Published on June 6th, 2013 | by Andrea Bertoli
10 Ways to Save Energy in the Kitchen
These 10 little tips and tricks will help save heaps of energy in the kitchen AND you will save lots of money on your electric bills throughout the year, too!
Here are 10 easy tips to help you save energy in the kitchen:
1. Get thermometers for your refrigerator and freezer.
Proper temperature for a refrigerator is 35-40ºF and proper temperature for a freezer is 4-5ºF. Any more or any less and you could be wasting energy and wasting food. Read more here about the proper temperatures and humidity in your icebox.
2. Defrost your freezer and keep it stocked!
If ice is more than ¼-inch (about 1 cm) thick. Defrost according to manufacturer’s directions. A thick layer of frost makes your freezer work super hard and is a huge energy suck! Once your freezer is defrosted and set to the right temperature, make sure your freezer is stocked properly. Keep the freezer mostly full, while making sure there is ample air space around most items. An empty freezer (ahem, bachelors and bachelorettes!) can actually waste energy. Keep it stocked with real food, or use containers filled with water to keep the freezer full (or bottles of vodka, whatever).
3. Clean out the vents and coils on your refrigerator.
Dust accumulates on the bottom and the back of the refrigerator, making it run harder and waste more energy. Use the fuzzy vacuum attachment and remove all the sticky dust to allow proper airflow. Read more here about how to clean your refrigerator coils.
4. Let food cool completely before putting into the fridge or freezer.
When you make your own soups or iced herbal teas, don’t put them in the refrigerator right away. Let them cool to room temperature, then store in the fridge. This keeps the refrigerator from heating up (and running harder!), and it keeps the food inside nice and cool and not too humidified.
5. Boil water in an electric tea kettle.
According to the always wise Umbra over at Grist, using an electric tea kettle is the most energy efficient way to prepare your favorite warm beverage. An electric kettle has a heating element in direct contact with the water, which means it heats the water more directly and loses less heat to the surrounding environment. You can even find really cool kettles that let you select the proper temperature for varieties of tea or coffee, which makes tea nerds like me happy!