In summer, when we think of saving energy, often the first things that come to mind are the air conditioner and the swimming pool. But did you know that one of the biggest places to save energy is one of the most-used places in your home? The kitchen, with all that it contains, is probably the number one source for energy-saving.
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One of the biggest things you can do to cut energy costs in your kitchen in summer is simply cooking on your grill. So many grills these days also include burners on the side which allows you to do more of your cooking outside on the grill.
But if you have to cook inside, the most important thing you can do is to take steps to minimize the heat that your oven provides at any given time. Your oven actually uses the most energy of anything in your kitchen. If you’re looking for energy-saving tricks, that should be the first place you start. Consider using two trays when baking cookies. By using two trays, you can bake one and prep the other, switching them out without wasting heat or time. Also, when baking an item for a meal, whether side or main dish, consider baking something else at the same time. For example, while baking a chicken dish, consider baking potatoes, bread, or another side dish as well. Or perhaps, while baking your dish, bake a dessert as well. So few people make a dessert to go with dinner anymore – consider treating your family to a homemade cake or pie when you use the oven to make dinner!
While you don’t realize it, you can save energy by turning off the oven a few minutes before the dish is done. The heat remaining in the oven will continue to cook the dish without altering your dish and you’re using less energy.
Using oven energy-saving tips also works great in winter months, as you can leave your oven door open after cooking and allow the leftover heat to warm your home.
What about using water to cook? First of all, consider steaming vegetables instead of boiling to save water, regardless of the season. When you’ve boiled water for pasta, consider leaving it out to cool, as the heat from the water will release into the air and help in warming your home in winter. This same technique can be applied to dishwater and bathwater. Why should you pay for that hot water to only heat your pipes when it can heat your home?
Whether it’s the summer heat or the winter frost, energy-saving techniques are needed year-round. By adopting some of these methods, you’ll find that the savings add up, allowing you to save time too. It works out well – when your bank account is happy, you’re happier!