How to save energy in the kitchen
Kitchen appliances use a lot of power and with the cost of electricity increasing, you may be looking for ways to save power in the kitchen.
The kitchen is usually the room where the most power in a home is used because of the quantity of energy draining appliances. While cooking and preparing meals is a necessity of life and can’t be reduced, you can save power in the kitchen by adopting habits that reduce the amount of energy you use.
5 Steps To Reduce The Amount Of Power You Use In The Kitchen
1. Switch Off Unused Appliances
Unused appliances like the toaster, the dishwasher and microwave use energy when they are on standby and not being used. You can save electricity by getting into the habit of switching these appliances off when you are not using them.
2. Monitor Your Fridge and Freezer
Closing the fridge and freezer door when you are finished goes without saying. But it is very easy to forget or not close it properly. The door to your fridge and freezer is designed to lock in cold air and keep everything chilled or frozen. When you forget to close it, don't close it properly or even just leave it open for an extended span of time choosing what you want to it, your fridge and freezer have to increase their energy consumption in order to restore the temperature to what it was before you opened it.
Putting warm food in the fridge will cause it to increase energy usuage in order to cool down the food. Rather wait for food to reach room temperature before storing it in the fridge or freezer.
Ensure that there is at least a 10cm gap behind your fridge and freezer so that the hot air that is expelled can disperse and save energy.
Anther great tip is to make sure the seals on doors are working properly. You can do an easy test by closing the door of your appliance on a piece of paper. If the piece of paper can easily be pulled out, then you need to replace the seal on the door.
3. Use High Quality Cookware
Making sure that your cookware is the same diameter as the hob you are using is a good step to take to prevent wasting energy. Using the right size pot for the job also saves energy – use the right size pot for the quantity of food you are cooking. But an even better step to take is to use high quality, energy efficient cookware.
High quality cookware is made of metals that can retain heat and distribute it evenly. Copper, aluminum and cast iron are the best metals to be used on hobs and ceramic and glass are best for oven cooking. You can even switch off the plate when you are nearly finished cooking and your food will continue to cook using the heat that the metal has retained while cooking. High quality cookware will also have lids that fit snugly and retain heat when cooking.
4. Be Thoughtful About Boiling Water
Electricity is wasted when you boil more water than you need. Over a week, the amount of energy it takes to boil an over-filled kettle, could power a TV for a whole day. Unused water will be left to cool down and be re-boiled, which is an uneconomical use of energy. Rather be more accurate and only boil what you need, allowing for some of the water to be evaporated during the process.
Putting a lid on a pot when boiling water will help it reach the boil sooner and save energy.
5. Cook Economically
There are many energy saving cooking tips you can use to cook economically. These include:
- Only cook your food for as long as is necessary. Overcooking and cooking food at higher temperatures than necessary wastes energy.
- Chop your ingredients into smaller pieces to speed up the cooking time.
- Keep your oven door closed and do not open it until you have finished cooking. Whenever you open the door the temperature inside drops and needs to be restored.
- Use a microwave or toaster oven instead of an oven to cook or heat things up.
- Defrosting your ingredients overnight in the fridge uses far less energy than defrosting in the microwave. The frozen food keeps the fridge cool as it defrosts, reducing your fridge’s energy demands in the process.
- Save energy by boiling water in the kettle and then transfer it to the pot instead of boiling water in the pot, which will take longer and use more energy.
Small, thoughtful changes to your energy usage will help you to get the most out of your appliances while reducing the amount of energy you use in the kitchen.
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