Saving Energy With the Right Appliance Choices
Everyone wants to save energy because saving energy means saving money. It also means we are doing our part to help reduce our individual and collective impact on the environment. Let us explore some cost efficient energy saving tips as opposed to cost prohibitive tips. The impact can be immediate with little or no investment.
Quite often we find that there is numerous energy saving ideas out there that are expensive. There is no doubt that these ideas and products work as there has been a lot of research and effort put into proving this. We are not going to dispute this, we are simply going to look at simple, in-expensive ways that we can get started immediately. Let us take a look around our kitchen and find out what we can do starting today and what we can do in the immediate future with a small investment.
First we need to look at what appliances we have and how we can use them to lower our energy consumption right now without spending a penny. Does this sound too good to be true? It's not; it is also very simple to get started. First we will identify what we have and how we can use it more efficiently. Most kitchens have an oven range combination, refrigerator, toaster, coffee maker and dish washer, the dish washer is quite often an extra. With the range we need to cover pots and pans while cooking as often as possible, this can reduce energy use by up to 40%, by using the right size burner, i.e. small pot, small burner we can save even more. With the refrigerator we need to make sure that it is only opened when necessary and for the shortest possible time, this means that we do not stand with the door open browsing the contents, get what you need and close the door. In the average household with kids this can cut the amount that the refrigerator cycles in half. As well we need to make sure that the space behind the fridge is adequate for proper cooling and that we periodically clean the coils to keep the cooling system operating at peak efficiency.
The toaster and coffee maker have a smaller impact but can add up over the course of a year, use the toaster at capacity whenever possible, if it is a 4 slice toaster try to plan its use so that it is toasting 4 slices, the same goes for a 2 slice toaster. This way the heat is used to toast the bread and not heat the kitchen. Coffee makers need to be shut of when the pot is near empty or the remaining coffee will not be consumed, this prolongs the life of the product as well as save energy. The dishwasher is best used at capacity as well, if you need to run it before it is full use and economy mode. By not using the dry feature of the dishwasher we can save 30% to 50% of the energy it uses per cycle, dry by hand when convenient.
Second step in saving energy in the kitchen is to research and buy energy efficient products when you have to replace an item. They all have energy ratings now and you will find a wide range in each product size and type that are available. Quite often the more efficient products will be a little higher price but the savings will usually more than offset the cost difference.
The third step is to identify what appliances you have and do not use often or the appliances that can help you save a lot of energy, are cost effective and that will save you time as well as energy. Toaster ovens are a great addition to kitchens for a number of reasons. They give us increased capacity when we are entertaining as well as save us energy when we do not need the extra capacity. Make use of a toaster oven for cooking smaller meals whenever you can, this saves the extra energy that your full size oven consumes as well as cutting down on the heat that is released into your house which will help reduce strain on the air conditioning system, this is a double save. If you are in the market for a toaster oven try to choose a convection type as the use of the convection mode will save up to another 30% of energy use compared to a conventional type by cutting the cooking time down, you not only save energy here but time as well. As well there are a number of infra-wave ovens out there now that have all of the advantages of a convection oven while cooking a little faster so you can realize up to a 50% energy savings over a conventional oven too prepare the same meal. The infra-wave oven also boasts the ability to cook food from frozen in the same amount of time that a convection oven cooks from thawed, more time savings for you. It also means that if you forgot to pull something from the freezer it doesn't really matter, you are ready to go with an infra-wave. These are some simple, cost effective ways to save you time and energy in the kitchen that you can take advantage of right away. Enjoy your time in the kitchen now and enjoy the reduced energy bills really soon.
Michael Legge enjoys the outdoors and realizes that collectively we can significantly reduce our impact on the environment with minimal effort.
If we are all willing to make small changes that do not negatively impact our lifestyle and burden us with significant time and money requirements then we can do our part and reduce our resource use one step at a time to the benefit of all, as well as to the benefit of our future generations, children, grand children and great grand children.
You can start saving today!
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