Small changes bring savings in energy consumption
by Zachary Moore, Contributing Columnist
When it comes to reducing energy use and lowering bills, a little awareness can go a long way. While most people are familiar with the home’s biggest energy consumers — thermostats, water heaters, etc. — fewer may understand the impact the kitchen can have. If you find yourself house hunting, considering a renovation or simply needing to replace one of your large kitchen appliances, you may have the opportunity to drastically lower your home’s overall energy use.
CONSIDER AN INDUCTION STOVE
Stovetops that use induction technology — where heat is transferred via a magnetic connection between the eye and the cookware — use 5-10% less energy than electric eyes and nearly three times less than gas. Plus, because the eye only heats the pan, there’s no extra heat to affect the indoor temperature of the home.
LOOK FOR THE ENERGY STAR LOGO
Before you purchase any appliance, make sure it’s been granted the ENERGY STAR seal of approval. ENERGY STAR is a U.S. government program that helps consumers determine which appliances are designed to maintain energy efficiency.
WHEN IT COMES TO APPLIANCES, THINK SMALL
Choosing an efficient stove and refrigerator is certainly important, but don’t forget to also stock your kitchen with smaller appliances, like air fryers and electric pressure cookers. Small appliances like these can provide an effective way to get dinner on the table using less energy, as well as less time.
Day-to-day habits for kitchen efficiency
An appliance can only be as efficient as the person using it. Here are some additional tips to lower your kitchen’s energy use:
Fire up the grill
Not only is grilling generally healthier than most other cooking techniques, it also saves energy by keeping all the heat from the cooking process outside.
Cook for the weather
Generally, you want to maintain a consistent temperature in your home so the thermostat doesn’t have to compensate for fluctuations. If it’s hot, consider grilling outside or serving raw vegetables. If it’s freezing out, you may be better off heating up the oven than losing precious warm air with trips outside to the grill.
Use an electric kettle for hot water
Water heaters require a significant amount of energy. If you need hot water while you’re cooking, consider using an electric kettle instead of hot water from the sink.