The average modern-day household has a fairly sizable carbon footprint. Depending on how large your family is, your home’s energy consumption is liable to be excessive – as are your power bills.
When looking for effective ways to make your home a little greener, you’d be wise to start in the kitchen. Without even realizing it, many of us consistently hinder energy efficiency in this area. Anyone interested in a more energy-efficient, eco-friendly kitchen should consider the following pointers.
Keep Your Appliances Clean
There are many perks involved with keeping key kitchen appliances clean. For starters, cleaner appliances are generally more energy-efficient. That is, they require less power to run efficiently and can therefore be a boon to your energy bills. Furthermore, the less power these appliances expend, the smaller your kitchen’s carbon footprint becomes. With this in mind, make a point of regularly cleaning microwaves, ovens, refrigerators and stoves. While this may seem cumbersome, none of these chores should prove particularly time-consuming if they’re performed on a regular basis.
If you’re unclear on how to clean certain appliances, consult the appropriate owner’s manuals or manufacturer websites. For example, anyone who’s curious about how to clean a range hood filter should gather all the facts before diving in. Additionally, if you employ professional housecleaners, make sure they’re well-versed in how to clean kitchen appliances.
Wait for Your Dishwasher to Fill Up
Dishwashers use a fair amount of water and expend quite a bit of energy. Of course, this isn’t to say that you should avoid them. In addition to being a tremendous timesaver, a good dishwasher is practically a necessity in a home with lots of children. However, by running your dishwasher when it isn’t full, you’re wasting both water and energy. Not only does this increase your carbon footprint, it can also be a drain on your financial resources. As such, it’s recommended that you wait until a full load of dishes has accumulated before proceeding to run the dishwasher. If there’s a certain dish you absolutely need to use before the dishwasher has filled up, simply wash it by hand.
You can also save on energy costs by skipping your dishwasher’s dryer cycle. Instead of taking advantage of this feature, simply allow freshly-cleaned dishes to dry on their own. If you have any dishware or cooking utensils that need to be dried immediately, remove them from the washer and dry them by hand. Additionally, if your budget allows, consider investing in a Energy Star dishwasher, as these are designed to clean effectively and efficiently while using as little water and power as possible.
Stay on Top of Refrigerator Maintenance
Your refrigerator is arguably the hardest working appliance in your kitchen, if not your entire home. Since it needs to remain operational around the clock, it consumes quite a bit of power, and staying on top of fridge maintenance is a great way to limit your refrigerator’s power consumption and heighten its energy efficiency. Among other things, this entails cleaning the device’s condenser coils, adjusting its thermostat as needed and regularly inspecting the door seal. If you lack the time, inclination or knowledge to perform these tasks, reach out to a local appliance maintenance specialist.
Be Mindful of Your Laundry Practices
Since many kitchens serve as laundry areas, smart laundry practices can play a role in making your kitchen more energy-efficient. As is the case with dishwashers, you should wait until a full load of laundry has accumulated before running your washer. Most washers use the same amount of water regardless of load size, so in the interest of conservation, avoid washing one or two articles of clothing as a load. Furthermore, unless you’re dealing with exceptionally stubborn stains, stick with cold water, as water heating accounts for roughly 90% of a washer’s energy use.
There’s little wonder as to why the average kitchen is such a hotspot for power consumption. Between the plethora of appliances found in most kitchens and copious water use, the kitchen is a major contributor to every household’s carbon footprint. Fortunately, making even the most wasteful kitchen more energy-efficient doesn’t have to be a difficult undertaking. A little bit of forward thinking and eco-consciousness can go a long way in the fight against needless waste. If an energy-efficient kitchen is what you’re after, everyone in your household is encouraged to put the previously discussed tips to good use.