UA Matters: Energy Savings in the Kitchen
Because the kitchen contains many large and small appliances that are used daily, the kitchen is a good area to reduce energy. The University of Alabama’s Greg McKelvey shares some simple ways to help cut costs of energy and water.
- Dishwashers use an average of 15 gallons of hot water per load, plus electricity needed to operate the machine. Operate your dishwasher only when it is filled to capacity, but not overloaded. This will cut the costs of energy, water and detergent.
- Choose pots and pans that completely cover the heating elements. If the burner is larger than the pan, heat is being wasted. Use pans with flat bottoms and tight-fitting lids that hold heat and permit lower settings.
- Keep refrigerator/freezer condenser coils clean and unobstructed for maximum energy savings. A tight-sealing door gasket is critical to the efficiency of your refrigerator. Close the door on a dollar bill. If you can easily pull the bill out, then the gasket needs replacing. Cover all liquids stored in the refrigerator. Moisture can be drawn into the air, making the unit work harder.
- Look for blue flames in natural gas appliances; yellow flames indicate the gas is burning inefficiently and an adjustment may be needed.
- When purchasing new appliances, always look for Energy Star models. The Energy Guide label estimates the energy cost per year required to operate the appliance.
McKelvey is the director of HVAC and Energy Management for UA-Facilities.
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