Energy bills go up every month. We used to attribute it to the increasing cost of electricity and heating, but even if we just want to make up for them, we have to save energy whenever we can. Heat loss through inadequately insulated walls is a great problem, but so do all kitchen stuff – while we may not know about it, kitchen appliances are a major factor in our house’s energy consumption.
Let’s start from preparing the meals. First of all, never use the stove for reheating the leftovers. It sucks wild amounts of energy! Try a microwave oven instead – while the quality of the food suffers a bit, you save up to 40% energy you’d otherwise have to waste on heating the stove. Another tip is about the burners. Never use the big ones unless you have a really large pot. Remember those big burners don’t heat anything faster (especially if pots are smaller than the burner), but they use much more energy. Make sure that your pan or pot are sitting flat in the burner as well. Many times the pot/pan bottoms are rounded a bit from wear and usage and do not sit flat on the burner, thus heating up inefficiently and wasting energy.
Fridges and freezers are two other major energy consumers in your kitchen. Make sure that the insulation around their doors is in good condition. If the doors are not sealed properly, the energy consumption skyrockets. You may also play a bit with the freezer’s settings. In most cases people set too low temperature – it does not help store food anymore, but it decreases energy efficiency.
As for other major energy consumers in your kitchen, you may consider replacing the bulbs with the fluorescent models. They provide just as much light as incandescents, and despite their higher individual price, they are much cheaper in the long run. Also, it may be a good idea to reduce the amount of energy used by your dishwasher. The point is that you have to use it only when it is properly loaded. If you overload it, don’t be surprised if it uses a huge amount of electricity. On the other hand, running it every time you have a few cups to clean will be a waste of energy, too. When you do run it, run it at night when most electric KWH costs are lower than during the day.
One last tip: generally, try to replace your appliances with more energy-efficient models. Look for Energy Star logos – they mean that the appliance is more energy-efficient. Remember that they are responsible for a better part of your electricity usage, so it is something worth fighting for.