During the Christmas season you may find yourself spending more time in your kitchen: going to cookie exchanges, making casseroles and pumpkin pies, and preparing for the big Christmas feast! While you may not notice your energy usage throughout your day, the holiday seasons bring in the highest in utility bills. But there are some ways you can increase your efficiency throughout your kitchen, saving on energy and lowering your utility bills. Here’s a few ideas!
Longer hours in the kitchen coupled with shorter days can equate to long-burning bulbs. Choosing an energy efficient bulb is one of the easiest steps you can take toward a lower energy usage. The longer your bulb burns, the more efficient the bulb should be. If you haven’t already, check the lamps throughout your house and look for a sticker on each one that indicates the maximum wattage allowed. Make sure you use bulbs that do not exceed it. Also, consider using automated devices to help control your usage. You may install a timer to automatically turn your lights off, or motion detectors so that when you leave the room, the lights turn themselves off.
Large appliances are investments, and most of us don’t go out and buy a new one when we want to increase our energy efficiency. Thankfully, there are options beyond just choosing a new efficient appliance. For cooking, while stoves and ovens are not currently rated by the EPA, you can make small choices that are more efficient. Crock-pots use the least amount of energy and are a great option for preparing meals. For small dishes, rather than popping them in the oven, use a toaster oven instead! Also don’t forget your microwave, they are efficient because they are fast.
Water is one of the most used resources in the home, and has the potential to be one of the biggest sources of waste. But it doesn’t have to be! In the kitchen, you can conserve hot water usage through faucet updates. Instant hot water dispensers are energy savers. They heat small amounts of water as-needed, rather than large amounts of unneeded hot water. Another option that you can invest in for under $20 which will save you on your water bill is a faucet aerator. You may not notice the difference in the water flow, however may reduce your water usage even as much as 50%. Also, keeping a watch on your water goes a long way. Repair leaky faucets immediately. Use dishwashers as much as possible, as they use about a third less water than hand washing. One last tip is to check the temperature on your water heater, as there’s not usually a reason for it to surpass 120 degrees.
With these few tips under your belt, you can go into the Christmas season ready to bake, cook, entertain, and clean, all without worrying about skyrocketing utility bills. At Responsible Contractors, we aim to bring you the best in each industry. If you need recommendations for energy upgrades, or help with water and lighting, visit us at responsiblecontractors.com for a list of contractors we trust to help!