Whether the temperatures outside are pushing the thermometer’s mercury to the top of the tube or are chilly enough that you’re keeping the windows closed, it doesn’t take much for the cooking process in the kitchen to heat the space up to uncomfortable levels. Here are 4 ways to keep your kitchen comfortable while also reducing your energy usage:
- Shorten the time that the oven is in use – Almost every baking or roasting recipe you see will call for the oven to be preheated as the first step, resulting in the oven being turned on well before the dish goes in. Unless you’re preparing delicate baked goods, new ranges heat up so fast that preheating is no longer necessary, which can save a lot of preheating time. You can also shorten the time that the oven is on by turning it off by an amount of minutes that equals about 10 percent of the recommended cooking time, thus using the residual heat to finish the process. These two steps can reduce the heat-generating time of the oven by up to 25 minutes for a dish that takes one hour to cook.
- Use the kitchen hood to remove heat coming from the oven/cooktop – Even if steam and smoke are at minimal levels, you can reduce the temperature in the kitchen by venting heat out with the kitchen hood. This is a far more cost-effective solution than using an energy intensive air conditioner to do the same job.
- Match the diameter of pots and pans with the width of the burners on the cooktop – Cookware that sits well within the width of the burner can result in the loss of 50 percent or more of the heat generated by the cooktop. Instead, by matching the cookware to the burner’s width, a far greater percentage of heat can be transferred into the food rather than to the environment in the kitchen.
- Start the dishwasher later and use the “Air Dry” option – In most cases, there is little urgency in running the dishwasher after dinner is finished. Rather than starting the cycle while people are still around, time the start for later in the night on “Air Dry”. The later start will delay the warming of the kitchen, air drying uses less energy than drying with heat, and may result in lower kilowatt charges in areas that are on “Time of Use Billing” from their local utility.
Don’t settle for working in a hot kitchen. With these steps you can keep the space comfortable and save money on utility bills at the same time.
, bray and scarff