Kitchen appliances and home energy conservation

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Maximum energy in most homes is consumed in the kitchen. Realizing the importance of this, manufacturers have downsized many of these appliances which increase their efficiency, and also can be fitted more harmoniously into many space-efficient modern kitchens.


[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

By choosing energy efficient appliances for your kitchen you not only conserve valuable natural resources but also save money. Today a large number of new energy-efficient models are available to choose from. Continual advances in technology and design reduce the amount of energy needed to run large appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers.

[edit] How does it affect me?

When you buy an energy saving appliance it may cost more at the outset. But this is more than offset by the energy you save which can total up to hundreds of dollars for utility bills over the course of the appliance’s lifespan.

[edit] What can I do about it?

[edit] Refrigerator

  • Avoid opening refrigerator doors frequently
  • Thermostat works best in medium cooling position.
  • Keep enough gap between the wall and your refrigerator for better air circulation
  • Avoid overloading the refrigerator.
  • Defrost regularly as frost buildup increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running.
  • Don't allow freezer to become too cold
  • Make sure refrigerator door seals are airtight.
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator as uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Do not open the doors frequently.
  • Keep frequently used items in smaller cabinets
  • Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge.

[edit] Mixers

  • Avoid dry grinding in your food processors (mixers and grinders) as it takes longer time than liquid grinding.

[edit] Microwave Ovens

  • Use microwave ovens as they consume 50 % less energy than conventional electric / gas stoves.
  • Avoid baking large food items.
  • No need of pre-heating unless you're baking breads or pastries.
  • Every time you open the oven door there is a temperature drop of 25º C. So avoid opening too frequently

[edit] Electric Stove

  • Turn off electric stoves several minutes before the specified cooking time.
  • Use flat-bottomed pans that make full contact with the cooking coil.

[edit] Gas Stove

  • Use moderate flame settings to conserve LPG.
  • A blue flame indicates that your gas stove is operating efficiently.
  • Yellowish flame, on the other hand, indicates that the burner needs cleaning.
  • Use pressure cookers as much as possible.
  • Cover the pans with lids while cooking.
  • Bring items taken out of refrigerators (like vegetable, milk etc.) to room temperature before placing on the gas stove for heating.

[edit] Unlearn

Superstitions about baking and roasting account for much energy wastage in the modern kitchen. "Preheat your oven" is an old wives tale that can be ignored in the interest of energy saving.

In the early days in Europe and America, wood- or coal-fired home ovens were slow to acquire the required temperature. For this reason preheating made sense to our ancestors and early cookbook authors.

With modern electrical or natural gas ovens - preheating is nothing but energy waste.

[edit] References:

  • Kitchen Appliances and Home Energy
  • Power saving tips
  • Myths that waste energy in the kitchen