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Energy-Efficient Appliances & Tips For Your Kitchen 2020

charuahuja July 10, 2020

A lot of work gets done in the kitchen every day. From cooking to cleaning, you devote a lot of time just in this room. But how much of your home’s energy are you using? Even when you are not actually in your kitchen, cooking or cleaning, your energy bill is going up. Consider these tips and tricks to lower your utility bills and make your kitchen even more efficient.

Unplug Phantom Loads

Appliances like coffee makers, microwaves, and crock pots draw electricity when they are plugged in. Phantom loads can cost you a pretty penny annually, even if the appliance isn’t in use. Just leaving your coffee maker and a microwave plugged in when you aren’t using them costs the same as lighting a room with an LED bulb 24/7 for a full year!

Don’t Waste Space

Use the right size pots when cooking on a stovetop. Using a small pot on a large burner, especially on an electric oven, wastes energy as the heated burner is exposed. Try to fit pot size as close to the burner size as possible. While sticking to this rule, you can also make sure to save energy by using lids while cooking, these keep the heat in and allow your food to cook as fast and as hot with less energy.

If you are looking for a way to save energy without lids, try doubling up. Place a colander over your boiling pasta and fill it with your favorite veggies for a steamed side. Make sure to fill up the oven when you use it too, as cooking things that need around the same temperature at the same time will reduce the time you need the appliance on.

Prepare Ahead of Time

While preparing to cook, soak your ingredients the night before. It will cut down on cooking time. You can also skip preheating with meals that need over an hour in the oven, as it doesn’t make more than a minute or two of difference. This will also cut down on cook time as you are not cooling the oven by opening it and adding dishes after it is preheated. Turning off the oven ten minutes before the recipe calls for will also help cut down on energy use as it will reduce the time the oven is actively heating needed to finish the meal.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Saving energy doesn’t stop after you’re finished eating dinner. You can still save on electricity during cleanup. For starters, try not to put away leftovers until they cool. It takes more energy for your refrigerator to cool food from room temperature than right out of the oven. When cleaning dishes, opt to use a dishwasher instead of handwashing. Hand washing uses 5 times as much water as an energy-efficient dishwasher. However, if the thought of scrubbing dishes makes you cringe, only wash full loads of dishes, and make sure to disable the drying cycle on your dishwasher, as it only wastes electricity. Let your dishes air-dry instead.

The kitchen is the beating heart of a home and unsurprisingly it accounts for a significant amount of a household’s energy consumption.

Our guide to kitchen energy efficiency solutions showcases a multitude of ways we can make our kitchens energy efficient. 

It’s worth taking a few moments to perform a kitchen audit to see where you could save energy, money and greenhouse gas emissions. 

In part one of our look at energy efficiency in the kitchen, we examine everyday habits we can adopt to save energy and what to consider when we’re buying a new kitchen.

Change your habits

There are lots of day-to-day energy-saving habits you can adopt in the kitchen:

  • Use ‘Eco’ modes on appliances, wherever available and suitable to do so
  • Save 800 Rs-a-year (plus 14kg CO2) by washing clothes at 30 degrees
  • Save more by only washing full loads – by reducing your number of washes by one per week you could save an additional 800 Rs on your electricity bill and 500 Rs on your water bill (if you have a water meter)
  • Run the dishwasher only when full, can save 800 Rs on your electricity bill by reducing your loads by one per week
  • Dry clothes outside. In winter, dry them on a clothes’ horse (better than directly on the radiator) and save up to 3500 Rs a year
  • Replace halogen bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Use a microwave to heat a small amount of food, rather than a gas or electric hob
  • Clean your oven manually rather than use energy-sapping self-cleaning options (pyrolytic cleaning – high temperatures burn off grease)
  • Turn off any appliances on standby.

Buying a new kitchen

If you are considering redesigning your kitchen, there are a wide range of ways in which to reduce your kitchen’s energy impact.

You will save more money in the long term if you invest more in energy-efficient appliances and design aspects of your new kitchen.

For your hot water needs, consider installing solar thermal or an air source or a ground source heat pump.

There is financial support available to help with the installation costs of this renewable energy heating system. The Renewable Heat Incentive {RHI} and the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland Loan help to make it much more cost-effective.

Heating is an extensive area for energy savings. Consider your options when thinking about how to heat your kitchen. If you are re-doing your floor, underfloor heating could be suitable, especially if coupled with a heat source like a heat pump. If you have solar panels, you may want to consider infrared heating panels into the new design, in order to provide a renewable heating solution. They are very diverse; some are mirrors, and they operate in silently. We lose a lot of heat through the floor and walls so look at your options for insulation, too.

Appliances in new kitchen

You may want to buy an oven with a triple-glazed door in order to keep the heat in. Also, a fan-assisted oven is more energy efficient because it helps cook at lower temperatures as it circulates air around the food. Electric hobs are more energy efficient than gas rings, and there is a wide range of induction cooker rings on the market.

(Caution: if you have a pacemaker, an induction cooker’s electromagnet field may interfere with the pacemaker’s settings.)

It is worth investing in the most energy-efficient appliances to make extended savings in the long run, even paying for themselves in energy savings within just a few years.

And finally, be aware of how you illuminate your kitchen. Light the worktops and not the floors, use down lights and built-in LEDs if you can and have separate switches so you only light areas you need to.

On average, electricity and gas use creates about a quarter of all carbon emissions from our homes, with more than half of our fuel bills related to providing heating and hot water in a typical UK household. One of the simplest ways to ensure you are being energy efficient in the kitchen – as in every other room in your house – is to ensure you’ve got a modern energy efficient boiler and heating controls. We have more information about updating the heating in your home on our site.

Beyond heating and hot water, the major kitchen food-based activities involve cooling things down (in fridges and freezers) and heating things up (with kettles, ovens and hobs). Cooking typically accounts for 13.8% of electricity demand in UK homes, with freezing or cooling food requiring a further 16.8% of electricity used on average one.

group of kitchen appliances

Wet appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines are also energy hungry, accounting for around 10% of household energy bills. 

Kitchen energy-saving advice

In studies of household energy use, there’s a clear correlation between the size of the household and the amount of energy used. Unsurprisingly, single person households use less energy than a family of four. But a single person will not use half the amount of energy as a couple – it’s more energy efficient, not to mention sociable, to cook for more than one person at a time, as you can see from the table below from the 2011 Powering the Nation report.

And it’s not just cooking our fridges and freezers use the same energy to cool food, irrespective of how many people are at home.

But we can’t always have people over to dinner if we live alone. So how do we ensure we’re energy efficient in the kitchen?

1. Choose energy efficient products

One major step is to ensure we choose energy efficient appliances. At the time of the study, the households studied owned an average of 41 different electrical appliances – with some owning up to 85. The Energy Saving Trust Register is an extensive database of energy efficient appliances. You can also check Homegear.in , which is a consumer platform that assesses the most energy-efficient products on the market.

2. Use the right size of appliance for your needs

Kitchen appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, kettles and cookers have become more energy efficient over the years, with the best models using less energy than 10 years ago. However, increases in size of the average fridge, fridge-freezer and washing machine drum have cancelled out some of the possible energy savings.

If all you keep in your fridge is a bottle of champagne and a lemon (yes, I’m looking at you) do you really need a full size fridge-freezer? 

3. Don’t leave appliances on standby

While fridges, fridge-freezers, upright and chest freezers are traditionally the largest single consumers of electricity in the home because they’re always on – you can save energy by turning off other electronic appliances.

Your dishwasher, microwave, washing machine, tumble dryer and electric oven will all eat up electricity when left on standby. Try to get into the habit of turning them off at the plug to save energy.

4. Save energy when you cook

Obviously you need to ensure your food preparation methods don’t affect the quality of your meal, but there are some simple ways to save energy when cooking.

ratatouille cooking in a covered pan

Think about how you heat your food – using a microwave is far more energy efficient than cooking on a traditional gas or electric hob when you’re heating up small amounts of food.

  • Heat water in a kettle, rather than on the stove. You can transfer it into a pan once it’s already boiled.  
  • Only use as much water as you need – boiling extra takes more time and energy.
  • Always cover your pots and pans – the water will boil faster and use less energy to heat your food.
  • Turn off the heat a couple of minutes before your food is fully cooked – particularly if you’ve got an electric hob, as they take some time to cool down and will continue to cook your food.
  • Don’t open the oven door repeatedly – you’ll let out hot air and waste energy. If you can, take a look through the glass door instead.

5. Save energy when you freeze food

In addition to using an appropriately sized fridge or freezer, you can save energy by ensuring it works effectively.

  • Never put hot food directly into the fridge or freezer, allow it to cool on the side first.
  • Defrost your fridge or freezer regularly.
  • Don’t hold the door open for extended periods of time, as it’ll have to work harder to cool the temperature afterwards.
  • Keep your fridge at 5 degrees Celsius or less. On average, we keep our fridges at 7 degrees Celsius, which means our food goes off sooner.
  • Ensure there’s at least a 10cm gap behind your fridge to let heat flow away more easily.

A final area to consider is lighting. This typically accounts for a further 15% of electrical demand throughout the home. So it’s worth changing to LED light bulbs and remembering to turn lights off in rooms, when they’re not in use. We’ve got more advice on our page about Energy efficient lighting.

When you’re considering replacing appliances, one of the first things that come to mind is energy-savings. Having eco-friendly appliances is just as important as the look and function. Not only can it help you reduce your carbon footprint, but changing your kitchen appliances to a more eco-friendly model can help you reduce Electricity bills.

But, it seems to be information overload when you start looking into the details of energy-efficient kitchen appliances. For any homeowner, new or old, this can be very stressful. Let me help you simplify the process with a few of top energy efficient appliances for your kitchen.

Once you’ve made your decision, you may need some help with installing your new kitchen appliance. Contact a Kitchen Contractor to help you with the installation

Common Questions?

1. What are Energy-Efficient Refrigerators?

From door styles to freezer placement, I always feel like there are many varieties when it comes to choosing a refrigerator. I personally enjoy the side-by-side style, as it can typically fit into any kitchen and makes viewing what food I have much more accessible. For an energy-efficient option, check out the LG Electronics Side-By-Side refrigerator in stainless steel for a chic look. To get all at one place you can visit Homegear.in

2. What are Energy- Efficient Dishwashers?

Not only do dishwashers use water but they also use power, making this an area of the kitchen you’ll want to focus on when considering energy efficiency. However, one interesting fact you should know about energy efficient dishwashers is they often are more eco-friendly than handwashing dishes. In fact, an Energy Star certified dishwasher uses 3 gallons of water, compared to the approximate 27 gallons used when dishes are hand washed, according to the National Resource Defense Counsel.

3. What are Energy-Efficient Range Hoods?

While you may not think of it until you need to use it, the range hood over your stove runs on energy to remove smoke and fumes while cooking.  Like other kitchen appliances, you’ll want to look for ones that are Energy Star certified. However, I’m sure you’ll also want a range hood that adds a sleek look to your kitchen. The Air King Stainless Steel Undercabinet Range Hood looks excellent in almost any kitchen and can remove cooking smells and smoke without draining your energy bills!

4. What are Energy- Efficient Microwaves?

Microwaves are a great addition to any kitchen. However, they often use a lot of power, especially older models. While there is no Energy Star certification for microwaves, there are still energy-efficient models available. Generally, the higher the wattage, the more power is used. A smaller microwave, delivering between 600 and 800 watts of power is recommended for those looking for energy efficiency.  For a space-saving solution as well as energy-saving, check out the Summit Appliance Built-in Microwave. A perfect fit for your kitchen island.

5. What are Energy-Efficient Freezers?

If you’re anything like me, there never seems to be enough freezer space available. That’s where a second freezer can come in handy. A smaller size freezer can change your kitchen storage for the better, but can also make a difference in your energy bills if you’re not careful. Thankfully the Energy Star certified Frigidaire Frost-Free Upright Freezer provides you with plenty of extra space, without the additional cost. At last, you can also go through the best AC in 2020. or you can check the best 1 TON AC in 2020.

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