Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important as we understand the impact we are having on the environment as well as the costs associated with high energy living. The kitchen is often the center of the home, and this is especially true in terms of energy use. Fortunately there are a few simple ways to help make your kitchen energy efficient with practical strategies and products, without a substantial initial capital outlay. By implementing these steps you will enjoy cost savings throughout the year, and even get some tax breaks while you’re at it. Here are some of the ways to help you conserve energy in your home.
1. Improve your insulation system. If you don’t have proper insulation during the cold winter season, you can let in a lot of heat, a situation that can cost you and cause an environmental issue. Having adequate insulation, weather stripping and other insulation techniques around your home will make your home energy efficient.
2. Instead of using those older window designs, consider using double pane windows and other vinyl frames, tint your windows and keep your drapes open to let in some light.
3. Use compact fluorescent bulbs and light bulbs in the kitchen which are a bit more expensive up front but last up to 12 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs and make a dramatic difference in your overall energy usage.
4. Invest in shady landscaping to help protect your home from the intense sun during summer days and the cold winds during the winter season.
5. Install a Programmable Thermostat, a suitable way to help you reduce energy use in the kitchen. When you’re away, set the thermostat to conserve energy and only turn the temperature down during the colder months. It doesn’t cost much and allows you to save money by reducing energy use.
6. Turn off microwaves, ovens and coffee makers equipped with LED clocks that run all night when not in use, as they consume a lot of energy. By doing so, these small savings eventually turn into significant savings once you calculate the amount of energy saved by the end of the year.
7. Set your water heater to the hot setting of 120°F – 130°F. By making these few adjustments, you will reduce your electricity bills. You don’t need hot water to wash your clothes and dishes. Second, use low flow equipment for the kitchen taps and finally, insulate your hot water pipes so they don’t contribute to heat loss.
8. Book or plan for an Energy Efficiency Audit. Energy auditors will inspect the current kitchen stand on energy efficiency. They have specialized tools and skills that can help you assess energy efficiency and also help you determine where you need to improve efficiency by recommending some low-cost measures. It allows you to find the parts of your kitchen (and the rest of your home) that need your immediate attention.
9. Consider investment in solar panels, which are an excellent investment. You can install these on your roof, and they will help you reduce your electricity costs because they allow you to produce your own electricity. This will have the biggest impact on your kitchen’s energy footprint as most of your home’s energy use happens in the kitchen.
10. Buy energy efficient appliances, those with the HE logo. Energy-star certified appliances use less energy than regular machines, and while they may cost you a little more initially, there is a long-term payoff for you. They help you save money over time when it comes to running your device. For example, if you run an Energy Star certified hepa air purifier in your kitchen it will consume about 40% less energy than a standard air purifier. This equates to savings of around $30 per year (and saves 225 kWh/year!) If you were to achieve similar savings in all your kitchen appliances you would be making substantial financial and energy savings.
Creating an energy efficient kitchen is relatively simple, and by taking these 10 steps, you will be able to save money quickly and easily as well as contribute to the environment.
Mark Johnson is the Marketing Manager at By Purifika, a leading online resource specializing in clean air technology in the areas of vacuum cleaners and air purifiers. The site offers reviews and buying guides to help their customers make their homes and offices a clean, allergy-free space.