Happy official first day of summer! As we ease into the dog days, we're happy to introduce the first in a weekly, summer-long series on energy savings. Here are a handful of smart tips for conserving energy with your kitchen appliances.
Tip #1: Clean Your Refrigerator Coils
The refrigerant coils, located at the base of the refrigerator, are designed to remove heat from the unit. When they're dirty, they can't transfer heat efficiently, and they gobble up more energy to cool your food. You can clean refrigerator coils
with a vacuum or long-handled brush. Here's how
Tip #2: Cook at Night
Using the oven during the daylight hours can increase indoor temperatures by as much as 10% -- which leads to a 2 to 5% increase in cooling costs. Save energy and dough by waiting for the sun to set
before you make dinner -- or by grilling outdoors on especially hot days.
Tip #3: Consider Induction Cooking
Induction cooktop by Thermador. Photo: Thermador
Got an old gas or electric range? Consider replacing it with an induction cooktop, which transfers energy to metal cookware via an electromagnet. Because they use minimal power -- and the cooktop's ceramic surface never actually gets hot -- induction cooktops are 80% efficient
. By comparison, a gas range is only 40% efficient, while an electric range is only slightly higher.
Tip #4: Use Your Dishwasher Only When It's Full
Reduce energy consumption by anywhere from 15 to a whopping 50% by turning on your dishwasher only when it's fully loaded
. And always rinse your dishes first; that way, you can set your dishwasher to the lowest setting and avoid using an unnecessary amount of hot water. (Want to be really
energy-efficient? Wash your dishes by hand during the summer!)
This information is courtesy of the U.S. Green Building Council. For more tips on saving energy and greening your home, visit USGBC's Green Home Guide.