The kitchen: it’s known as the “heart of the home,” but it probably also cuts to the heart of your monthly electric and gas bills.
Next to your central air conditioner and water heater, your refrigerator uses more energy than any other appliance. This is a good place to start as you look for ways to be more energy efficient in the kitchen – and see the results on your energy bills.
Tips for Energy Efficient Appliance Use
Refrigerator and Freezer
- Check the settings. Your refrigerator temperature should be between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer should be at 0.
- Vacuum and clean the coils at least twice a year to stop dust, dirt and food particles from hindering your refrigerator’s efficiency.
- Make sure direct sunlight doesn’t shine on your refrigerator. If you can, position it away from heat sources such as the oven and dishwasher.
- Check there is at least a 2-inch gap between the back of the refrigerator and the wall so that air circulates freely.
- Conduct a quick test of the seals by inserting a piece of paper into the door and then closing it. If you can easily pull out the paper, cool air is probably escaping and you should repair or replace the seal.
- Defrost your freezer at least once per year – and more often if you notice ice buildup.
- Cover food and liquids before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer so that released moisture doesn’t force the compressor to work harder.
Oven and Stove
- Match the size of the bottom of the pot or pan you’re using to the heating element to save energy.
- Place lids on pots and pans to conserve energy as you cook.
- Bake with glass and ceramic dishes, if you can. They retain heat better than dark baking pans and can even allow you to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
- Keep the oven door closed as meals cook. Every rush of open air causes the oven temperature to plunge by 25 to 75 degrees, lengthening your cooking time.
- Rather than your stove or oven, defer to a slow cooker, electric skillet, convection oven, or toaster oven for smaller meals. Generally, these appliances consume between one-third and one-half the energy of larger appliances.
- Wait to run your dishwasher until you have a full load of dishes.
- Turn off the “heat” cycle and let your dishes air-dry, or use the energy-saving dry option, if your dishwasher has one.
- Remove food particles from the dishwasher drain every week to help it run more efficiently.
Continue Being Energy Efficient with a New HVAC System
By putting these tips into consistent practice, they will eventually turn into habits. Over time, these good habits will become second-nature. Just think how much faster the energy savings will accrue if you get everyone in your home onboard in your endeavors to be more energy efficient. Think of this as your “recipe” for energy-saving success in the kitchen, then follow it up with an energy efficient HVAC system for a well-rounded approach. Call us at 702-385-2665 to schedule a consultation.