How to Choose and Use Ecofriendly Kitchen Appliances

How to Choose and Use Ecofriendly Kitchen Appliances

Choosing energy-efficient appliances benefits everyone. TopTen USA, an independent organization that investigates and ranks the most efficient appliances, says:”If you’re going to squander money, squander it on something much more entertaining than your electrical bill.”

Be clever with money and energy with these tips for selecting kitchen appliances and using them efficiently.

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Refrigerators are energy hogs, accounting for 9 to 15 percent of your home’s electricity usage. Luckily, deciding upon an energy-efficient refrigerator can be as simple as searching for the Energy Star label, which guarantees the appliance has met government standards. But, all Energy Star appliances are not created equal — energy intake still fluctuates considerably from model to model. The Energy Star website can help you compare versions to find to the most efficient refrigerator.

Size matters. If you buy a refrigerator too small for your requirements and keep it packed full, the refrigerator might need to work harder and use more energy. In the same way, oversize refrigerators keep excessive space trendy. Refrigerators smaller than 25 cubic feet should meet the requirements of most households.

Setup matters also. Consumer Reports quantified the usable space in a refrigerator and discovered that top freezer models average roughly 80 percent usable distance, underside freezers average 67 percent and side-by-side units average 63 percent. Know also that side-by-side refrigerators use approximately 20 percent more electricity than other versions.

Forgo the ice manufacturer and in-door water and ice dispenser. Studies indicate these features can each increase general refrigerator energy consumption by 10 to 15 percent.

Cash – and – energy-saving hints:Find your refrigerator away from sources of heat, such as the cooker or stove, which can cause it to work harder. Permit foods trendy first before placing them within the refrigerator.


Gas Cooktops/Ranges

The cooktop/range is the only kitchen appliance that has a gas option: electricity or natural gas (or propane in certain places ). If you don’t have access to renewable energy, both options have significant effects on the environment, so it is worth understanding the options.

Pros: Electrical appliances have the choice to be fueled by renewable energy power should you put in solar panels later on. Additionally, most electrical utility companies have a program where you can pay a small additional cost to encourage green renewable energy.
Disadvantages: Much of our electricity is produced from coal, which is the most significant man-made contributor to greenhouse gases. Additionally, roughly 70 percent of electric power is lost in hauling it from its origin to your property.

Natural Gas
Pros: Natural gas is a relatively inexpensive and efficient gas supply and the cleanest fossil fuel, emitting 45% less carbon dioxide than coal.
Disadvantages: Cooking gas appliances introduces combustion by-products to your home, including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide. This is especially painful in newer, more airtight houses. While a good exhaust hood can eliminate up to 70 percent of those pollutants, it doesn’t get rid of all of them. Additionally, natural gas is commonly sourced by hydraulic fracturing or”fracking,” which involves putting countless gallons of sand, water and chemicals deep into the earth under high pressure to split stone formations, releasing the gas. At the moment there is some evidence demonstrating that air, groundwater and drinking water are all being contaminated from the process, causing several states and some U.S. states to prohibit fracking.

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Magnetic Induction Cooktops

The magnetic induction cooktop is the rising star of kitchen appliances. Typical electric or gas stoves heat the air under the pan, but a magnetic induction cooktop’s heat is transferred directly to the pan through high-tech magnetism, resulting in little wasted heat. Heat is created quickly and can be infinitely adjustable, just like gas.

And since the heat desires a metallic surface for conduction, it is cool to the touch, making for a safer kitchen. Just make certain that you’ve got the right cookware to run heat.

Cash – and energy-saving hints:
Put a lid on it. Cover pots and pans to keep heat in and cook your food faster. Be passive with your pasta. Kate Heyhoe, writer of Cooking Green: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at the Kitchen, teaches us that individuals do not have to boil pasta for the full cooking time. Instead boil for 2 minutes, then turn the burner off, cover the pot with a lid and allow the pasta sit at the water for the remaining recommended cooking time. Your pasta is going to be cooked at precisely the exact same period of time and will have used less energy.

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Wall ovens are available in three widths: 24, 27 and 30 inches. The energy used by a wall mount relates to its size, so it is well worth going for a more compact unit if it is going to meet your needs. If you’ve got the occasional need for greater capacity, opt for 2 smaller ovens rather than a larger unit. You’ll save energy by often using merely one of the more compact ovens, and for big gatherings you will still have all the capacity you need.

Look for a model with a convection oven, in which a fan always circulates heated air around the food. This usually means that the temperature and cooking times can be reduced, using 20 percent less energy. Also try to find a self-cleaning feature, as these versions are much better insulated, which boosts energy performance by maintaining oven temperatures.

Cash – and energy-saving hints:Save oven for large or multiple dishes. Ovens are inherently inefficient — just about 6% of the energy from a typical oven is absorbed by the food. Utilize your toaster light to test on food’s progress. Every time you open the oven door, the temperature drops 25 to 50 levels.

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Exhaust Hoods

Find a efficient kitchen exhaust hood by looking for an Energy Star–ranked model, which can be more straightforward and uses 65 percent less energy. Once you have an efficient model, do not be conservative with its usage. Your venting hood is necessary to maintaining your indoor air quality protected by eliminating:
excess moisture. Cooking can present 2 to 3 gallons of moisture in your home’s air every day. If it’s not properly released, this can lead to moisture problems in the home. Hazardous combustion by-products from gas cooktops mentioned earlier.Your hood should exhaust to the exterior, ensuring removal of pollutants and moisture from the insides. Stay away from recirculating fans, which just remove scents. Additionally avoid downdraft hoods, which do not function as well as hoods mounted overhead.

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Seek an Energy Star–rated dishwasher, which can be 10 percent more efficient than other versions. And choose a model with various wash cycle options, like”energy saver” and”no-heat drying.”

Your dishwasher is a stealth energy consumer: Between 80 and 90% of a dishwasher’s energy intake is tied into the water heater. Search for versions that are water misers. Also look for a dishwasher with a booster heater, which allows your water heater to remain at the recommended 120 levels and boosts the warm water for the dishwasher to 140 levels, as needed to melt microwave soaps.

Cash – and energy-saving hints:
Always run a full load. Scrape, do not rinse. Hand-rinsing dishes can consume up to 20 gallons of water. Scrape off food the dishes and load. If your dirty dishes are going to sit overnight, then use your dishwasher’s rinse feature, which uses a fraction of the water needed to hand-rinse. For not-so-dirty dishes, use the mild or skillet cycle, which uses less water and operates for a briefer period of time. Opt for”no-heat drying.” The drying cycle consumes a lot of energy.

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The humble microwave can be an energy saver, consuming involving one-fifth and off as much energy as traditional stoves. Know also that concerns of microwave radiation have been mitigated by FDA regulation. But, microwave emissions do increase at the glass window, so that I prefer models with no glass window, like the one here.

Cash – and energy-saving hints:
Microwaves are most efficient when cooking small parts or defrosting. Put food at the outer borders of this rotating tray for faster cooking. Tell us: What are the tips for saving money and energy from the kitchen?

More eco-friendly kitchen hints:
Healthier Kitchen Cabinets
Healthy Kitchen Habits
More guides to today’s eco-friendly kitchen

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