When the cold weather arrives, people tend to spend more time in the kitchen. From baking cookies to making yummy stews and soups, more energy tends to be used in the kitchen during the winter months. And while the delicious foods and treats that come out of it may seem worth it, it’s important to always keep energy use in mind. It’s important to save energy, especially if you’re one of the 9.26 million people who owned a second home in 2017. So if you’re looking for a few easy ways to reduce your energy use in the kitchen this winter, keep reading.
First off, it’s important to keep your fridge and freezer full when possible. And while this may seem like the exact opposite of what you would want to do, your fridge and freezer run more efficiently when they’re full. So stock up on food, which is a good idea for the winter months anyway. And with 949 million gallons of wine being consumed in 2016 alone, you’re bound to have a bottle or two laying around — so put them in the fridge! Keeping your fridge and freezer full will not only make it easier to throw together meals without having to run to the store, but it will also help use your appliances efficiently.
While most big meals cooked in the winter months need to be cooked in the oven, the oven uses more energy than other appliances in your kitchen. So whenever possible, consider using other appliances, like the microwave or a toaster oven. And if you are using the oven, you should consider turning the oven off a few minutes early. The oven will retain the heat and continue cooking the food while using less energy. Furthermore, make sure you’re not opening the oven every five minutes to check on your food — this causes the temperatures inside to drop and the oven has to use more energy to get back up to the set temperature. And no matter what you do, do not use the oven for additional heat. While it may be tempting to turn on the oven and stand in front of the nice, warm heat, this is extremely unsafe and a huge waste of energy.
And lastly, it’s important to be mindful of how much water you’re using in the kitchen. It can be easy to fill up pots and kettles to the top without even thinking about it. But if you use the minimum amount of water needed, you can drastically decrease energy and water use. Additionally, you should consider defrosting your frozen items by leaving them on the counter, when safe, instead of running them under hot water. And when it comes to using the dishwasher, make sure it’s full before you run it so you’re not wasting unnecessary water.
While it may seem impossible to reduce energy use in the kitchen, it’s easier than it seems. Something as simple as air conditioning efficiency improvements can reduce electricity costs by up to 35%. So by keeping these simple tips in mind and always thinking about how much energy you’re using, you can make your kitchen a little more eco-friendly this winter.