18 Ways to Save Energy and Water in the Kitchen
Your kitchen appliances consume a significant amount of the electricity and water flowing into your house, but few people recognize this or take steps to reduce wasteful of resources. Your refrigerator and freezer, for instance, run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, contributing just less to your energy bills than your air conditioning and heating units.
Here are 18 simple ways to lower your utility bills by increasing efficiency.
- Buy refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, toasters, blenders and food processors with the EPA’s Energy Star label, which certifies the appliances as being energy efficient.
- Preheat your oven only when baking bread and pastries.
- Do all your baking on the same day so you only need to heat the oven once.
- Don’t peek into the oven every few minutes. Opening the door lets heat escape, meaning your food takes longer to cook.
- Cover pots and pans with tight-fitting lids to ensure food cooks faster – requiring less energy – and more evenly.
- Turn your electric stove or oven off at least 2 to 3 minutes before the actual end of the cooking time. The element remains hot for some time after the electricity cuts out.
- Reheat food in your microwave.
- Adjust the flames for gas surface burners to cover only the bottoms of pots and pans. Flames licking the sides of pots and pans waste energy and pose dangers to cooks.
- Set the temperature inside your fridge to 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius) and inside the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius).
- Replace faulty thermostats in all kitchen appliances.
- Replace worn seals on refrigerator, freezer and oven doors to prevent cold and hot air from leaking and making the appliances work harder.
- Opt for a chest freezer. Freezers with lids hold more cold air when opened than do upright freezers.
- Keep spare “garage” refrigerators unplugged if they’re empty.
- Clean the filters in your dishwasher and washing machine regularly.
- Scrape, but don’t rinse, dishes before loading them into your dishwasher.
- Fill a tub with hot water for washing an entire dinner’s worth of dishes by hand instead of constantly running water from the faucet.
- Install low-flow faucets and quickly fix any drips or leaks.
- Insulate the pipes carrying hot water from the water heater to the kitchen.