Save Energy – and Money – in Your Kitchen
Did you know your kitchen could be losing you hundreds of dollars each year? We have some tips and good habits to help you conserve energy and save money in your kitchen:
- Adjust the Thermostat
If you set your fridge’s thermostat colder than you really need, you could be increasing its energy consumption by as much as 25%. Stay in the 37° to 40°F range for the refrigerator and between 0° to 5°F for the freezer. This could save you about $20 per year. If your fridge/freezer doesn’t display actual temperatures, a separate refrigerator thermometer can do the trick.
- Clean the Coils
Every six months, clean out dust and debris from the fridge’s condenser coils located either behind or underneath using a long-bristled brush or vacuum attachment. This could take up to 5% off of your fridge’s operation costs. And before you push the refrigerator back into place, make sure you have about three inches of clearance between it and the wall for proper ventilation.
- Turn Off the Icemaker
Okay, most of us don’t want to picture life without the convenience of an ice maker. But you may want to consider using ice trays instead. Automatic ice makers can increase the energy consumption by 14-20% costing you about $15/year. At the very least, turn the maker off when you have enough ice and back on when you’re almost out. Having ice maker issues? Click here for ice maker parts.
- Keep the Heat
Check your oven’s door once in a while to see that it’s closing properly. The door seal/gasket should be undamaged and free of tears. A damaged one doesn’t seal correctly and can cause heat to escape and your utility bills to climb. See how to replace a door seal/gasket on a Kenmore gas range.
- Use the Furnace Instead
Never use a gas range/stove/cooktop to heat your home. Not only is this a fire risk, it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning as well.
- Avoid Preheating
Unless you’re baking bread or a cake, you really don’t need to be in the costly habit of preheating your oven. Not preheating can save you about $2 per month, or roughly 20¢ per hour.
- Pick the Right Burner
While it may seem a larger burner can heat a small pan sooner, the difference isn’t that great and you could be wasting a few dollars a month. It’s simple … Small pan, small burner. Large pan, large burner.
- Watch the Load
Don’t overload your dishwasher, you’ll be wasting water on dishes it can’t effectively clean. On the flip side, don’t under load your dishwasher either. You can cut costs by about 30% if you only run it when it’s full (but not too full!).
- Run Hot Water First
Some dishwashers preheat the water before they run. By just taking a few seconds to run hot water out of your sink’s faucet can shorten the wash time and save you money and water.
- Turn Off the Heat
Your dishwasher’s heat cycle can add 15-50% in operating costs. Turn off the heat feature and save yourself up to $27 a year. Need help with a dishwasher that’s not drying?
- Prewashing Not Needed
They’re called dishwashers for a reason. Just scrape excess food into your garbage disposal but you can skip the per-rinsing. Most modern dishwashers are designed to remove food particles, so no rinsing is needed unless your dishes have been sitting out for several hours. Find wash arms and wash arm support parts here.
- Hand Washing vs Dishwasher
Save up to $40 annually each year and over 5,000 gallons of water by using your dishwasher instead of hand washing your dishes. On average, a dishwasher uses 4 to 6 gallons of water per load, depending on the type of model dishwasher and which wash cycle used; which reduces the operating time of the homes biggest energy hog, the water heater.
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