You’d be surprised how much energy is being used in your kitchen, even when you aren’t cooking. While no one is asking you to make the switch to cold meals only, there are ways to keep your energy usage down in the kitchen, and high efficiency appliances are a great start.
Let’s start with two appliances that sit around all day and night, sucking up power: you refrigerator and your freezer.
These two very important appliances keep your food fresh and allow you to save a lot of money by stocking up on items. However, they also stay plugged in and use energy constantly. Refrigerators that are more than 10 years old cost consumers $4.7 billion a year in energy costs. (Source) Even newer models that are not EnergyStar rated will soak up more energy than necessary. EnergyStar rated freezers and refrigerators are 10% more efficient than the minimum federal standards currently require. Making the switch to an Energy Star Rated refrigerator and/or freezer will allow you to keep your food fresh while using much less energy. Smart refrigerators are not just built better than earlier models, they are also advanced enough to do things such as delay defrosting until nighttime when less energy will be used. Check out EnergyStar’s Savings Calculator to figure out how much you could be saving.
Next up? Dishwashers. These machines may be convenient for people who have a lot of dirty dishes, but they can use a lot of water and energy just for a single wash cycle. One of the largest factors in a dishwasher’s overall energy usage is the heating of the water. Older dishwashers can use up to 10 gallons of hot water per cycle, which not only wasteful water consumption but also an expensive energy expenditure because heating up that much water takes quite a bit of energy.
Smart dishwashers will provide you with a variety of energy-saving options. They use much less water and have sensors to check how dirty the dishes are so that the machine can adjust the wash cycle accordingly. EnergyStar rated dishwashers even have more advanced jets that still pack a punch without using as much water when they spray. Many dishwashers will allow you to use internal heating elements, which means you can set your home’s water heater to a slightly lower temperature without worrying about the cleanliness of your dishes. Smart appliances will also give you drying options that use less heat, or even provide you with the option of air drying your dishes, skipping the energy usage from the drying cycle all together.
Updating your dishwasher will save you money and hassle, as they are better equipped to clean your dishes in a more efficient manner. Of course, you can always do your part by taking small steps such as scraping your dishes instead of rinsing them, saving water from the faucet, and also only running the dishwasher when its full and choosing to hand wash smaller amounts of dishes.
When it comes to cooking, having a smart stove and oven will definitely help you save on your bills, but there are other ways to cook smarter.
Consider investing in a small toaster oven. These small but powerful appliances are perfect for when you need the power of an oven but not the size. They use less energy to heat up and cook your food, without sacrificing food quality. Toaster ovens use 1/3 or even ½ the amount of energy as an average oven, so you can save quite a bit of energy just by switching to a toaster oven for smaller meals.
If you are a frequent tea drinker, an electric kettle is a perfect investment. Not only will your water heat up faster, it will use less energy than boiling water on the stove.
Cooking smarter doesn’t have to be difficult. Make the switch to smart appliances and your kitchen will practically slash your energy bills for you.