spoilage.

Also be sure to defrost your refrigerator regularly, and to vacuum the coils at least twice a year to prevent dust buildup.

Let your dishes air dry.

When using your dishwasher, be sure to use the “air dry” feature, or to turn off your dishwasher after the final rinse. Then open your dishwasher and let your dishes dry that way. Doing this will cause your dishwasher to use less electricity in heat-drying your dishes.

Use the microwave.

No, this doesn’t mean that you should use your microwave unnecessarily. But if you have the choice between using your microwave and using your conventional oven, go for the microwave. It uses between one-fifth and one-half of the energy that a conventional oven uses.

Mind your oven use.

How you use your oven will also dictate how energy efficient it is. Refrain from opening the oven door more than necessary, as this will force the oven to work harder to bring the internal temperature back up. In addition, be sure to match pot size to burner size on your stove; having a larger burner size will only result in lost energy. And if you have an electric stove, turn off your burners a few minutes before you are finished cooking; you can still enjoy a hot burner while using less electricity to keep the burner going.

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