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Doc’s Guide to Energy Efficiency in the Kitchen

Between your refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, microwave, coffee pot, and other appliances, kitchens can be quite the energy hogs. Many people make the mistake of assuming energy efficiency in the kitchen means buying lots of expensive Energy Star appliances.

However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. With a few easy steps, you can save a lot of energy in the kitchen — as much as $30 annually per appliance! In the average kitchen, energy savings can be as much as $130 a year.

  1. Use your refrigerator wisely. With some small adjustments, you can save as much as $45 a year by using your refrigerator more efficiently. First things first, take a look at your thermostats in the fridge and freezer — aim for 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge, and 0-5 degrees in the freezer. Next, turn off the automatic ice maker. It may be convenient, but it costs you $12 to $18 dollars a year to operate.
  2. Try your hand at “green” cooking. Using your stove and oven more efficiently won’t save you as much on your bill as your fridge, but every little bit helps. When using the stove, trying turning off a burner a few minutes before you’re done cooking — they stay hot for long enough anyways. Additionally, use pans and burners that correspond in size. Large burners waste heat, while small burners have to work overtime to heat a larger pan.
  3. Use your dishwasher — it’s more efficient than hand washing. If it can fit in the dishwasher, put it in there. Hand washing might seem more efficient, but it actually uses three times as much water as your dishwasher. For extra efficiency, use your machine only when it’s full. However, leave enough room around the dishes so that they’re completely clean when you pull them out. Finally, try using energy-saving features. The heated dry cycle can be as much as 50% of a dishwasher’s energy use. Many modern dishwashers allow you to turn this off, but alternatively, you can just shut off the machine, open the door and pull out the racks to let them air-dry.

By using your kitchen appliances wisely, experts say you can make 10-year old models just as efficient as newer Energy Star models. The dollars add up!

Call today to ask us about maintenance and tune-ups for optimal efficiency in your household appliances.

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