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Kitchen

August 5, 2012

There are a variety of ways to improve the energy efficiency of your kitchen, starting with the way you use your appliances to home sealing and replacing your light fixtures.

Floor Vents/Radiators

  • Ensure vent connections and registers are well sealed at floors, walls and ceilings, which are all common areas for disconnected ducts and leakage.
  • Make sure all floor vents and air registers are clear of furniture, allowing air to flow freely.
  • Install heat resistant reflectors between radiators and walls to reflect heat back into the room instead of onto walls.

Range

  • Use the right sized pots with stove burners; for example, a 6″ pot on an 8″ burner wastes over 40% of the heat generated.
  • Cover pots and pans when cooking to keep heat in.
  • Learn more:
    • Save up to $36 annually on electric ranges or $18 on gas by simply using the right sized pots on burners.
    • Cook more efficiently and keep your kitchen cooler by covering pots and pans.
    • Keep gas range burners clean to ensure maximum efficiency.

Range Hood

  • Install ENERGY STAR certified range hoods to control moisture and remove cooking odors.
  • Learn more:
    • On average, ENERGY STAR certified ventilation fans use 60% less energy than standard models.
    • Save more than $60 in electricity costs over the life of a fan by replacing it with an ENERGY STAR certified one.
    • By using high performance motors and improved blade design, ENERGY STAR certified fans are quieter, perform better and are longer lasting than standard models.
    • Look for ENERGY STAR certified range hoods at home improvement and hardware stores, or ask for them from your HVAC or electrical contractor.

Microwave

  • Use your microwave to reheat or cook small portions.
  • Learn more:
    • Reduce cooking energy by up to 80% by using the microwave for small portions.
    • Using the microwave can help save on A/C costs in summer as it generates less heat than a conventional oven or stove.

Cordless Phones

  • Save energy by using ENERGY STAR certified cordless phones that feature switch-mode power supplies and “smart” chargers.

Dishwashers

  • Save water by scraping instead of rinsing dishes before loading the dishwasher.
  • Run your dishwasher with a full load.
  • If available, use the air-dry option.
  • Learn more:
    • Rinsing dirty dishes is a waste of water and energy; most dishwashers today are able to thoroughly clean scraped dishes.
    • To use your dishwasher efficiently, run it only when you have enough dirty dishes for a full load.
    • Appliances account for about 12% of your energy bill, so replace outdated models with newer, more energy efficient ENERGY STAR certified versions.

Pledge to buy an ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher.

Light Fixtures

  • Install ENERGY STAR certified light fixtures and replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which generate less heat.
  • Learn more:
    • Kitchen light fixtures are among the most used in the home.
    • ENERGY STAR certified lighting fixtures are available in many popular styles, such as cabinet and ceiling mounted versions, as well as recessed can models.
    • ENERGY STAR certified light fixtures use 75% less energy, generate 75% less heat and last up to 10 times longer than standard lighting, while producing bright, warm light.

Pledge to replace standard light fixtures and bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified lighting products.

Windows

  • Caulk and weather-strip areas around doors and windows to prevent air leakage.
  • Replace window screens with storm windows during winter as an extra barrier against cold air.
  • Learn more:
    • ENERGY STAR certified windows can save you anywhere from $150-$500 annually in energy costs.
    • Cut drafts, increase home comfort and help preserve interior furnishings with properly installed ENERGY STAR certified windows.

Pledge to apply caulk and weather-stripping around windows and doors that leak air.

Kitchen Sink

  • Leaky faucets can result in gallons of water wasted, so take quick action to make any necessary repairs.
  • Learn more:
    • Hot water leaking at 1 drip per second adds up to 1,661 gallons of water wasted in a year.
    • 1,661 gallons of water works out to approximately $35 in squandered energy costs.

Refrigerator

  • Look for ENERGY STAR certified models when purchasing a new refrigerator.
  • Lower energy consumption by cleaning out your fridge regularly to ensure proper air circulation.
  • Don’t open the fridge door unnecessarily; every time you do, the temperature drops by 2-5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For every 30 seconds the door remains open, it can take up to 30 minutes to restore the fridge to its original temperature.
  • Learn more:
    • A new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator can run continuously on less energy than a 60-watt light bulb.
    • ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators use at least 20% less energy than required by current federal standards.
    • Refrigerators manufactured before 1993 use twice as much energy than newer models.
    • By recycling or disposing of your old fridge, you can save anywhere from $300-$700 and prevent 5,500 to 20,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

Light Switch

  • Always turn off the lights when leaving any room (or when it’s not in use).

Outlet

  • Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when not in use.
  • Use inexpensive outlet gaskets to seal any holes around outlets.

Looking for more information?