Kitchen
Your kitchen is one of the easiest places in which you can make minor adjustments in your cooking and cleaning routines to use energy more efficiently.

Appliances - General

Refrigerator/Freezer

Dishwasher

Oven/Stove

Garbage Disposal

Lighting

Appliances - General 

  • When buying kitchen appliances, always look for EnergyGuide labels to compare energy efficiency and yearly operating costs with other appliances in the same category. Appliances with a superior efficiency rating may cost more initially, but over the lifetime of the appliance, you will save on operating costs.
  • If you’re looking for new household appliances, look for ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR. They meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy. (For more information, go to www.energystar.gov/)
  • Consider energy-efficient natural gas appliances whenever possible. They’re efficient, clean-burning and many keep working even when the power goes out.
  • Make sure that your kitchen has a good ventilation fan. This will ensure better indoor air quality and moisture control. Adding a programmable timer or humidistat control will help maintain ventilation without excessive energy use.

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Refrigerator/Freezer

  • Check the door seal on your refrigerator to see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced.
  • A door leak allows cool air to escape, forcing your refrigerator to waste energy as it tries to keep food cold.
  • Cleaning the condenser coils found in the back or bottom of the refrigerator will maximize its efficiency. A brush or vacuum can be used. Be sure to unplug the refrigerator before you start cleaning.
  • Keep the refrigerator away from heating appliances (ovens and dishwashers), windows and heating ducts. Direct exposure to heat forces the unit to work harder and use more energy.
  • A freezer's efficiency is increased when its compartment is full. Be careful not to block the fan that allows cold air to circulate.
  • Even though automatic defrost refrigerators are convenient, defrosting features use a lot of electricity. A manual defrost refrigerator typically uses 36% less energy.
  • Check temperature settings for the most efficient appliance operation. Refrigerator temperature should be 36º – 38° F. The freezer temperature should be 0º–5° F. .


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Dishwasher

  • Check the condition of your dishwasher filter screen. Clean or replace it when necessary.
  • Save energy by air drying your dishes and use the dishwasher with full loads only.
  • Take advantage of the energy-saving control on many dishwashers. It turns off the heat during the drying cycle. Opening the dishwasher after the rinse cycle is another way to save energy. 

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Oven/Stove

  • Don't open the oven door to check on food any more than necessary. Every time you do so, 25% of the heat escapes.
  • Keep the door closed when broiling in a gas oven to keep in high temperatures. The gas flames will consume smoke and grease.
  • When shopping for a new gas range, consider buying one with a pilotless ignition system. It uses about 30% less gas than the models with continuously burning pilots.
  • Cook in oven-safe glass or ceramic pans when you can. They allow you to set your oven temperature 25 degrees lower than called for by the recipe.
  • Keep pots and pans covered and use the right size pot or pan for the size of your stove's burner. Use properly fitted lids to hold in heat.
  • Begin a self-cleaning cycle while your oven is still hot from cooking.
  • Cook several dishes in the oven at the same time. Prepare double recipes when you can and freeze what you don't eat for future use. Re-heat with the microwave.
  • Preheat your oven as little as possible. Most foods don't require it. For foods that require immediate heat, such as cakes, pies and soufflés, preheat for 10 minutes only.
  • Grime from cooking, smoking and dust can make a light bulb dirty, reducing the light it gives off. Inspect and clean bulbs regularly.
  • Use stove exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors as little as possible during the winter to limit sending heated air outdoors.
  • Partially thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator before cooking them. In many cases, thawing foods allows you to reduce the recommended cooking time by 30%.
  • To reduce the amount of energy it takes to boil water, start with water that's already hot from the tap. Use minimum amounts of water in cooking to save both energy and food nutrients.
  • Turn your stove and range down to a simmer as soon as food or water begins to boil. This lower setting maintains cooking temperature, cooks food more evenly and helps you use energy more efficiently.
  • Preparing individual servings when possible enables you to reduce cooking time. For instance, cooking a meatloaf in a full-sized pan takes 90 minutes, while cooking individually sized meatloaf portions in a muffin tin requires only 30 minutes of cooking time.
  • Turn off the oven about 15 to 20 minutes before the end of cooking time. The leftover heat in the oven will finish the job if you don't open the oven door.
  • Adjust the gas flame to fit your pans. The flame should never come up around the sides of a pan.

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Garbage Disposal

  • Run your garbage disposal with cold water instead of hot.

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Lighting

  • Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops under cabinets.

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This information was obtained by PSNC Energy from various third party sources. These sources, and the information obtained from them, will be provided to you on request to PSNC Energy. PSNC believes the information to be accurate and complete, but has not verified or confirmed the information. Before relying on this information, you should independently verify its accuracy and completeness.

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