Monday, January 11, 2010

Betty's help in the kitchen, saving energy

This article appears in this month's issue of Abode magazine. Read it here or on their website:
Let’s take a tour of your kitchen, where refrigeration and appliances use 17% of home energy, and see if Betty can create an energy saving recipe for the New Year!

Your biggest energy loser in the kitchen is the refrigerator.

*Does your fridge door hold a dollar bill in place? If not, seal those gaskets

*Up the temperature to 37 or 38 degrees and the freezer temp as high as 5 degrees (don’t have a read out - stick a glass of water in the middle of the fridge w/an appliance thermometer and read it after 24 hours)

*If possible avoid putting the fridge in a warm spot

*Regularly defrost your freezer

*Let hot foods cool and keep your freezer full

*Finally, keep dust bunnies on the coils in the back at a minimum


*Reduce your cooking time by microwaving and skipping pre-heating

*Match your pot size with your heating element

*Defrost frozen foods before cooking

*Avoid peeking in the oven

*Toaster ovens use a third less energy than regular-sized ovens

I for one cringe when a well-intentioned friend offers to wash the dishes and proceeds to chat while the hot water is running full blast. More studies are proving modern dishwashers outperform even frugal dishwashers (are you reading this, mom?) Also, scrape, don’t rinse, and wash only full loads. Take advantage of the energy settings and if you haven’t already, turn down your water heater to 120.

Finally, keep the kitchen faucet lever in the cool position – when it’s turned to the hot position it uses energy even when it’s not running. Remember to unplug all surface appliances when they’re not in use so they don’t waste energy.

Happy Savings!
Better World Betty
Green living made easier in the Charlottesville Area

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