Saving energy in the Kitchen

Posted on 9th May 2016 by Steven Whyte

Over the winter months we have been looking at helping you reduce your energy usage by giving out tips on how to keep warm whilst saving money. Now that we are coming into the summer months I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at how to save energy in the kitchen. The kitchen is normally the busiest room in the house and as a result will be one of the biggest energy users. You can easily lower your monthly energy bill without making drastic changes or purchasing expensive energy saving gadgets. This blog aims to give you a better understanding of how small and simple changes can make a huge difference.

 

Washing Machine & Tumble dryer

You can save energy on the way you wash and dry your clothes.

  • When you are using the washing machine it is important to make sure it is fully loaded. The fuller the machine, the more energy efficient the cycle.
  • If your washing machine has an eco-cycle, then it’s advisable to use that as it is designed to cut down on electricity and water use.
  • Wash clothes at 30°C rather than 40°C as this could save you around £9 a year.
  • Savings could also be made by investing in a more energy efficient washing machine – up to £30 per year.

Washing Machine

  • Tumble dryers use a lot of energy so try and dry clothes naturally outside or on an airer inside instead. This could save you up to £39 a year. If your tumble dryer is especially inefficient then drying them naturally could save you close to £139 a year – a huge amount of money.
  • If you do use your tumble dryer, make sure you clean the lint filter every time, as a blocked up lint filter stops the hot air from circulating freely which means clothes will take longer to dry and use more energy.

 

Fridge & Freezer

You can save a lot of energy by making a few simple adjustments in how you use your fridge and freezer:

  • Little things like not leaving the door open for longer than necessary can make a difference.
  • Try to avoid putting warm food into your freezer as it takes longer to freeze, making the freezer work harder and use more energy. If you do have warm food, allow it to cool down a little first before freezing.
  • The ideal temperature to keep your fridge at is between 0°C and 5°C. Lower temperatures will increase the energy your fridge is using and higher temperatures will spoil your food. A good tip to keep your fridge cool is when you take frozen food out the freezer, put into your fridge as the frozen food will act like an ice pack, keeping the fridge cool without using lots of electricity.
  • The ideal temperature to keep your freezer at is -18°C.

Fridge

  • To keep your fridge and freezer working at top efficiency levels, it is best to keep them at least three quarters full. Fill up extra space with bottles of water or containers.
  • It is also important to remember not to overfill your fridge and freezer. Fridges and freezers work by air circulating around the compartments, if they are over-full the air won’t be able to circulate.
  • Check how far your fridge is away from the wall. Best practice is to keep your fridge 10cm away from the wall as this allows the heat to flow away more easily which will save on electricity.
  • Defrosting your fridge and freezer regularly will also make them run more efficiently.
  • An energy efficient fridge freezer could save you up to £62 a year – worthwhile looking into if you don’t have one.

 

Dishwasher

Dishwasher

  • There is no need to pre-rinse your dishes unless your dishwasher machine is an old model.
  • It is important to make sure your dishwasher is full but at the same time not overloaded like shown in the image below.
  • If your dishwasher has an automatic dry switch then it is a good idea to turn that off and allow your dishes to dry by air.
  • Another tip is to descale your dishwater once a year as limescale can reduce the heating efficiency to up to 10%.

 

Cooker

  • It is important to choose the correct size of pot or pan you are going to use. If you just have a small amount of food to prepare then there is no need for a big pot or pan.
  • Also remember to put the lids on your pots like shown on the image to the right and keep them on tightly to avoid energy being wasted as liquid evaporates.
  • Make sure if you are cooking with gas then the flame sits in the middle of the pan as this will help save gas and also prevent you from potentially burning yourself.
  • If you are using your oven then it is important not to keep your oven door open for too long.

Cooking Hob

 

Microwave

  • Microwaves could be a good alternative to using a cooker, as, in general, they use up to 10% less energy than a normal oven.
  • When you are cooking or defrosting smaller portions of food microwaves can be more efficient.
  • When using your microwave, food cooks faster when placed on the outer edges of the rotating tray rather than in the centre.

 

Kettle

  • When you are making your tea or coffee it is important to only fill the kettle with as much water as you need.
  • Also if you have had your kettle for a long time then it could be an idea to descale it on a regular basis. If your kettle is full of limescale then it uses more energy to boil the same amount of water.

 

Find out more

I have probably just scratched the surface with what you can do in the kitchen to save energy and money but hopefully this blog has given you an idea of  some things you might want to try. Below I have posted some links to articles for further reading on how to save energy in your kitchen.

You can also get advice on saving energy in your home and reducing your bills from our Cosy Kingdom energy advisors. Our advisors can visit you in your home at a time that suits you and give you tips and advice specific to your home. Get in touch to find out more or to book a visit: email info@greenerkirkcaldy.org.uk, phone 01592 858458 or pop into the High Street Hub, 254a High Street, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1LA.

 

Useful Links

https://www.ovoenergy.com/blog/lifestyle/how-to-save-energy-and-money-in-the-kitchen.html

http://energy.gov/energysaver/tips-kitchen-appliances

http://eartheasy.com/eat_kitchen_enersave.htm

https://www.britishgas.co.uk/help-and-advice/save-energy-save-money/Energy-saving-tips/using-less-energy-in-the-kitchen.html

http://www.greenchoices.org/green-living/at-home/kitchen-appliances

 

References

Money saving tips are from Which?. Facts were taken from Which?British Gas and Earth Easy.

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