8 Steps to Cut Out Wasted Energy in the Kitchen

| 12/23/2014 9:15:00 AM

Tags: energy conservation, enegy efficiency, LED lighting, Jennifer Tuohy, South Carolina,

The kitchen is one of the largest consumers of energy in the home. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, the room where you cook is a great place to start. Of course you've probably already read all about buying Energy Star appliances and the money and energy savings those offer, but there many other simple ways to save energy in the kitchen.

1. Let There Be LED Light

Switching out your kitchen light bulbs to LED bulbs will save a significant amount of electricity. A standard BR30 LED bulb costs about $1.50 a year to run, versus $7.80 for an incandescent equivalent. When you factor in the longevity of the LED bulb, estimated to last 23 years versus one year for the incandescent, the savings for both you and the planet are clear.

2. Cook Carefully

The top source of wasted energy in a kitchen is from cooking. Avoiding these bad habits will quickly add up to big energy savings:

• Opening and closing heated oven doors too frequently
• Not putting lids on pots while boiling
• Using incorrectly sized pans (cooking with a 6-inch diameter pan on an 8-inch burner wastes over 40% of the heat produced)

Additionally, cooking in a convection oven is 25 percent more efficient than a conventional oven because of shorter cooking times, and using a microwave or a toaster oven reduces electricity use for smaller meals. Even though these appliances use more energy than conventional ovens, the shorter cooking time saves energy overall. Energy Star estimates savings of as much as 80 percent when using the microwave instead of the oven.

1/2/2015 10:30:55 AM

Linda, Have you looked at commercial induction burners? Check out http://www.webstaurantstore.com/15055/countertop-induction-ranges-and-induction-cookers.html The ones with all metal housing may work better for canning since you can use higher heat for a longer period of time. The units with plastic housing have cautions with overheating. I've opted for portable units since they can easily be stored away when not needed, freeing up counter space. Also, the portable units can be taken anywhere - deck, RV, camping, picnics etc.

1/2/2015 10:19:23 AM

I use induction, and a large convection countertop oven. I never use my old, energy sucking range at all and I'm considering pulling it out and replacing it with a commercial SS counter depth shelving unit with a composite top on which to place the induction burners (and gain extra storage available on the lower shelf too!). I love induction cooking. Those who are considering induction should know that it does take a little bit of a learning curve - it cooks faster and uses lower levels of heat settings since it is so direct. You also need cookware that will attract a magnet on the bottom. Aluminum and ceramic (without a cast iron core) will not work. Most SS and cast iron will.

1/2/2015 9:37:24 AM

Just as a reminder .. The induction cooktops/stoves are not canner friendly. The manufacturers say use at your own risk. Still canning 100% of my families veggies. Would love the induction cooking.

1/2/2015 9:00:09 AM

While I agree with all the various energy saving methods mentioned in this blog, I would add pressure cooking to the list of wonderful energy saving devices. Also sun cookers. Further, filling the dish washer completely before running at all (I run mine about once a week- but I live alone) Also I pile up all refrigerator bound foods when unpacking groceries or cooking, so that I only have to open the refrig door once to replace them. While I have the option of turning on all the lights while I'm in the kitchen I rarely need them all. Usually I need only one to see what I want, that spotlights the stove or the sink. There is a window over the sink that helps of course. And last, when cooking with the cook top or oven I can turn off the heat several minutes ahead of the cook time alloted and of course the food continues to cook until 'done."

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