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How to Be Energy Efficient in the Kitchen

A lot of people may not realize this but there are many ways to efficiently utilize energy in the kitchen. Here are bits of advice from an energy consulting firm to help you save energy by properly using your refrigerator, dishwasher and other common kitchen appliances.

Refrigerators

You can check the EnergyGuide label on the latest refrigerators so you’ll know how much electricity they consume in one year. They provide this information in kWh (kilowatt-hours) and the smaller the number, the more efficient it is. In addition, you need to look for the ENERGY STAR label because those who have this certification consume at least 15% less than those who don’t.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when using your refrigerator:

1. Don’t keep it too cold. For the fresh food compartment, keep the temperatures to just 35-38F while for freezers, keep it to no less than 0 degree F. You can check the temperature of the fridge by placing a thermometer in a glass of water inside and read it 24hours later. If you want to check the temperature for your freezer, place a thermometer between two frozen packages and again, read after 24hours.

2. Keep your fridge door seals airtight. You can test it by closing the refrigerator door over a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out without any difficulty, then it means you need to adjust the latch or replace the seal.

3. Make sure to cover the liquids and foods you store in your refrigerator. Moisture is released in uncovered foods and will trigger the compressor to work harder.

4. Don’t forget to manually defrost your refrigerator and freezer to avoid frost buildup which reduces its energy efficiency.

Dishwashers

Your innocent-looking dishwasher can consume a lot of energy mainly from heating water.

  • You need to check the product’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to water temperature so you don’t heat it more than what’s really necessary.

  • When using your dishwasher, make sure it is not overloaded. You should also avoid using the machine’s rinse hold feature if you only need to wash a few dirty dishes. Remember that it uses up to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.

  • Turn off the control knob once you’re done with the final rinse and let your dishes air dry by opening the door slightly.

  • Finally, buy a dishwasher with an ENERGY STAR label because it consumes less energy and water.

There are other things you can do to save energy in the kitchen. Start by ensuring there are no leaks in your kitchen faucet. You should also place the lever of the faucet in the cold position if you only require small amounts of water. Keep your range top burners clean as well as the reflectors because when they are properly cleaned, they can reflect heat better. Finally, when cooking, use pots and pans that are appropriate for the amount of food you’re cooking. Using big pots to prepare food for a family of 3 is a big no-no.

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