Food is a necessary part of life. Keeping food fresh and preparing it properly will turn this necessity into a pleasure. It’s no secret, either, that it takes a lot of energy to keep your kitchen appliances running. A smart, eco-friendly consumer knows to look for the ‘Energy Star’ symbol when shopping for kitchen appliances, comparing kilowatt/hour rates. What you might not be aware of is that there are other kitchen appliances that will help you reduce both your energy consumption and your energy bills as well.
Your fridge can be an energy guzzler, and replacing an old fridge for a newer one is the first step in saving energy. The first thing you will want to do is take size into consideration. How much food do you need to store? Do you really need the larges fridge on the market if it’s only for a litre of milk and a bottle of ketchup? You will also want to consider fridge style. It may seem convenient to have the freezer on the bottom and your daily needs at eye-level, but it’s not all that energy efficient. Grade school kids will tell you, hot air rises and cold air sinks, so it just makes energy sense to have the colder freezer on top, its cold air sinking to cool the refrigerator below.
As much as size matters when cooling empty space in the refrigerator, it also matters when you heat empty space in the oven. It takes a lot of energy to get your oven up to 400 Fahrenheit, and if you’re only cooking two chicken breasts, that’s a lot of wasted hot air. When your portions permit, consider using a toaster oven instead. You will get the same great flavour and properly cooked meal at a tiny fraction of the energy cost.
Also, when looking at oven-stove combinations, look for a stove top that will allow you to control the element size. This is a standard feature on most ceramic top stoves, with at least one burner able to fit different sized pots. This is ideal for those pots that are in between sizes, too big for the small burner, but leaving glowing rings to waste energy on the larger burners. By customizing your burner to the pot, you will use only the energy that you need.
If you are like most people, you only drink one or two cups of coffee before leaving the house in the morning, yet you still make a large pot everyday. Take stock of your coffee drinking habits and consider purchasing a single-cup coffeemaker. You will no longer be using energy to keep a pot of coffee hot that you have no intentions of drinking, nor will you be wasting both energy and water to make your favorite brew in the first place. If it’s all you’re going to drink, brewing your coffee one cup at a time makes energy saving sense.
With the recent push to make everything eco-friendly, major appliance companies have made a great effort to ensure that their products are as energy efficient as possible, even going so far as to use this as a marketing tool. Even with more energy efficient appliances, making the right appliance choices will help you reduce your kitchen energy consumption even further. Keep in mind your food preparation needs, and keep you appliances as small as possible. Using smaller appliances that are proportional to your servings will ensure you are using only the energy you need to keep and prepare your daily meals.