CONSERVING ENERGY IN THE KITCHEN
Saving energy, for both financial and environmental reasons can return significant dividends when you practice a few simple strategies. The kitchen is your home’s biggest energy center. Below is a quick list of tips that will help you save energy — and money:
Use a high-efficiency dishwasher - Modern dishwashers use less water than hand washing — and that means less work for your hot water heater. If you have to hand wash, start with the cleanest dishes and work backwards. It will reduce the need for a second sink full of water.
Pick the right pan for the right job - There’s no point using a four quart pan to heat a serving of soup; use the smallest pan possible. If you have a gas range, set the flame so that it’s smaller than the pan bottom.
Put a lid on it! - Uncovered pans transfer heat from directly into your living space, rather than the food. Cover the pot whenever possible.
Don’t peek! - Opening the oven door to check on dishes wastes valuable heat energy. Around 20% of the heat can be lost each time you open the door. Use the oven light and look through the window or just trust your timer.
Clean your oven - A dirty, carbon-encrusted oven is more than unsightly: it’s inefficient. Keep your oven walls clean, and let them reflect heat as they are designed to. No time to regularly clean your oven? Invest in a self-cleaning oven model like the Renaissance™ Wall Ovens or Distinctive™ Wall Ovens from Dacor. Both options have a self-cleaning feature that eases oven cleaning!
Make maintenance matter - On gas stoves, it's important to notice the color of your flame. If it's burning more yellow than blue, your gas is not burning efficiently. Consult the manual or contact the manufacturer for calibration information. Many gas companies offer a free service to check and clean burners to ensure they’re operating safely and efficiently. Contact your local gas company to inquire about a service check.
Use the microwave - Not only is it fast, but your microwave is the kitchen’s undisputed efficiency champ. That’s because the energy goes straight into heating the food, not the air or a pan which surrounds it. An electric stove top can use up to 2,000 watts when it's on the high setting. Wow, that's a lot of energy. Imagine heating up a bowl of soup. You may have the stove top on for 15 minutes (2000 x .25 = 250 Watt/hours) vs. 3 minutes in a 1000 watt microwave (1000 x .05 = 50 watt/hours). That's 5 times more power to heat your soup. There are some quick and easy microwave recipes available! For microwave meal magic, check out the Busy Cooks section of About.com. Remember – make sure your dishware is microwave safe!
Reach for the stars - The biggest energy culprit in the kitchen is the refrigerator. A great way to save power used by the refrigerator is to get a highly efficient refrigerator with a good efficiency number on the ENERGY STAR® label. Over the last 20 years, the average refrigerator power usage dropped by over 50%. Dacor’s 36” Freestanding French Door Refrigerator is ENERGY STAR® qualified, delivering 20% more efficiency than non-ENERGY STAR® models – consuming less energy than a 75 watt light bulb! There’s even a convenient external dispenser that serves up filtered ice and water, so energy isn’t wasted opening the refrigerator door.
Tighten up that seal - Here’s a test: put a piece of paper in the refrigerator door, close it, and see if you can easily slide the paper out. If so, it might be time to change the door seal. If the paper can slip out, so can cold air.
Organize the fridge - Your parents were right — standing in front of an open fridge lets the cold air out and forces the compressor to compensate. Get your contents organized so you can find what you want quickly. When cooking, grab everything you need from the refrigerator at once so you can avoid repeatedly opening and closing the door. And never position the fridge immediately adjacent to a stove or oven; you wouldn’t place a glass of ice water next to a pot of coffee – the same rule applies. The cooler your refrigerator’s immediate environment, the less energy it needs to use.
The ENERGY STAR® website has a comprehensive list of ways to save energy in the kitchen and throughout your home: http://www.energystar.gov/hometips. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy has a guide to energy efficient kitchen appliances: http://www.energysavers.gov/pdfs/guide_to_kitchen_appliances.pdf which is useful if you’re in the market to purchase new appliances.
These tips are easy to integrate into your everyday life and following them can lead to major energy savings, which will result in both financial and environmental benefits. Dacor is steadfastly committed to their environmental efforts. For additional ways to reduce your carbon cookprint visit Dacor’s Green Commitment for a list of tips and strategies toward greener living. Whether designing a new kitchen or simply preparing your family meals, Dacor understands that little steps can mean a lot when it comes to preserving our planet.
Dacor’s green tradition has been in effect since the company’s founding in 1965. Learn more about Dacor’s complete history of environmental efforts.
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