We are addicted to our appliances. They make our lives easier
and allow us to save time, especially in the kitchen. Appliances and kitchen gadgets allow us to make fast and healthy meals for our family and keep everyone in good shape. But, appliances take huge amount of power, seriously affecting our budget and damaging the environment. Tough economic times are forcing many of us to cut on the expenses, starting on cutting on electricity bills. There are secrets that will allow you to use your appliances more efficiently, save money for electricity and still enjoy your comfortable lifestyle
1. Bigger is not always better
Giant fridges are a fashion and status symbol these days. People love huge fridges even if they live alone and use it to store mineral water and frozen dinners. If you have a large family and your fridge is always full of food and leftovers, big fridge makes sense and is used efficiently. For single people and couples, smaller fridge would save a lot of money on electricity.
2. Keep the lid on
Pots have lids for a reason. They keep the heat inside, where it should be, instead of escaping and wasting energy. If you are cooking beans or stews, or anything else that takes time, use a pressure cooker. The lid is tightly shut and the heat works much faster, saving you a bundle on electricity.
3. Use right tools for the job
Small, efficient appliances such as the Breville BOV800XL toaster oven are much more efficient on the daily basis than large standard ovens. They use less electricity and work faster to do the job at hand such as defrosting meals, cooking pizzas or grilling a chicken.
4. Dirty appliances are wasteful
Maintaining your fridge regularly will keep it in peak condition and working efficiently. Fridges with iced walls, cracked or dirty rubber seal around the door and cooling coils covered in dust waste huge amount of power. Make sure that you know what you need before you open the fridge door. The fridge thermostat keeps the temperature inside even, and every time you open the door, it has to compensate.
Old, dirty ovens are horrible energy wasters. Cracked rubber seal at the door and old, damaged thermostat allow a lot of energy to be lost. Keep your oven clean to avoid wasting energy on burning old grease, and replace old rubber seal. If you are buying a new oven, look for the convection heating model. Convection ovens are much more efficient because they use fan to circulate hot air through the oven, and cook much faster and more evenly.
5. Save water and power when washing
Be honest: do you really need a dishwasher? If you mostly eat out, washing your morning coffee cup and a couple of plates can be done easily by hand. If you absolutely love your dishwasher, wait until it is full to turn it on. If the dishes are not greasy, use cold water for washing, it will work just as well. Once the dishes are washed, turn the machine off and allow dishes to dry in the air. It will save you a lot of money on electricity.
Use your washing machine efficiently, or it will be one of your worst money wasters. Some people turn the machine on every time they have a dirty towel. Wait until you have a machine-full to turn it on. Hot water is needed only if your clothes are really dirty. By using cold or warm water you save a lot of power.
6. Get rid of the kitchen ghosts
Make sure all your appliances are unplugged when you finish using them. They consume power just because they are still plugged to the network, like ghosts. Plugged appliances can be dangerous too, as small kids and pets can chew on them, with potentially tragic consequences. If you are going on vacation, empty and defrost your fridge and unplug your appliances and gadgets. You might leave your answering machine on.
7. Energy Star appliances are your best friends
Older model appliances might be cheaper, but the newer ones, if they are good, are tested for energy efficiency and labeled with the Energy Star label. That means that they comply with the energy efficiency requirements of the US Department of Energy.
Many people cannot part from their old fridge and keep it as a ‘secondary fridge for beer’, often in the garage. It usually sits there gobbling up your electricity and your money. Get rid of it.
If you want to save energy and money in your kitchen, you should run it just like you run your company: plan well, do a regular maintenance, replace damaged bits and replace old, inefficient appliance with new, energy friendly models. Nobody wants you to give up your comfortable lifestyle.
Most people need help deciding on the best home or kitchen appliance for their family. The choices are huge. Ellen Kaylor and her co-author Karen May offer well-researched, thorough reviews of popular appliances in their blog Appliance Freaks. If you are a passionate juicer like Ellen, look at her latest review of the Breville 800JEXL juice fountain elite juicer.
Ellen is also a mother of three and a popular teacher. She shares her culinary expertise, as well as her favorite recipes, with students who attend her cooking classes.