Some simple modifications in the kitchen can really lower your energy bill. Where possible, use smaller, more energy efficient appliances, such as electric pressure cookers, frying pans, or toaster ovens for cooking and baking in small quantities. Make new meals in slow cookers or pressure cookers for economy. Reheat food in the microwave. Then save when using your large appliance with the following tips:
- Ensure that the door seals on your oven door are in good condition.
- Don't open the door of the oven while cooking; the temperature drops by around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) every time you do, and then it takes more energy to bring the temperature back up.
- Use the fan in your oven if you have one. Fan ovens use 35% less power than conventional ovens and reduce cooking time by one-third. When using a fan oven there is also no need for pre-heating. Place the food in the oven immediately after it is turned on.
- If you use a conventional oven, try to cook several dishes at the same time or one right after another. This will take advantage of the stored heat that builds up inside the oven.
Stove and Range
- Use pots and pans with flat bases that closely fit the size of the stove element. This will dramatically cut energy consumption and reduce cooking time.
- Using the range hood to remove cooking heat can reduce your air conditioning costs.
- Regularly clean the hotplate reflectors to ensure maximum heat reflection.
- Always use lids on your pans. Food will cook faster and at a lower temperature when it is covered.
- Boil water fast in an electric kettle or jug instead of using a saucepan on the stove. To boil water quickly, be sure to always cover it. Uncovered, a gallon of water on a gas range takes more than half an hour to boil, but a covered gallon boils in only about twenty minutes.
- Make a habit of only running your dishwasher when it is full.
- Use the economy setting; this will make sure that you are using the lowest possible heat setting.
- If your machine has a drying cycle, turn it off before the drying cycle starts. Dishes will dry by themselves by the stored heat from the washing, or you can open the dishwasher door and let them air dry.
- If you have an off-peak gas or electric that heats your hot water system, you will find that it is more economical for the dishwasher to be plumbed to this than to heat its own water.