22 Tips to Save Energy in the Kitchen
- Adjust the refrigerator thermostat. If your thermostat is set for colder than it needs to be, your fridge may be consuming up to 25% more energy than necessary. For best results, the refrigerator should be set within the 2.5 – 4.5 degrees C range, and the freezer to between -18 to -15 degrees C. These changes could save you up to $22 per year.
- Clean the coils.Condenser coils direct airflow in the fridge, and are often found behind or underneath the fridge. These coils frequently get covered in dust and dirt, which then restricts cool-air flow and forces the unit to work harder than necessary. Vacuuming the dust away every six months can save you up to $4.50 a year.
- Use an ice tray. As convenient as automatic ice makers may be, the mechanisms used are energy hogs. By turning off the ice maker and using trays instead, you can save up to $12 to $18 off your annual electricity bill.
- Keep an eye on frost build up in the freezer. If the frost is 1/4” or thicker, it’s time to thaw and get rid of it. All that frost is making your appliance work harder than it needs to.
- Keep the door closed. Opening the fridge door and gazing at the food is a sure way to let cool air out, and warm air in. The unit then has to work to replace that cool air. Decide what you want before opening the door, or try to minimize the number of times you it – when preparing a meal, simply grab all the ingredients you’ll need, at once.
For more tips for your fridge, check out our top 10 tips for running an efficient fridge.
Stove / Oven
- Skip preheating. You can save up to $2 a month by not preheating your oven. Although most recipes suggest preheating your oven, many cooks agree that it’s unnecessary for all but a few recipes, namely breads and cakes. This may add some minutes to the total cooking time, but eliminates the (sometimes lengthy) wait time while the oven preheats.
- Choose the right burner for the pan. A small burner will take much longer to heat a large pan than it would a small pan. Your stove would be working harder than it needs to, therefore using more energy than needed. Selecting the appropriate sized burner for the pan you’re planning on using can help trim your energy bill by a few dollars a month.
- Cut the power early. Stove elements can continue to stay very hot for minutes after they’ve been switched off. Shut off the burner several minutes before the end of the cook time, and let residual heat do the work. The same technique can be applied to the oven. Following these practices can add up to a few dollars in savings every month.
- Keep the door closed. Keep your oven door closed while cooking so the temperature remains consistent. Every time you open the oven door, the temperature can drop by as much as 24°C/75°F. Also make sure your oven door seals tightly.
- Energy efficient boiling. Use a high heat setting to boil liquids on the stove, then reduce heat to maintain a consistent low boil.
- Glass ware heats up better. Use glass baking dishes for better heat transfer.
- This goes without saying. Do not use your oven to heat your kitchen.
- Use small appliances for small jobs. Use small appliances (like a microwave oven) when cooking or reheating small quantities of food. You’ll use up to 50% less energy compared to a conventional oven.
- Manage the load. Most dishwashers use the same amount of water and energy whether they’re run full or half-full. In general, it costs the average household about $54 a year to operate a pre-2000 model. Only running your dishwasher when it’s full can reduce your unit’s operating costs by one-third or one-half, resulting in savings of up to $27 a year.
- Newer models save energy. Water-efficient dishwashers use less water and less energy to heat the water than standard models.
- Use the right cycle. Use the shortest wash cycle for your load size. Use the no-heat drying cycle.
- Set the right temperature. Set your water temperature to no higher than 50°C (120°F).
- Install a faucet aerator. These devices work similarly to low flow shower heads – they simply screw onto faucets to reduce the flow of hot water. On average, running a faucet for 5 minutes consumes enough power to run a 60-Watt light bulb for 14 hours. Installing a faucet aerator on your kitchen sink can save you up to $20 per year.Get a faucet aerator free from Efficiency Nova Scotia by booking our free Product Installation Service. Learn more.
- Save water when hand washing dishes. Conserve water when you hand-wash dishes by partially filling the sink with soapy water and quickly rinsing dishes with a spray device or in a pan of warm water.
- Save when washing vegetables. Clean your vegetables in a partially-filled sink rather than under a continuously running tap.
- Don’t run the water. Keep drinking water in the fridge rather than running tap water to get it cold.
- Steaming vs boiling. Steaming vegetables uses less water than boiling and conserves more of your vegetables’ nutrients.