12 ways your kitchen can save you energy

The kitchen. It’s the one room in your home that’s full of appliances. Little wonder, it can take a toll on your electricity costs. Here are a few things to watch out for:

Choose your appliances well

When selecting a new appliance look for the official Energy Star rating. Be willing to pay a little more for a good energy rating. After all, it will lower your electric bill.

Keep your coils clean.

Make sure the coils on the back of your refrigerator are clean. Pull the fridge away from the wall at least once a year and vacuum those dust bunnies.

Replace worn gaskets.

If your freezer and refrigerator are not properly sealed, you will be using your fridge to air condition your house. Not exactly energy efficient, huh?

Don’t under stock the fridge.

What’s worse than a refrigerator that looks like it has mold growing over its contents? One that is under stocked.  If you are using your refrigerator to keep a six-pack chilled and nothing else, your bill will be higher.

Don’t over cool your groceries.

Foods like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc. will do better outside the refrigerator. Also, keep your fridge above 36 degrees F, otherwise you are wasting money.

Don’t use a conventional oven to do a microwave’s job.

Microwaves and toaster ovens can heat small and medium items quickly and use less energy. Use them when you can.

Keep your oven clean.

Self-cleaning ovens save energy because they are heavily insulated and avoid the kind of greasy build up that makes your oven less energy efficient.

Choose your pans wisely.

Pots and pans should be chosen to match the size of the burner. An undersized pan is an energy waster.

Piggyback your pots.

Piggyback pots on top of each other and use the same heat source for two or more chores. This is a very efficient way to cook.

When heating up the oven, make every rack count.

Stagger dishes on different racks. Make your energy go further.

Never microwave anything bigger than your head.

Microwaves are great for small to medium portions. Bigger dishes should be prepared on the stove top.

Don’t run a half-full dishwasher.

Wait until every square inch is full before turning on your dishwasher. Waste not. Want not.