Five Ways to Save Energy in the Kitchen

Published on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 in Electric

Ah, the kitchen. It’s undeniably one of the most-loved rooms in our homes. It’s where we gather with family and friends for our favorite meals and memories. But like most of us, you probably aren’t thinking about saving energy when you’re planning that perfect dish. Here are four ways you can save energy in the kitchen with minimal effort.

When possible, cook with smaller appliances. Using smaller kitchen appliances, like slow cookers, toaster ovens, and convection ovens, is more energy-efficient than using your large stove or oven. According to the Department of Energy, a toaster or convection oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven.

Unplug appliances that draw phantom energy load. Plugged-in appliances continue to draw energy even when they’re not in use. Devices, small appliances, and chargers left plugged in year-round can add up in wasted energy costs. Unplug smaller appliances when they’re not in use, or better yet, use a power strip for convenient control.

Help large appliances work less. Keep range-top burners clean from spills and fallen foods so they’ll reflect heat better. When it’s time to put leftovers in the refrigerator, make sure the food is covered and allow it to cool down first. That way, the fridge doesn’t have to work harder to cool warm food. Speaking of your fridge, keeping it full can help it stay at a consistent temperature. If you need more to fill it with, try using containers of cold water (or bags of ice for the freezer).

Use your dishwasher efficiently. Only run full loads, and avoid using the “rinse hold” function on your machine for just a few dirty dishes; it uses three to seven gallons of hot water for each use. You can also save energy by letting your dishes air dry. If your dishwasher doesn’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn it off after the final rinse and prop the door open so the dishes will dry faster.

Use Energy Star-certified products. The blue Energy Star label tells you that a product is more energy efficient than a product without the label. For example, Energy Star-certified refrigerators tend to be around 9% more efficient than models that aren’t certified, while Energy Star-certified lightbulbs can use up to 90% less energy than normal incandescent bulbs, according to the Energy Star website. Shopping for Energy Star-certified products can save lots of energy in the long run, especially if you’re replacing older, non-certified appliances with newer certified ones.