Consider the following suggestions for making your kitchen energy efficient.
- Use cold water for cooking, even if you’ll heat the water on the stove. Hot water that has been sitting in your water heater isn’t considered healthful for cooking by health experts.
- Use lids on pots and pans when possible to speed cooking.
- Use pressure cookers for foods that require long cooking times. This will usually reduce the cooking time by three-quarters.
- Avoid using your full-size oven. Use a microwave for small meals or leftovers.
- If you have a gas range, check that the flame is mostly blue, with yellow only at the tips. Have a serviceman adjust them if needed. A properly adjusted flame is cleaner and more efficient.
- Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator for a day or two before cooking.
- Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer using an accurate thermometer. Adjust your refrigerator so it is no colder than 38-40 degrees. Adjust your freezer to 0-5 degrees.
- Take your second refrigerator out of service. Sell your stand-alone freezer unless you really need it and use it.
- If your refrigerator has an Energy-Saver switch, turn it to “On” or “Save Energy.” This controls small electric heaters that warm the outside of the refrigerator to prevent condensation from forming around the door in humid climates. Unless you notice wetness or frost around the door, you don’t need to use this feature.
- Scrape dishes thoroughly, but avoid pre-rinsing for the dishwasher. Dishwashers are designed to remove soluble food deposits. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. Use the energy saving cycle to save electricity and hot water.
- Finally, if you’re shopping for a new refrigerator or dishwasher, look for models that have an Energy Star® label. These are the most efficient appliances made. Don’t buy a bigger model than you absolutely need.
See The Homeowners Handbook to Energy Efficiency for simple practical energy-efficiency ideas.