The kitchen is the centre of most households – where meals are prepared eaten and enjoyed, and where much of the housework takes place. Of course this high level of activity tends to mean that a high quantity of energy is used up in order to make things run smoothly in the kitchen. However like with anything else in the home, you can make your kitchen more energy efficient by becoming more aware of the way you’re using energy and taking steps to reduce your levels of energy consumption.
Looking at your kitchen’s electrical appliances, which all use varying levels of energy, is key when tackling energy efficiency in your kitchen. This includes the everyday items such as oven, fridge and freezer, which most of us rely on to cook and store food safely and effectively. It also means the more specialist electrical items – dishwashers, blenders and electrical whisks – that help us get jobs in the kitchen done quickly and painlessly.
Everyday Essential Items
Opening your oven door to check if your food is ready actually reduces its temperature by 25 degrees, making it take more time and energy to cook your food thoroughly than is necessary. You should try and cook the items you need for a meal simultaneously in order to reduce the time you need your oven on for. Finally – if you have an electrical oven, turn it off ten minutes before your meal is due to finish cooking. If you don’t open the door, the oven will carry on cooking at the same temperature.
Fridge and Freezers:
Together, fridges and freezers are the two biggest energy consumers, so you need to ensure that you make the most of both appliances to maximise their performance. Check that doors are tightly shut; otherwise both need to work much harder to maintain their temperature. When it comes round to replacing your appliances, choose an Energy Saving Recommended model –these fridges and fridge freezers use over 60% less energy than a typical old one, according to the Energy Saving Trust. This will give you savings of up to £45 and 180 kilograms of CO2 a year for a fridge freezer and £20 and 80 kilograms for a fridge.
When it comes to washing clothes, your washing machine will work just as well at a lower temperature as it would at a higher one. Because washing powders and liquids are technologically more advanced these days, they will clean just as well at 30 degrees as they will at 40 degrees – which will use much less energy every time you run a cycle. Always ensure you’re washing at full load, otherwise adjust your cycle to a half load setting so it doesn’t use as much energy or water. An Energy Saving Recommended model uses a third less electricity to operate than an older model, so bear this in mind when shopping for a new one.
The other items you use in your kitchen – dishwashers, blenders and tumble dryers – are all extra appliances rather than essentials, however much we might be attached to the time saving benefits they offer. Where possible, try and minimise your use of these items in favour for a more energy efficient mode. Instead of using the dishwasher every night, why not wash up by hand every other day? Ditch the tumble dryer when the weather allows you to dry your items outside, and use a fork or manual item to whisk and stir items instead of zapping them in a machine – you’ll feel much more satisfied at the end of the recipe!
Finally, try a few of these quick tips to make your kitchen more energy efficient:
- Only boil as much water as you need in a kettle
- Wash fruit and vegetables in a bowl rather than under the tap
- Choose a refrigerator with freezer on top – placing them side by side is less energy efficient
- Choose energy efficient light fittings.