Save Energy and Money In The Kitchen Of Your Salem OR Home
The kitchen in your Salem OR home offers multiple ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. Although seemingly small steps, the tips offered below are generally free or inexpensive and yet will result in creating a more energy-efficient environment in your home--and on the planet.
APPLIANCES are, of course, the most familiar to us when we consider energy output. True, they are not free or inexpensive, but they can be a real drain on your money if they do not function efficiently. Those that have earned the Energy Star have met the EPA standards for energy-efficiency and are recommended.
- Refrigerators account for about 15% of your total electricity bill, but newer models use far less than those manufactured years ago. Consider the size you need when purchasing a new to avoid wasting energy cooling nothing.
- Dishwashers offer opportunities to save, too. Run them only when they are full and scrap the dishes prior to washing so that you can use the light or normal wash cycle. Also, set the drying cycle to air dry to say energy.
- Microwaves and toaster ovens are good alternatives to the use of a large oven in your Salem OR home, especially for smaller meals. You might also look into the use of light ovens (similar to a microwave but browns and roasts like a regular oven), induction cooking (extremely efficient because all the heat goes into the food), and solar cookers (free and clean energy for slow cooking).
COOKWARE: Selecting the correct size, shape, and type can also prevent energy waste.
- Remember to use the smallest pan you need for the dish you are making since smaller pans take less energy to heat up.
- Put the pan on the burner that fits it best. Make sure the pan covers the burner without going more than an inch beyond it. If the burner is wider than the pan, you are wasting energy. Remember that smaller burners use less electricity.
- Every type of heating element on an electric cook-top (coils, solid disk elements and radiant elements under ceramic glass) will work significantly more efficiently when the bottom of the pan is flat. In fact, the most efficient pan has a slightly concave bottom, which flattens out when the metal heats up. The more rounded or warped the pan, the less direct contact it has with the burner so the harder the element has to work to heat up the pan. For that reason, those old battered pans from the '50s you've been using may be costing you money.
- Copper-bottom pans heat up faster than other pans, and those made of cast iron retain heat better than others.
- The tighter the fit on the pot lid, the less heat escapes.
- Using glass or ceramic pans in the oven allows you to turn the temperature down about 25 degrees Fahrenheit and still cook the food in the same amount of time.
- Pressure cookers, which build up steam pressure, reduce both cooking time and energy use.