Everyone wants to be more energy efficient. Not only are you saving money on your power bill, you’re saving the environment. With the push for low-carbon output households and the crunch of more expensive power meaning many households are feeling the pressure to go as efficient as possible, our electrician Sydney has assembled some of our top tips for improving energy efficiency in the kitchen, and making sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to powering all those vital appliances.
Cook with a conscience knowing you’re doing your bit to save the planet, and protecting your wallet while you’re at it!
Cool It With The Fridge
The fridge is a power hungry beast – and, unfortunately, there’s no way around them. The first, most basic tip, is keep your fridge and freezer as full as possible. No, seriously – refrigerators work best when full. So long as there’s room between food for cold air to circulate, you’re going to actually save money by splurging on your groceries.
Leave the door open as little as possible. This will prevent the leak of cool air, and mean that you’re saving energy. Fridges work by cooling to a specific temperature – when this temperature is disturbed, such as by the introduction of warm air from outside the fridge, the amount of energy required to cool to the specified temperature increases. Check the seals on your fridge and freezer door to make sure you’re not bleeding cool.
Here’s a handy tip: moving the back of your fridge one inch away from the wall can save 40% of your energy usage on the appliance. Really! Air circulating around the unit means that the back of the fridge can stay cool, not overheating the coils and meaning they can work at maximum efficiency. It’s a simple trick, but it can really make a massive difference!
The Humble Dishwasher
Almost all the energy used by the dishwasher is for heating water. Scraping food from plates before you put it in the dishwasher and using a shorter cycle can significantly reduce the amount of water and heat needed to clean items.
Did you know that a dishwasher is actually more water friendly than washing by hand? Even the most frugal hand washer ends up using more water than an efficient, highly rated dishwasher. Keep the filters clean, and only use your dishwasher when you’ve got a full load, to make sure you’re making the most of this appliance.
When you’re shopping for a dishwasher, keep an eye out for the energy efficiency and water efficiency ratings. The more stars on either, the more efficient the dishwasher! If you’re serious about saving money in the long term, invest in appliances with the highest ratings possible for your budget.
Utilise Your Appliances!
The smaller the appliance, generally the lower the energy consumption. Most cooking appliances don’t come with an energy rating. This means you may be somewhat in the dark when it comes to choosing an appliance that’s going to suit your needs – but you don’t need to go into this absolutely blind! Toasters, for instance, use less energy than a conventional oven grill. Similarly, an electric kettle is more efficient than a stovetop model, if you’re cooking with an electric stovetop.
Stovetops and ovens can be major energy sinks. Invest in a quality, energy efficient stove or oven to save serious dough when it comes time for the energy bill to roll around. Induction stoves, an exciting new technology relying on magnetism to produce heat, use much less energy and are much more environmentally friendly than older electric models, and are even more efficient than gas.
Use saucepans that are clean, and have flat bottoms, to best and most evenly distribute the heat throughout your food. Pots which are dirty on the base or have caked in soot are going to require more energy to heat properly, and the larger the pan, the more heat is necessary – consider what’s needed for your particular cooking requirements.
Keep your oven door closed as much as possible. You’d be surprised how much energy this can save! Even opening the oven briefly can allow hot air to escape, requiring more energy for heating than was previously required.
Of course, a smaller appliance such as a slow or pressure cooker will be more energy efficient than a conventional oven, even a fan-forced oven. Slow cookers use about the same amount of energy as the average lightbulb! How’s that for environmentally friendly?
While it might seem daunting, an energy efficient, environmentally friendly kitchen is something that really is attainable in most situations. Whether you’re relying on conventional technology or the very latest, you’re going to be able to find solutions which will save you time, money, and power almost no matter what. Even the smallest of changes makes a big difference both for your bill and the environment – so consider what you can take from these three great hacks to improve your kitchen, and save yourself some bother!
Call the most trusted electrician Sydney knows on 02 8583 2337.