Energy consumption has become an important consideration in all facets of life, and every electric appliance in the home, from fridge freezers to cars to light bulbs has come under scrutiny in recent years.
Making a home energy efficient can involve anything from purchasing new appliances to using the right sized pot to cook pasta, and it can save hundreds if not thousands in the long term. Taking steps to making a home more efficient is beneficial to the pocket book, the family and the environment.
Whether you’re making a sandwich for a pack lunch or cooking dinner for a house full of guests, here are some of the best ways to make a kitchen as energy efficient as possible.
Use a microwave oven
This is a simple time/energy equation. Microwaves ovens cook food about 75% faster than conventional ovens and therefore require substantially less energy.
Don’t pre-heat the oven
While almost every recipe that mentions an oven includes an initial step of ‘pre-heating’ the reality is that this isn’t always the case.
Baking does require the oven to be hot before the ingredients go in, but rarely for longer than a few minutes. Don’t wait ages to put things into the oven, food will cook (perfectly well) with minimal pre-heating.
Use the right pots and pans
It takes a lot of power to heat a large skillet or pot of water. If you’re cooking a small amount of food, be sure that the pot is the right size for the portion so it will cook more efficiently. Always put pots and pans on burners that they completely cover, this prevents heat from escaping and ensures efficiency. To speed up the cooking process (and thus use less energy) always use a lid for pots and pans, this traps heat and cooks food faster.
Keep the fridge full – but not too full
Fridges are designed to allow for air to circulate around food.
Keeping a modest amount of food in the fridge allows for maximum efficiency. Freezers on the other hand are much more efficient when packed to the brim so keep frozen foods well stocked.
Check appliance door seals
Fridges and ovens have the potential to let hot or cold escape when their seals are not secure. A good test is to stick a piece of paper half inside the door of the fridge or oven and try to pull the paper out. If it comes loose easily, the latches or seals are likely unsecure and therefore leaking valuable energy.
Use power-saving functions when available
Many modern appliances come with power saving options which should always be utilised. Newer appliances are significantly more efficient (even without specific energy saving settings) so it’s wise to consider replacing any older appliances that may be adding unnecessary costs to household bills.
Transforming a home to become more efficient is easily achieved with a few small adjustments. Ensuring that appliances and general habits are as efficient as possible provides peace of mind as well as very real cost savings. The kitchen is the perfect place to start an energy saving makeover that will have a significant impact on long-term household expenses and help limit negative environmental impact.