There are so many ways we can save energy that soaking up all of the information and implementing everything at once is overwhelming and nearly impossible. After all, change does take time.
Since it’s easier to make adjustments one at a time, we’re going to focus on one area of your house at a time, exploring how to save energy room by room. Today we start with no-cost ways that allow you to save energy in the kitchen.
Saving Energy with the Dishes
- Air-dry your dishes. This means that you need to turn the heat-dry option off on your dishwasher. The extra heat required when this function is on not only requires more energy but it creates more work for your air conditioner when the heat escapes into your home’s atmosphere.
- Only use the dishwasher when it’s full. Obviously you wash the maximum amount of dishes when the appliance is full. You’re going to use the same amount of energy each time you run the appliance, so you might as well get the maximum amount of clean dishes out of a wash cycle.
- Find out if your dishwasher has an internal temperature setting. Check the manual or do a Google search to find out if you can set the internal temperature to the lowest sanitary temp.
Saving Energy with Refrigerators and Freezers
- Decide what you need from your fridge before you open the door. This is an easy one, but sometimes we forget. The longer the door is open, the more hot air enters the fridge. Of course, if you constantly find yourself unable to make a decision before you open the appliance, you could check out this transparent refrigerator.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer fully stocked. Your fridge works most efficiently when it’s full. If you don’t want to fill it up with expensive food, how about throwing some water bottles in there? If you have bottles or jars you were planning on recycling, you can fill them with water and stick them in the fridge or freezer without spending any money on bottled water.
- Don’t keep your fridge or freezer too cold. For the fridge, the range should be 37°-40°F. The freezer part should be 5°F. If you have a standalone freezer, the temperature should be 0°F.
- Always cover liquids and foods in the fridge. Uncovered items release moisture in the air, which make the compressor work more.
- Regularly defrost “manual-defrost” refrigerators. Frost buildup makes the appliance less energy efficient. When you see ¼ inch buildup, it’s time to defrost.
- Vacuum the condenser coils twice a year. Keeping the coils clean helps them work more efficiently – your compressor will achieve the same result (keeping the fridge cool) while running for a shorter period of time.
Saving Energy with Cooking
- Only use the kitchen fan when necessary. The vent in your kitchen is pulling air from your home and putting it outside. In the summer, this means you’re losing cool air. In the winter, you’re dumping hot air outside. To make it easier on your HVAC system, turn the fan off immediately after you’re finished using it.
- Use a toaster oven, microwave or outside grill instead of your large oven. Before you preheat that large oven, ask yourself if you can cook the item in a smaller space or in a different way. A toaster oven can use up to half the energy that a large oven does. Plus, during the summer the heat produced by your large oven causes your air conditioner to work overtime.
- Utilize timers when cooking. How can this help you save energy? If you set timers, you won’t constantly be opening the oven to check on your food. When you open a heated oven repeatedly, hot air leaves the oven and enters your house. The oven then has to produce more energy to replace that heat, and with this extra heat gain into your house, the air conditioner then has more work if it’s summer.
- Match pots and pans to burners of comparable size. This has to do with not wasting energy. A small pot shouldn’t be placed on the largest burner, which produces the most heat. A small pot should go on a small burner. That way a smaller amount of energy is wasted.
- Cover pots when boiling water. Any time you have to boil water, cover the pot to get the H2O to that state. It not only saves energy but it will boil faster, too.
Other Classic Ways To Save Energy
- Unplug all appliances when not in use. Even though you think of phone chargers and other consumer electronics when you hear “unplug,” this concept still applies to kitchen appliances. Things like the coffee maker, toaster and blender can all be unplugged when you’re not using them.