By slightly adjusting a few of your habits in the kitchen, you’ll be well on your way to energy savings this season!
Ah, the kitchen. It’s undeniably one of the most-loved rooms in our home, especially during the holidays. It’s where we gather with family and friends for our favorite meals and memories. But like most of us, you probably aren’t thinking about saving energy when you’re planning that perfect dish. Here are four ways you can save energy in the kitchen with minimal effort.
- When possible, cook with smaller appliances. Using smaller kitchen appliances, like slow cookers, toaster ovens, and convection ovens are more energy-efficient than using your large stove or oven. According to the Department of Energy, a toaster or convection oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven.
- Unplug appliances that draw phantom energy load. Halloween may be over, but it’s possible you have energy vampires in your kitchen – these are the appliances that draw energy even when they’re not in use, like coffee makers, microwaves, and toaster ovens. The Department of Energy has estimated that one home’s energy vampires left plugged in year-round can add up to $100-$200 in wasted energy costs. Unplug them when they’re not in use, or, better yet, use a power strip for convenient control.
- Help large appliances work less. There are small ways you can help your larger kitchen appliances run more efficiently. For example, keep rangetop burners clean from spills and fallen foods so they’ll reflect heat better. When it’s time to put leftovers in the refrigerator, make sure the food is covered and allow it to cool down first. That way, the fridge doesn’t have to work harder to cool warm food.
- Use your dishwasher efficiently. Only run full loads, and avoid using the “rinse hold” function on your machine for just a few dirty dishes; it uses 3-7 gallons of hot water. You can also save energy by letting your dishes air dry. If your dishwasher doesn’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn it off after the final rinse and prop the door open so the dishes will dry faster.
The best way to save energy is not to use it. Try a tasty, no-bake dessert recipe for your next holiday celebration. Your sweet tooth (and energy bill) will thank you!