With the number of different appliances we need in the kitchen, we often use a lot of energy to power it. By going green, you can conserve natural resources and spend less money. You can find a wide array of energy-efficient appliances for your kitchen than you’ve ever been able to in the past.
Ways of Conserving Energy at Home
Constant technological advances in design enable us to use less energy to run fridges, dishwashers and stoves. Large manufacturers have discovered that by downsizing, they allow their appliances to run efficiently. Green appliances come in a variety of styles, from retro to modern and contemporary.
1. Fridge and Freezer
Certain features take more energy to run than others do. Refrigerators that have side by side doors use 10% more energy in comparison to the models that have the freezer on top. If you choose a model that has an ice dispenser in the door, the freezer uses even more electricity. However, you need to consider what your needs are.
If you live alone, or have a small family, a smaller refrigerator can handle your needs. However, with a larger family, you may want to simply purchase 1 large fridge. Keep it energy efficient by keeping it uncluttered, dusting off the coils and replacing seals as they wear out.
10 years ago, we had not made these incredible bounds in energy efficiency and eco-friendly appliances. If you have a dishwasher over 10 years old, you can save hundreds of gallons over a single year by replacing it with a new green dishwasher. New models typically have soil sensors that adjust the water depending on how dirty the dishes are, and all use booster heaters to heat the water given by the water heater. They tend to use less than half the water you’d use washing by hand.
You can find a wide range of high-tech, eco-friendly ovens. All the new gas ovens feature electronic ignition systems, saving 30% more energy than the older models. There are combination applications that save energy by having two functions in one, such as toaster ovens that are combined with full-size ovens.
The latest technology in electric burners offer new options in cooking methods based on meal size and food type. The new radiant elements below the ceramic glass are far more energy efficient than the old coil elements.
** You can also consider buying Energy-Saving Outlets.
In the common household, a refrigerator’s energy use can take up to as much as 15% of the total energy use. It’s a sizeable amount of the $140 billion that EPA estimates US homes spend each year in energy bills. Anyone with a refrigerator over 10 years old can save $65 over the year by buying an energy-efficient model. Today, all major appliances have to meet the minimum energy conservation requirements by the DOE, or Department of Energy.
Introduced in 1992, “Energy Star” is a program between the DOE and EPA to encourage energy-efficient appliances and other products. Energy Star qualified appliances use between 10$ and 66% less than standard models, while still having great features. According to Energy Star studies in 2006, Americans saved $14 billion in utilities, and avoided the equivalent of 25 million vehicles in greenhouse gas emissions.
Shopping for green appliances requires some forethought and prior knowledge. Don’t let the sticker prices put you off because by using eco-friendly appliances in the kitchen, you can save hundreds on your utility bills. You can use the Federal Trade Commission’s Energy Guide label to determine the yearly price, as well as information on how much energy it uses.
Appliance Tips for Homeowners Going Green
One drawback of using high efficiency, green appliances is the original cost. Few can afford to replace older, less efficient appliances with new ones. Luckily, you can modify other habits to cut energy use in the kitchen. By using the microwave, you use 14% less than if you were to use the oven.
Microwaves don’t release heat, and if used during the summer, you can reduce the cost of running the AC. You can also opt for the toaster oven, crockpot or pressure cooker. When you use the stove, you need to use the right size pan. Placing a smaller pan over a large burner wastes 40% of heat.
Consider running your dishwasher only if it has a full load to avoid wasting energy. Setting your dishwasher to the air-dry option, you can save a large portion of energy consumption. Alternatively, you can prop the door open after the rinse. Unplug the microwave when it’s not in use to avoid the energy used on the electronic display.
When you need to replace an old appliance, research thoroughly to make sure you recycle it the right way.
What other ways do you conserve energy at home?