Bake in energy savings this holiday season
As seasonal entertaining begins to heat up, there are some easy ways to get energy savings, without undertaking a full-scale kitchen remodeling project right before the holidays.
Normally, one of the best ways to save on energy costs is to tackle a Charlotte home remodeling project that updates some of the biggest energy thieves – such as inefficient windows, aging insulation, outdated HVAC systems and older appliances. As seasonal entertaining begins to heat up, however, there are some easy ways that you can reduce your energy bills without undertaking a full-scale kitchen remodeling project right before the holidays.
One of the most used spaces in our homes during the holidays is the kitchen – it’s where we cook memorable holiday meals and where family and friends gather. It goes without saying that switching out older appliances for more efficient models during Black Friday appliance sales is a viable kitchen renovation option. If new appliances aren’t on your holiday wish list (or too many other things are) you can still reduce costs using what you already have and some efficient cooking techniques that can make a big difference.
First, when it comes to cooking, match the size of your pot to the size of your cooktop’s burner. Using a burner that is too large will waste heat, while using one that is too small may mean that it takes longer to get your food up to the right temperature. Put a lid on pots and pans when your recipe allows to keep more heat where it belongs, on your food. Likewise, resist the urge to open the oven door for a quick peek as your food cooks. Opening and closing the door repeatedly may cause some recipes to fail and definitely causes your oven to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.
When you are ready to put away those delicious leftovers, make certain they come down to room temperature before you put them in the refrigerator or freezer. It takes more energy to cool down food that is still hot, so waiting a few minutes can save you in the long run.
Keeping things clean is essential when more cooks are quite literally in your kitchen, but it can also reduce energy consumption. Clean surfaces transfer energy more efficiently, meaning that cooktops and ovens don’t have to work as hard to heat up.
Also, remember that dishwashers (and washers and dryers) require the same amount of energy to run whether they are nearly empty or full, so fill them before you run them for peak efficiency. Perhaps surprisingly, refrigerators and freezers also work better when they are full (and stay colder longer in case of a power outage) so don’t be afraid to pack them to capacity during those holiday dinners.
Of course, a kitchen remodel or smaller kitchen renovation can provide a longer-term solution to energy conservation, but these tips can help you make the most of what you have during a very busy season of the year.