3 Ways to Slash Energy Use in the Kitchen

It’s one of the most used rooms in the house, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to read that the kitchen is one of the hot spots when it comes to energy efficiency.

Over the years we’ve seen countless appliances hit the shelves, all with the mantra of helping us become greener. It would be fair to say that some of these haven’t made a blind bit of difference and are pure marketing fads, but others have proved to be game changers and helped slash energy bills.

Following on from the above, let’s take a look at three areas of the kitchen which can most benefit from a green approach.

Washing machine 101

In truth, you could write a whole book on how to become greener with your washing machine. Its water and electric usage means that particular attention has to be paid to it, which is why a washing machine repair service business is proving to be so popular nowadays when things do go wrong.

Firstly, for every wash, always ensure that you’re at maximum capacity. By doing this, it immediately boosts the energy efficiency of the cycle. That does not mean to put the maximum capacity cycle but have the washer half empty! 😉 Better have bigger loads so your energy efficiency is higher.

Next, it’s all about the functions. If you have a fairly new device, which has at least been bought over the last few years, there’s every chance that there will be an eco-setting. Suffice to say, this isn’t there just to look good – some experts believe that it can cut energy usage by around 16% so it’s most definitely worthwhile.

In terms of the heat you wash at, 30°C is perfectly acceptable and will do the job on the most part. For anything that’s slightly more soiled, you may have to turn the dial up to 40°C, but always remember that your energy bills will be impacted by even such a small alteration to the scale.

As for my own habit, I wash everything in cold water. I use warm (not hot) water only a couple seconds for the soap to dilute itself. For stained clothes, I use a green stain remover that really works well. If the stain is quite important, I let it soak a couple hours before washing.

On a side note, it won’t cut your energy bill, but green detergent, softener and stain remover are now a must to me. These products are now as efficient as the others and certified biodegradable and/or natural and/or organic and will help to protect the environment.

Then onto drying

We’ve talked about washing your clothes, so now onto drying. While tumble dryers undoubtedly remove a lot of hassle from the whole process and can make your life easier, let’s not forget that you will be paying through the nose to use such a device. They eat away energy and in simple terms, they’re just not efficient.

Instead, simply hanging clothes to dry naturally eradicates this cost. We’re not talking about the use of radiators instead – these again pile on the pounds through your energy bills. Merely hanging them over something will work just fine – even if it might take a little longer.

Again, this method is also my favorite for environmental concerns.

Your fridge and freezer

This final section focuses on some small but utterly worthwhile tips that can boost your energy stats considerably.

For example, if you are looking to defrost food, doing so in the fridge can cool the device and therefore bring your usage down. Similarly, if you were to leave the door open, warm air will enter and therefore make your fridge work harder.

It’s for reasons such as the above that thermometers are always recommended. Considering that fridges and freezers never have a rest day – if you can monitor their use and temperature you can really make a difference to your final bill.

Note that if your fridge is thermostat based, there is no difference in the energy spent between an empty or a loaded one. I’ve known some people who even turn the light off in fridge and freezer to prevent the appliance from working harder! It seems a little exaggerated to me, but it’s another tip to save!

 

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