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Monday, February 27, 2012

Stop Wasting Energy in the Kitchen!

By Diane

stop wasting energy in the kitchenThe kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in the entire house. Between cooking, cleaning, eating, homework and socializing, more goes on in that one room than any other. The kitchen is also a major drain on energy and by making just a few simple changes we can reduce our impact on the environment significantly! Here are a few ideas on how to save money and stop wasting energy.

Refrigerator Recommendations:

1. If you are using an old refrigerator, you might be better off financially if you bought a newer, more energy efficient model. Look for the Energy Star seal to know you are making a good choice!

2. Make sure you keep the condenser coils on the back of your refrigerator clear (you can vacuum them once a year) and don't keep the interior temperature too cold. You want 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5 degrees Fahrenheit for the freezer section. Use a fridge thermometer to check your settings.

3. Make sure the refrigerator door seals are tight by closing the door over a piece of paper so that it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper out easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.

4. Don't put steaming hot foods directly in the fridge, let them cool a bit first. Also, keep foods covered when storing them. Open containers of food release moisture into the interior making it harder to cool the air.

Dishwasher Solutions:

1. Only run your dishwasher when it is full. This saves on water usage and electricity.

2. Check your settings because most dishes do not need a heavy wash cycle. Check to see if your dishwasher has a light or quick rinse function and make sure you don't use the heat dry setting, just open the door after the wash cycle is done and let the dishes air dry.

3. Read your owner’s manual for other ideas. Many dishwashers have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater to a lower temperature.

Cook Smarter:

1. Make sure you choose the correct size pan for the burner you are using. Also, remember to cover pots when bringing things to a boil to help hold in the heat.

2. When you prepare a meal, make extra! This way, you only have to 'cook' once and you just reheat the leftovers in the microwave which uses very little power.

3. Right before your food is finished cooking, turn off the oven or burner and allow the heat in the pot or pan to finish the cooking process.

While we may not want to spend the extra time cooking and cleaning, by making just a few small changes in our daily routine we can significantly cut our utility bills.

What are some things you do around the house to save energy?

3 Comments so far

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On Saturday, March 10, 2012, Heather from TN wrote

Awesome tips! Always trying to find ways to reduce our electricity bill =)

On Monday, February 27, 2012, Aleks wrote

I try to make sure not to put steaming food in the fridge. Great tips!

On Monday, February 27, 2012, Meghan @JaMonkey wrote

Great tips, I can't wait to try a few of these and see the difference!

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