Cooking with small appliances is energy efficient. Cook with your toaster oven, electric skillet and slow cooker for specialized jobs, rather than the range. Small appliances always use less energy. Microwave ovens also shorten cooking times, which saves energy. Clean or replace your air filters. Replace filters on exhaust hoods, humidifiers, vacuums, etc. Clogged filters impair performance and cause the units to run longer. Run cold water for disposal. Hot water requires energy to warm the water. Cold water saves energy and solidifies grease, moving it more easily through the garbage disposal and pipes.
Refrigerators and Freezers
Don’t set the temperature colder than necessary. Set the refrigerator temperature between 36° F and 42° F. Set the freezer control so the temperature is between -5° F and +6° F. A small thermometer placed in the refrigerator or freezer will help you set it correctly. Clean the unit regularly. Clean dust off the condenser coils, fins, evaporator pan and motor once or twice a year. A clean unit runs more efficiently. Unplug the unit and clean with a vacuum cleaner or long-handled brush. Defrost a manual-defrost unit regularly. Frost makes your unit work harder and wastes energy. Don’t allow more than one-quarter inch of frost to build up.
Keep it away from direct heat sources. Place the refrigerator or freezer away from direct sunlight and other heat sources such as ovens or ranges. Heat will cause the unit to use more energy to stay cold. Do not place the unit in unheated space. Don’t place your refrigerator or automatic defrost freezer in a garage, porch or other unheated space. If the temperature drops below 60° F, the unit will be less efficient and cost more money to operate. Or, the compressor may stop running, causing the temperature inside the freezer compartment to rise. Stored food could spoil.
Check the seals. Refrigerator and freezer doors should seal tightly. Loose seals cause your unit to work harder and use more energy. If you can move a dollar bill through the closed door, the seal is not tight enough. Get the seals replaced or replace the unit if it is an older model.
Ranges and oven
Reduce the heat to the stove. Begin cooking on a higher heat setting until liquid begins to boil. Then, lower the temperature and simmer the food until fully cooked. A fast boil doesn’t cook faster than a slow boil, but it does use more energy. Don’t peek in the oven. Resist the urge to open the oven door while baking. Every time you peek, the temperature drops 25° F or more and requires additional energy to bring the temperature back up. Use the ovens retained heat by turning off cook tops or ovens a few minutes before food has completed cooking. Retained heat finishes the job just fine using less energy. Consider a natural gas range or oven. Natural gas appliances cost less to operate than electric appliances and offer better temperature control. Put a lid on it. Cook food and boil water in a covered container whenever possible. This traps the heat inside and requires less energy.
Make sure the oven seals tightly. Make sure the seal on the oven door is tight. Even a small gap allows heat to escape and wastes energy. If you can move a dollar bill through the closed door, the seal is not tight enough and should be replaced.
Check your oven temperature by testing the oven temperature with an oven thermometer to be sure that the setting matches the actual temperature. If the actual temperature is too high, you will use more energy than needed. Also, your food may not turn out how you anticipate.
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We hope these How To Conserve Energy At Home Tips and Tricks help you to save a few much needed extra bucks!