You can save energy by changing the thermostat setting and electronics, but have you considered saving energy in the kitchen? The U.S. Department of Energy estimates cooking accounts for 4.5% of total home energy use. As the season turns cold, here are some easy ways to cook up energy savings in the kitchen:
- Use the correct sized pots and pans. If your pan is 6 inches in diameter and you're cooking on an 8 inch burner, over 40% of your heat will be wasted. As a rule of thumb, don't let the bottom of the cookware extend more than 1 inch beyond the outer ring of the heating element.
- Use cookware with a flat bottom. Cookware with a warped or dented bottom can take 50% more energy to heat up.
- Keep your burner pans clean. Blackened and dirty burner pans absorb more heat, reducing the energy efficiency of your stove.
- Peek through the oven window. While it’s tempting, opening the oven door to check on your food wastes energy by letting out the heat and increases cooking time.
- Clean the oven after cooking. If you have a self-cleaning oven, turn it on immediately after baking. With your oven already heated, you’ll use less energy to heat the oven to the cleaning temperature.
- Keep a lid on your pots and pans. This helps keep the heat in, allowing you to use less energy to cook your meal.
- Try cooking one-pot meals. This not only saves energy, but it helps make weeknight cooking easier with less to clean up.