7 Energy-Saving Tips for Your Kitchen Appliances

January 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Eco-Friendly, Front Page, Green Living, Homes, Slideshow, Tips

It's easy and practical to save money with simple, energy-saving tips for your kitchen appliances. Photo: Roger Kirby, www.rkirby.com

It's easy and practical to save money with simple, energy-saving tips for your kitchen appliances. Photo: Roger Kirby, www.rkirby.com

Did you know that your kitchen is one the biggest energy hogs in your home? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, major appliances, including the refrigerator, can account for up to 20% of your utility bills. With dishwashers, ovens, refrigerators and all kinds of gadgets and gizmos sucking energy on a daily basis, learning how to make your kitchen green is necessary to protect both your wallet and your planet. The following steps will guide you through your journey into a greener kitchen.

1: Use Energy Star-qualified appliances

If you’re in the market for new appliances, always purchase energy-saving models, easily recognized by the Energy Star marking. Such appliances comply with the US Department of Energy efficiency standards and can reduce your energy and water usage by as much as 50%.

2: Reduce your refrigerator’s energy consumption

Start by breaking the bad habit of standing in front of your refrigerator and leaving the door open while you decide what to grab. When you do so, the temperature inside increases; your refrigerator has to work harder and consume more energy in order to maintain the right temperature. So make sure you decide what you want to remove before you open the refrigerator or freezer door.

Also, make sure the door seal is in good condition, especially if you’ve been using your refrigerator for many years. One easy way to test the door’s seal is to close the door on a dollar bill. Grab onto the portion of the bill sticking out of the door; if you can easily pull out the bill, then the door seal is not tight, and cold air is leaking from your fridge.

Finally, dusty condenser coils cause a refrigerator to work harder and waste more energy that it should. Ideally, you should clean them once a month by vacuuming or dusting the coils.

3: Make more use of toaster ovens

Although greatly overlooked, toaster ovens can easily have a huge impact on your energy consumption if used regularly for small cooking jobs, or even for cooking all kinds of foods. Toaster ovens heat up faster and use about 50% less energy than conventional ovens, especially if you use high-end models with a convection feature, such as the Breville BOV800XL.

4: Cook with the lid on

Use a lid to cover your food when you’re using the stove top. Cooking with lids will not only make your food cook more quickly but can actually save significantly on fuel use.

5: Wash dishes the green way

Hand-washing dishes often results in a lot of wasted water running down the drain. According to the California Energy Commission, a full dishwasher is estimated to use 37% less water than washing dishes by hand. So make sure you use your dishwasher and boost its efficiency with the following tips:

  • Don’t run your dishwasher until it is filled to capacity and fully loaded. This can save up to 400 gallons of water every month.
  • Let the dishes air-dry instead of using the heat-dry cycle. Air-drying your dishes will require no energy at all and will still result in dishes that are just as dry.
  • Save up to 25 gallons of water by avoiding pre-rinsing your dishes before loading them into the machine. Today’s dishwashers are pretty efficient and will get rid of all the dirt for you.
  • Maintain your dishwashers efficiency by cleaning the drains and filters on a regular basis.

6: Wash your clothes the eco-friendly way

Doing one wash instead of several smaller ones is a good start. This will not only make your washing machine more energy-efficient, but it will also save on the amount of washing powder or liquid detergent you use.

Also, choosing a lower heat setting will help reduce your energy usage. Cold water often washes just as effectively as hot water. Most modern machines also have time-saving settings that will reduce the amount of energy used, so make sure you take advantage of such features.

7: Unplug appliances when not in use

Some appliances continue to use a small amount of energy just by being plugged into the socket. This is called Vampire Energy Draw and is responsible for about 5% of the average home’s electricity bill each month according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Unplugging all appliances that are not in use might save you a couple hundred dollars a year!

Even if you only manage to implement a few of the tips mentioned above, your kitchen will be more eco-friendly, and you will have played a significant role in saving energy and protecting our planet.

Ellen Kaylor

Guest Writer

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

Ellen Kaylor is the co-author of Appliance Freaks, a blog where she and Karen May share their views and opinions on different home and kitchen appliances and help their readers make the right choice. In their most recent post, they share useful hints and tips on how to choose the best juicer to buy.

The Small Print

Neither Blue Planet Green Living  nor Ellen Kaylor received any compensation or incentive for reviewing products mentioned in this post. 

Both Appliance Freaks and Blue Planet Green Living have affiliate relationships with Amazon.com.

Comments

Comments are closed.