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  • Antoinette Prinsloo

Energy Saving Habits in Your Kitchen

If you’re not careful, with all those appliances, your kitchen can be a big energy waster. However, spending less money on utility bills doesn’t mean you need to replace your current appliances with all new energy-saving Eco-friendly ones. Rather considered to conserve energy while cooking and preparing meals by simply changing your habits and following these handy energy-saving tips. Some of these may seem like nothing, but when you add them up they can add to significant savings – in your pocket and the environment.

Cooking - Stoves, Hobs & Ovens

  1. Cut the power early – Since most hobs’ elements stay hot long after they’ve been switched off. Let the residual heat finish the dish for you, by turning off the heat a few minutes.

  2. Use the correct-sized burner – Large burners under small pots and pans waste heat. The reverse is true, too. A small burner will take considerably longer to heat a large pan than would an appropriately sized burner.

  3. Keep the lid on – This may seem like a small thing, but pans heat up much quicker when covered, thus saving energy and money.

  4. Pre-boil – Instead of boiling water on your stove or hob to make your favourite pasta, pre-boil the water in the kettle. Remember to only fill and boil the kettle with as much water as you need.

  5. Use the oven light – Instead of opening the door every few minutes to check on your roast, switch on the oven light to see inside without losing any heat.

  6. Regular service (as with any appliance) – Ensure that the oven seals tight and regularly clean your oven to prevent heat from escaping or wasted.

Refrigeration - Fridges & Freezers

  1. Leave space to breath – make sure there is enough space behind and alongside the fridge to prevent any heat to build-up.

  2. Defrost your fridge or freezer regularly.

  3. Fill-up your fridge – A full fridge retains cold better than an empty one. If your fridge is nearly empty, store bottles of water inside. This will help the fridge recover more quickly after the door has been opened.

  4. Adjust the thermostat – By setting the thermostat colder than needed, you increase your fridge’s energy consumption.

  5. Skip the ice-maker and water-dispenser – Although this is a ‘nice-to-have’, but it turns out the mechanisms are energy hogs. An automatic ice maker can increase a refrigerator’s energy consumption.

  6. No hot food – The fridge has to work extra hard and draw more energy to cool it down.

  7. Thaw in the fridge – Frozen items throw off cold air into the fridge, helping to keep things cool.

  8. Regular service (as with any appliance) – Dust accumulates on the coils at the back of these appliances, which restricts cool-air flow and forces the unit to work harder and longer than necessary.

Cleaning - Sinks & Dishwashers

  1. Less hand-washing – A dishwasher requires less than one-third the water it would take to do those same dishes in the sink.

  2. Fully-loaded – Pack you dishwasher in the correct way and not switch it on when only half-full.

  3. Skip the dry cycle – Open the dishwasher door and allow dishes to air-dry. This will save a considerable amount of electricity.

Extra Handy Tips

  1. Don’t leave your appliances on standby – When not in use, turn your appliances such as the dishwasher, microwave, washing machine, tumble dryer off at the wall.

  2. Countertop appliance – Some of the most energy efficient cooking methods to make use of is pressure cooker or slow cookers.

  3. Portion control – Chop your food (meat or vegetables) into smaller pieces when boiling to reduce cooking time.

  4. Labeling – By labeling your left-overs before storing it in the fridge or freezer will reduce the time the door needs to be open when looking for that midnight snack.

  5. Cook with copper pans - Copper is one of the most conductive metals on earth. High conductivity means copper pans take less time to get hot. Less time to get hot also means less cooking time, which means you're using less energy.

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