Making Your Kitchen More Energy Efficient - Modern Homes

by Tina Riley
2 years ago

A kitchen is often at the heart of many homes: it’s where our days tend to begin and end. It takes a lot of appliances to keep an operation like a kitchen running efficiently, and the average electric bill is increasingly high. Here are some energy efficiency tips for the kitchen that you may not have thought about.

Day-to-day energy saving tips

These are tips that can could be simply, and cheaply, implemented in your home now.

Identify and unplug energy vampires

The modern kitchen is full of appliances that use what’s known as “phantom loads” of energy i.e., they are drawing power even when turned off. These are also known as energy vampires and can account for significant energy use over time. Some well-known examples are portable coffee makers, toaster ovens, and even microwaves.

The best way to identify whether an appliance is an energy vampire is to turn it off, and then take a look at it. Are there any lights still on? A digital clock? A blinking light? If the answer is yes then that appliance is likely an energy vampire, and it could be costing you.

The best way to save energy and combat your vampires is to put them on a power strip and turn them off at the source when they aren’t being used. For the truly connected home, using smart plugs on energy vampires is ideal, as it allows you to control them at the source with your smartphone.

Make the most of your dishwasher

Your dishwasher is another appliance that has the capacity to use a lot of energy. An older dishwasher i.e., from the early to mid 90’s can use up to 10 gallons of water per cycle. This is why all new dishwashers must now, by law, use the least amount of water and power necessary to do the job.

Even with a highly efficient dishwasher, there are still energy best practices you should follow. Wherever possible set a timer so that it runs overnight when the energy is far cheaper. Also, make sure you have a full load when you run the cycle so you’re not wasting water, or energy running multiple loads. If you want to be really optimised to save energy, turn off the dishwasher when it hits the dry cycle and allow your dishes to air dry.

Update your refrigerator and keep it as full as possible

Your fridge tops the list of appliances that use the most energy in an average home, which makes perfect sense. A refrigerator has to run constantly for it to perform its basic function of keeping your food cold. This continuous usage will take its toll so you need to keep an eye on your refrigerator to make sure it’s not outdated.

Also, there is a direct energy benefit to keeping your refrigerator well stocked. The more inside the refrigerator, the less energy it needs to keep them cold. This is all thanks to the wonderful 2nd law of thermodynamics: heat is always trying to flow from a hot to a cold region. This process is, more simply, known as heat transfer.

Your refrigerator’s timing cycle is specifically designed to combat this process by cooling the inside of your refrigerator. When you open the door of your fridge, hot air rushes in and displaces the cool air. The more cold items in your fridge results in less open air space, which means less room for hot air to occupy and, therefore, less time for the refrigerator to cool itself back down after you close the door. The result being less energy needed.

How to increase energy efficiency during a kitchen renovation

Here are some tips that could help you in your decision-making during a kitchen renovation.

Change your hob to induction

If you’re not familiar with induction technology, it’s the process of using magnets to conduct heat directly through your pans versus thermal conduction, where heat is focused on the burner. In magnetic induction, the burner has a coil mounted underneath the cooking surface that generates a magnetic field. Once you turn the hob, and this magnetic field, on and place a ferromagnetic. (i.e., attracted to a magnet) pan on top of it, you get heat directly through the pan. The heat is more concentrated and doesn’t escape the way it would with a traditional burner. This method is 12% more efficient at heating food than a smooth-top electric cooktop or range.

Insulated walls and flooring

Adding another layer to the walls and floors of your home helps to keep the heat in. When creating a new kitchen or bedroom, you can speak to our kitchen suppliers and choose the best flooring options for your desired outcome. The designers can talk through the benefits of each flooring and tiling material that would fulfil those outcomes.

Use the right-sized appliances

Don’t use appliances that are too big for your needs: this can waste energy. It can be cheaper to run smaller appliances (such as the right sized fridge freezer) because you aren’t unnecessarily powering bigger appliances. If you are looking for kitchen designs, our kitchen designers can find appliances who can identify options that suit your needs as well as your aspirations.

Switch to energy-saving lights

Lights are all over our homes so it’s useful to consider changing these to more energy-efficient lightbulbs, such as LED. Implementing these will ensure your rooms are well-lit in an energy-efficient manner.

If you’re interested in finding out what other benefits we can offer,  please get in touch.