December 17, 2018

The kitchen is usually a space in the home where family and friends come together and spend time together. Unfortunately, it's also one of the areas where a lot of energy goes to waste. Fortunately, there are many simple things you can do to cut back on your energy use. Follow these easy steps for an energy efficient, money-saving, and welcoming kitchen!

Consult with an energy auditor

It’s important to have a good understanding of your current energy consumption so you can tackle the problem properly. The best thing to do is consult an energy auditor, who will tell you how much energy you are using in your home and how much of it is going to waste. The auditor will use a variety of diagnostic tools to identify the most problematic areas that affect your home's overall energy efficiency, comfort, air quality, and safety. 

Use energy efficient lighting

Installing energy efficient lighting can make a big difference in your home's overall energy use. LED lights typically last much longer and require much less energy to operate than traditional incandescent lights. This will save you money in the long run on replacement costs and your energy bill. It's also important to make use of the natural light as much as possible in the daytime. Incorporating big windows into your kitchen space will allow you to maximize the amount of sunlight coming in, reducing your need for artificial lighting.

Use proper ventilation

Every efficient kitchen space needs proper ventilation. Ventilation helps to improve the air quality of the kitchen, providing a clean, comfortable cooking environment. There are many types and styles of fans you can use, from roof extractor fans to wall extractor fans.

Use energy efficient appliances

When it comes time to shop for new kitchen appliances, always note the energy rating label such as the ENERGY STAR label. Using appliances that have a high energy rating will save you money on your energy bill in the long run. Think about the appropriate size of the appliances you need as well. Do you really need to choose the biggest fridge for a family of three? Larger fridges usually mean higher bills.

Minimize food waste

Most households are guilty of wasting food. Keep in mind that every time you throw food in the bin, you are also wasting the money, resources, energy, and water it took to create, store, transport, and cook this food. To save money and reduce waste, only buy exactly what you need for your meals. Don't buy ingredients if you know you won’t need them. Research creative, tasty ways to put leftovers to good use: look online for inventive recipes or experiment with your own unique creations. If you’re unable to use your leftovers right away, freeze them to eat at a later time.

Be smart with cooking

Making a few small changes to the way you cook can result in significant savings to your energy bill. When using the stove, save heat by choosing the right-sized burner for your needs and keeping the lids on pots and pans. You can also increase burner efficiency by cleaning the stovetop regularly. Make sure to keep your whole kitchen space organized to save time.

Be responsible

Appliances left on standby will drain your electricity in no time. Get into the habit of turning off your kitchen appliances when they’re not in use. The same rule applies to the other appliances in your house. You will see a real change in your energy bill once you become more mindful about the type of appliances you use, how you use them, and how often you switch them on and off.

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Johanna Cider, Guest Poster

Johanna Cider is a freelance writer from New Zealand who is especially passionate about discussing travel, home, and lifestyle. A minimalist at heart, Johanna loves living a simple, responsible lifestyle. See more of her work here.