Have you opened your utility bill lately and cringed at the charges? If so, it may be time to take a closer look at your kitchen appliances. The good news is, there are several easy ways you can slash your energy usage and costs in the kitchen. By making smart choices and swapping out a few inefficient appliances, you’ll start seeing lower bills in no time. In this article, we’ll explore some of the biggest energy hogs in the kitchen and recommend efficient alternatives that can save you some serious cash. Get ready to overhaul your kitchen and finally gain control over your utility bills. Small changes can make a big difference, so let’s dive in!
Energy Efficient Refrigerators
If you’re looking to save some green while going green, your refrigerator is a great place to start. Energy efficient fridges can cut your utility bills by up to $200 a year.
Choose a fridge that’s appropriately sized for your needs. If you’re a single person or couple, you can get by with a smaller model, maybe even an apartment-sized one. Families will want a larger size, but don’t go overboard. An oversized fridge has to work harder to stay cold and uses more energy.
Seal the Deal
Look for a fridge with a tight-sealing door to prevent cold air from escaping. Some models have magnetic or compressed seals for the best insulation. Avoid any fridge where you can see visible light around the edges or feel air blowing out.
Keep it Cool
An ideal temperature range for a fridge is 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Any colder and it’s working overtime. Make sure you have an appliance thermometer to monitor the temp.
While extras like through-the-door ice and water dispensers, digital touchscreen controls and built-in TVs seem appealing, they can draw more power. If you want to keep costs low, opt for a simpler model without a lot of bells and whistles.
By choosing an energy efficient fridge in the right size for your needs, sealing up any cold air leaks, setting the temperature for efficiency, and avoiding energy-draining extras, you’ll keep more cash in your wallet and do your part for the planet. Saving energy in the kitchen is a win-win!
Choose an Induction Cooktop
An induction cooktop is one of the most energy efficient appliances you can have in your kitchen. Unlike regular electric cooktops that use electrical coils to generate heat, induction cooktops use magnetic fields to directly heat the pots and pans.
How Induction Cooktops Save Energy
Since the cooktop itself doesn’t get hot, very little energy is wasted. The heat is generated directly in the pot or pan, so only the area of the pot gets hot, not the surrounding surface. This also means faster heating and more precise temperature control. You can expect up to 90% of the energy to go straight into heating your food compared to only about 50-70% for gas or electric cooktops.
Induction cooktops are also safer since the surface stays cool to the touch, reducing the risk of burns. They are easy to clean too – just wipe down the surface with a damp cloth. The smooth surface means there are no drip pans, grates or burners to scrub.
What You’ll Need
To use an induction cooktop, you’ll need cookware made of a ferromagnetic metal like cast iron or stainless steel. Pots and pans made of aluminum, copper or glass won’t work on an induction cooktop. Many people find that they need to invest in a new set of induction-compatible cookware. However, the energy cost savings can offset this cost over time.
An induction cooktop may cost a bit more upfront compared to a standard electric cooktop, but can save hundreds per year in energy costs. For the environmentally-conscious home chef looking to reduce their carbon footprint, an induction cooktop is a smart choice for your kitchen. Making the switch to induction cooking is a great way to start improving energy efficiency in your home.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to save energy in your home while still staying comfortable. With a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the temperature automatically based on your needs and schedule.
Set a Schedule
The key to savings with a programmable thermostat is creating an efficient schedule. Lower the temperature setting when you’re away from home or sleeping. A good rule of thumb is to lower the heat by about 10 degrees F when you’re away or at night. Then have the thermostat “wake up” and increase the temperature about 30 minutes before you do.
When programming your thermostat, consider your daily routine and set temperature changes to match. For example:
-6 am: Increase heat to 70 F for waking up
-8 am: Decrease to 65 F after leaving for work
-5 pm: Increase to 70 F for returning home
-10 pm: Decrease to 65 F for sleeping
Following a well-designed schedule like this can save up to 10% per year on heating and cooling costs. The more time you spend away from home, the more you stand to save.
Choose the Right Temperature
In addition to using a schedule, selecting the appropriate temperatures for your needs can generate savings. Each degree lower in the winter or higher in the summer you set the thermostat can save 3% on energy costs. So lowering from 72 F to 68 F, for example, could save you up to 12% annually.
Find a balance between comfort and savings. For most people, temperatures of:
-68-70 F in the winter
-78 F in the summer
Are reasonable set points that won’t make you uncomfortable but will still reduce your utility bills. Make incremental changes and see if you notice before adjusting further. Small changes can make a big difference!
Using a programmable thermostat is an effortless way to take control of your energy usage and costs. Take the time to set an efficient schedule and the right temperatures for your needs to start saving money and energy today. Your wallet and the planet will thank you.
Wash Dishes With an Energy Star Dishwasher
An energy efficient dishwasher can save you money and energy. Look for models with the Energy Star rating, which means they’re in the top 25% of energy efficient products. These dishwashers can save you up to $35 a year on utility bills compared to standard models.
\n\n###Choose a Dishwasher Size That Fits Your Needs
Get a dishwasher sized for your household’s needs. If you have a small family or live alone, a compact or slimline model will suit you well and use less energy than a full-size dishwasher. For larger families, a standard or heavy-duty model is a better choice. Run full loads whenever possible, as this uses less energy than running partial loads.
\n\n###Select a Model With Advanced Energy Saving Features
Look for a dishwasher with advanced energy saving options like soil sensors, air dry options and shorter cycle choices. A soil sensor detects how dirty the dishes are and adjusts the cycle accordingly, using only as much energy as needed. An air dry option opens the door automatically to let dishes air dry, saving energy normally used for heating during the drying cycle. Shorter cycles, like express or quick wash, can clean lightly soiled loads in 30 minutes using a fraction of the energy of a normal cycle.
\n\n###Maintain Your Dishwasher
To keep your dishwasher running as efficiently as possible, clean the filter and spray arms regularly to prevent clogs. Only run full loads and avoid using too much detergent, as this won’t clean any better and wastes energy. Once a month, run a vinegar rinse by putting 2 cups of white vinegar in an empty dishwasher and running a normal cycle. The vinegar helps prevent limescale and keeps the sensors and spray arms clean.
Following these tips will help ensure your new Energy Star dishwasher saves energy, money and the planet. Make the switch today to an eco-friendly dishwasher and do your part to reduce energy usage and utility bills. Your wallet and the environment will thank you!
So there you have it. By investing in a few energy-efficient appliances, you can save hundreds each year on utility bills and do your part for the environment. An Energy Star refrigerator, induction stovetop, and tankless water heater are relatively easy upgrades that pay for themselves over time.
And once you experience how much more convenient and high-tech these appliances are, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner. Every little bit helps when it comes to saving energy and money. Make the changes you can, spread the word to friends and family, and together we’ll all make a difference. The planet will thank you, and so will your wallet.