Thursday, January 5, 2012

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green - Save Energy in Your Kitchen

Here we are again at the beginning of a new year. Our minds usually start thinking about ways that we can improve our lives in the upcoming year.

I have written several blogs about energy conservation and how we can improve the environment. There are so many easy ways that we can make small changes and I encourage you to consider the suggestions that I make. Here are some ideas from the local electric company:

The energy used in the average home can be responsible for more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the average car. When you use less energy at home, you reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and help protect our environment from the risks of global climate change.


When you can, cook many dishes together when using the oven. If the dishes call for separate temperature settings, just set it in the middle. Adjust cooking times rather than using the oven twice.

Cook with lids on your pans. For example, cooking spaghetti without a lid on the pot can use three times as much energy.

Use the smallest pan and burner needed for the job.

If the oven self-cleans, turn it on just after use, while the oven is still hot.

Don't peek into the oven as you cook. Every time the door is opened, a lot of heat escapes.

Contact a qualified heating contractor if your gas burners have a yellow flame instead of blue. Yellow flames may mean the gas is not burning efficiently.

Seek alternative cooking sources. A pressure cooker cuts cooking time by about two-thirds, and a microwave uses less than half the energy of a conventional electric oven.

Many dishwashers have energy-saving wash cycles that use less water. Using these cycles can save $5-15 per year.

Avoid running small loads in your dishwasher.

A no-heat air-dry feature also can save energy by as much as 15 to 50 percent. If you have an older dishwasher, turn the dishwasher off after the final rinse cycle is complete and open the door. This allows air-drying.

Some dishwashers have heaters to boost water temperature up to 140° or 145°F. However, most dishwashers function well at the 120°F setting. If your dishwasher has a booster heater, turn down your water heater thermostat to 120°F.

If you wash dishes by hand, fill wash and rinse basins instead of letting the water run. This uses half as much water as a dishwasher does.

Use cold water when running your garbage disposal. Cold water congeals grease better and keeps the disposal cooler, helping the unit run more efficiently.

Don’t forget “together we can make a difference”


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