Guest post by Ally
The kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in your home, whether you are whipping up a snack or cooking a three course dinner for two. So it stands to reason that this is also the place where the most energy is wasted. Making some simple changes in the way you prepare your food and use kitchen your appliances can help you to save a lot of money on utility bills each year.
The Kitchen by eightfivezero
The following tips and advice will help you to conserve as much energy as possible in the kitchen, and subsequently lower your monthly bills.
Energy saving tips for the oven
The oven is one of the biggest energy hogs in your kitchen, but using it in an energy-conserving way will help you to avoid wasting energy unnecessarily.
1. Keep pre-heating to a minimum
When making certain foods, such as cakes or bread, you will need to pre-heat your oven, or they won’t come out right. However, many people tend to turn the oven on half an hour or more before they plan to use it.
For most oven cooked meals, you won’t even need to preheat the oven, but if you do, try using a special oven thermometer to measure the temperature inside, so you know when it’s ready to use. Often you’ll find that the oven is hot enough after just ten minutes or less. Shortening the pre-heating time can save you a lot of energy, especially if you use your oven quite frequently.
2. Don’t keep opening the oven door while cooking
When you open the oven door every few minutes to check on the food, you’re wasting a ton of energy by causing the temperature to drop. After this, it will take time for the oven to heat up again and your cooking time will be greatly increased. Again, an oven thermometer will tell you when the food is done, so you won’t have to open the oven till the food is just right.
3. Check your oven seal
If your oven seal is dirty and greasy or just old and in need of replacement, a lot of heat can escape, which will cause the oven to work twice as hard as it needs to. Make sure you clean the seal on your oven door regularly, and clean it with a degreaser or replace it if necessary.
Energy saving tips for the refrigerator
Although most people don’t realize it, there are ways to make your refrigerator more energy efficient as well.
1. Keep food covered
If your food is left uncovered in the fridge, the air inside will become unnecessarily moist, which makes it harder for the compressor to cool the air. Aside from this, covered food is more hygienic as well.
2. Don’t overload the refrigerator
Filling your refrigerator with too much stuff will stop air from circulating properly, which prevents your refrigerator from functioning efficiently. Keep items spaced and don’t stack too many things on top of each other.
3. Clean the refrigerator coils
This doesn’t have to be done very often, but at least once a year, you should try to dust and wipe down the coils located at the back of the refrigerator. This helps them to cool more efficiently and also helps your refrigerator to last longer.
4. Check your seal
Just like with the oven, damaged or dirty seals can let cold air escape, causing the fridge to work hard than it has to. To check your seal, put a single piece of paper between the door and fridge. If you can pull the paper out easily while the door is shut, you probably need a replacement seal.
5. Placement is everything
Don’t place your fridge right up against the wall or a cabinet, as this will hamper the airflow. Always make sure it is removed from the wall by a couple of inches. Also, placing it directly in the sun or next to a source of heat, like an oven, will cause it to work harder than necessary.
Energy saving tips for dishwashing
1. Don’t leave water running
If you wash your dishes by hand, use two basins, one with soapy water and one with clear water, as this will save on water that is often wasted when you leave the tap running to rinse things off.
2. Scrape off plates before washing rather than rinsing
Whether you wash the dishes by hand or in the dishwasher, you’ll need to clear most of the excess food off before washing them. But instead of rinsing each dish, which wastes a lot of water, try scraping the food of with a spoon or napkin.
3. Fill the dishwasher, but don’t overload it
It’s good to fill up your machine completely every time you use it, as the average dish washer uses up to 7 gallons of water each time it runs. However, overloading it is also a bad idea, as it means dishes won’t get cleaned properly, and you may have to run the machine a second time.
Energy saving tips for the stove
1. Cover pots and pans when in use
If you are heating up a pot of water, or frying a piece of chicken in a pan, you should always use lids to cover the pan or pot. This prevents the heat from escaping and shortens cooking time. If you don’t have pots and pans with fitted lids, consider investing in some new ones. Pressure cookers are also a good investment, as they can cut your cooking time in half.
2. Match the size of the pan to the burner you are using
If you are heating something in a small pot, don’t place it on the biggest burner, as a lot of this heat will be wasted. Using smaller pans for smaller amounts of food is a good idea as well. If you use electric burners, you could even turn them off a few minutes before the food is ready, as the burner stays hot for a while afterwards.
3. Make sure your gas stove is producing blue flames
If you notice that your gas burner is producing yellow flames, it means it’s not running efficiently, and a lot of gas is being wasted. Check your user’s manual or consult the manufacturer about how to remedy this problem.
Ally is part of the team that manages some of the most successful personal finance sites in Sydney, Australia, which provide helpful tips about Budgeting Planner & Ways To Save Money. Before joining the team, she was a Media Planner in McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., wherein she had the opportunity to work on several innovative and globally recognized projects.