When you think about the kitchen you probably imagine putting together tasty meals, sitting around the kitchen table, or maybe fixing a hot cup of tea or coffee. The kitchen is all about food and family, but did you know that the kitchen also uses about half of the energy in your home?
It actually makes a lot of sense, right? The kitchen is full of energy-intensive appliances: the refrigerator, the stove, the oven, the dishwasher. And those small appliances are just as culpable—your microwave, blender, and toaster all use their fair share of energy, too. GE’s new visualization tool lets you see what appliances use the most energy, and even gives you data about different times of day.
Of course, energy-efficiency isn’t just limited to the kitchen. It’s a global issue that companies like GE have championed for over a hundred years. Their newly released data viz tool shows that history of energy innovation and development by surfacing up data from all of their annual reports since 1892. That’s 120 years of development both in the kitchen and far, far beyond!
So, how can we cut back on our energy use in the most energy-intensive room in the house? Here are a few simple ways to make your kitchen more efficient.
1. Unplug It
Just like your cell phone charger or your TV, kitchen appliances that have a clock or a standby mode suck energy from the wall even when they’re not in use. If you can, unplug appliances like the microwave when you’re not using them.
2. Choose Efficient Appliances
Your large appliances are the biggest energy hogs in your kitchen, but luckily there are some innovative companies out there, like GE, that are offering more energy-efficient appliances for the kitchen. When that old fridge or dishwasher kicks the bucket, replace it with an Energy Star. GE makes it super simple to find energy-efficient appliances with their site’s search function. Under “features,” you can even choose “Energy Efficient” or “Most Energy Efficient.”
3. Clean Your Fridge
That refrigerator uses so much energy that it bears mentioning twice! On top of choosing an efficient one, keeping your fridge running efficiently can go a long way in saving energy. Make sure that you clean your refrigerator coils once or twice a year, and keep your fridge stocked, but not crammed full of food.
4. Light it Up
You can save a lot of energy in the kitchen just by addressing your inefficient old light bulbs. Use daylight whenever you can, and if you do have to hit the switch, make sure you have efficient LED or CFL bulbs in those sockets. While these lightbulbs have a higher up-front investment, you’ll make back what you spent and then some with the energy savings. GE has a cost/benefit analysis for efficient CFL bulbs that can give you an idea of how much energy you can save by making the switch.
5. Try a Convection Oven
My mother-in-law first introduced me to the joys of the convection oven, and when the old oven that came with our house bit the dust, we replaced it with a convection oven. Unlike a conventional oven, a convection oven uses a fan to evenly distribute heat throughout your oven, which cooks your food 25% faster. That means you’re using less energy, especially when you’re making something that takes a long time, like roasted veggies.
This is a sponsored article for GE. All opinions are 100% mine.
Image Credit: Baking photo via Shutterstock, Kitchen Energy Viz via GE