Creating an energy efficient kitchen is a great way to save money and help protect the environment. An energy efficient kitchen reduces your utility bills, conserves resources, and helps reduce greenhouse emissions.
In this article, we’ll talk about changing your appliances, using natural light sources, and other strategies for creating a more sustainable kitchen—all simple steps for creating an energy efficient kitchen that will save you money in the long run and help you live a more sustainable life. Let’s dive right in.
1. Choose energy efficient appliances
When selecting new or replacement appliances for your kitchen, look for ones with the ENERGY STAR label. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified these products as energy efficient. ENERGY STAR-certified appliances use 10-50% less energy than traditional models.
When it comes to larger kitchen appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher, and range, also look for those features such as multiple compartments or stand-by modes that can help you conserve more energy.
2. Use natural light sources
Use natural light sources in your kitchen instead of electric lighting when possible. This can be done by installing skylights, windows, or solar tubes to bring natural light into the room. If natural light is not an option, you can switch out your current fixtures for LED bulbs which provide a brighter light but use at least 75% less energy than conventional incandescent lighting.
3. Install programmable thermostats
Installing a programmable thermostat in your kitchen can help you save energy and money by setting the temperature to the lowest comfortable level when you’re not using heat or air conditioning. This will keep your kitchen from running too hot or cold during inactivity. It will also allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day so that you only use energy when necessary.
4. Clean your refrigerator coils
Cleaning the coils on your refrigerator regularly is essential for creating an energy efficient kitchen. Dusty coils generate more resistance, making it difficult for the fridge to cool efficiently and wasting energy. To clean the coils, follow the instructions given by the fridge maker. If these are unavailable, consider using a soft-bristled brush and vacuum to remove dust and debris.
5. Utilize ventilation fans
Installing ventilation fans in your kitchen will help limit energy loss by controlling moisture levels. The fans can turn on when the humidity reaches a certain level and reduce air conditioning costs during the humid summer months. Additionally, ventilation fans will help keep the heat in check in your kitchen, which can further reduce energy usage.
To make your kitchen even more energy efficient, make it a habit to have your ventilation fans off when you’re not using the kitchen.
6. Insulate your kitchen
Insulating your kitchen correctly is essential for creating an energy efficient space. Insulating walls, floors, and ceilings can improve your kitchen’s ability to maintain consistent temperatures while reducing air leaks that waste energy.
7. Unplug appliances when not in use
Unplugging appliances that are not in use is an easy way to save energy in your kitchen. Even when turned off, devices can draw phantom power, which wastes electricity and adds to your utility bill. Unplug all small kitchen appliances such as microwaves, toasters, blenders, and coffee makers to maximize energy savings when they’re not being used.
In addition to optimizing your appliance use, there are also other small ways you can reduce energy consumption in the kitchen. For example, you can try putting together meals that don’t require a lot of cooking, such as salads or sandwiches; this will help you save on electricity for heating food.
8. Choose efficient lighting
When selecting lighting for your kitchen, opt for LED lights as they are more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. LEDs also produce less heat and have a longer life span, so you won’t need to replace them as often. You can also install motion sensors in your kitchen that automatically turn off the lights when no one is present, or you can just manually turn off any lights you aren’t using while working in or cleaning the kitchen.
9. Install a solar hot water system
Installing a solar hot water system in your kitchen is an effective way to reduce energy costs and help the environment. The system captures energy from the sun, stores it, and uses it to heat water for your kitchen. This can significantly save your utility bills while reducing your carbon footprint.
10. Change your habits
Making small changes to your daily habits can help you save energy in the kitchen. This can include adjusting your cooking times, using the correct pot size on the stove, and only running full loads of dishes in the dishwasher.
These small changes will help reduce unnecessary energy consumption, keep your electric bill in check, and help protect the environment simultaneously.
That said, a big part of creating an energy efficient kitchen is understanding what reduces the efficiency in the first place. Let’s explore this concept a bit more…
What uses the most energy in the kitchen?
When it comes to energy use in the kitchen, the biggest culprits are often appliances. Refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens are typically the largest electricity consumers in any given home. Lowering your electricity bill starts with reducing how much you use these items.
Refrigerators can be a significant source of energy consumption, and it’s important to limit how often you open and close the door. If your refrigerator is older, consider upgrading to a more efficient model. Other measures that can help reduce energy use include ensuring the seals on the fridge are airtight and defrosting any items as necessary as opposed to defrosting a whole batch and refreezing whatever is left again (frozen foods can reduce efficiency).
Dishwashers are another source of energy usage in the kitchen. The biggest tip here is only to run a full load of dishes when using it. Also, ensure you always have your dishwasher set to its most efficient cycle. Not all processes require hot water, but they should still provide good cleaning results without excessive energy waste.
Finally, ovens are the other large energy user in the kitchen. Whenever possible, try to preheat your oven only when necessary, and clean any food residue from the heating elements regularly (to avoid energy waste as your oven cooks up the residue). Moreover, use the self-cleaning feature sparingly as it can be quite energy intensive.
The other big part of creating an energy efficient kitchen is understanding the benefits of doing so. We’ve already touched a bit on these benefits, but let’s look at them in more detail.
Benefits of creating an energy efficient kitchen
Energy efficient kitchens are becoming increasingly popular for both homeowners and commercial establishments, and for many good reasons.
- Reduced energy use: Using energy efficient appliances can reduce your energy bill by up to 30%. This will positively impact your monthly utility bill since fewer watts will be consumed during cooking or food preparation tasks. Want to check how much energy savings you manage to achieve by using the tips outlined in this article? Here’s a handy appliance energy calculator…you’re welcome😊. And if you want additional power savings, consider using renewable energy sources such as solar panels.
- Lower maintenance costs: Energy efficient kitchens require less maintenance than traditional ones due to their improved design and construction materials, which make them more durable and resistant to wear and tear. This will help keep the cost of repairs and replacement parts down over time.
- Improved air quality: An energy efficient kitchen features improved ventilation systems that reduce the amount of dust, smoke, and other pollutants in the air. This makes breathing easier while cooking or preparing food, which can benefit people with allergies or asthma and those with sensitive skin types.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Using less electricity for tasks such as heating water or running appliances will significantly reduce your household’s carbon footprint. This is especially important if you wish to do your part in helping to protect the environment from further damage caused by global warming and climate change.
- Increased comfort: An energy efficient kitchen utilizes insulation and air-sealing techniques to help keep the temperature comfortable throughout the year, regardless of whether it’s hot or cold outside. This means you likely won’t need to turn up the heat in winter or use a fan in summer, which can result in significant savings.
Overall, having an energy efficient kitchen is beneficial for both your wallet and the environment. With improved design features and energy-saving appliances, you’ll be able to save money while also helping reduce your carbon footprint. So why not take the plunge and upgrade your kitchen today? It may just be one of the best investments you ever make.
Creating an energy efficient kitchen: Getting started
We hope with the tips provided in this article, you’ll be well on your way to reducing your electricity bill while still enjoying all your favorite meals cooked up in the kitchen. The beauty of it all is that with just a few small changes in how you use these appliances and set up your kitchen, you’ll be able to reduce your energy consumption without sacrificing convenience or flavor.
Still on kitchen and cooking business, check out these 7 tips to becoming a more sustainable cook.