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We can maximize home energy by increasing the kitchen efficiency.  Appliances use in the kitchen such as a rice cooker, stove, oven, and refrigerator accounts for approximately 26 percent of an average household’s electricity. But this does not mean you have to deprive yourself of the convenience these appliances provide. Having the right cooking habits and practicing simple energy conservation techniques can help conserve the use of kitchen appliances.

Defrosting Foods

If you need to warm up or defrost small amounts of food, use a microwave instead of the stove to save energy. Microwave use around 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens do. For large meals, however, the stove is usually more efficient. Use glass pan as glass retains heat, so you can set the oven to a lower temperature.

Oven

Refrain from looking inside a working oven too often and instead use the oven light to check on the food. Twenty percent of the heat can be lost each time you open the door. Turn the oven off before cooking is complete (up to 15 minutes, depending on the dish). The heat in the oven will continue to cook the dish until it is finished.

Rice Cooker

Another way to increase the kitchen efficiency is with the rice cooker.  It has the “keep warm function” which is for maintaining the appropriate amount of heat needed to keep the rice warm after it is cooked. You may prevent the unnecessary operation of the “keep warm function” by properly scheduling the use of the rice cooker based on eating time.  Unplug the power cord when the rice cooker is not in use.  Observe proper cleaning guidelines.  Make sure that the inner pot and hot plate are free from any form of burnt grains of rice or hardened food.   The surface of the plate should be well cleaned and smooth to allow complete contact with the inner pot to ensure effective and even heating.

Refrigerator

Don’t keep the refrigerator door open any longer than you need to.  Close it to keep the cold air inside, and make sure the door is securely closed.  Place refrigerator at least four inches away from the wall so as not to overwork the motor and to allow efficient heat release from the condenser coils.  Don’t position your refrigerator in direct sunlight or near heat-producing appliances like the stove.

Aside from appliances, we can increase the kitchen efficiency by the things we put in the refrigerator.  Overcrowding obstructs the air circulation inside your refrigerator and reduces cooling capabilities.   On the other hand, it is better to keep the freezer full.  The more air you displace with food and beverage, the less cold air you lose when you open the freezer door.   Allow hot food to cool to room temperature before putting them in the refrigerator.  Otherwise, the refrigerator works even harder to bring the temperature down.  Cover liquids, wrap food and wipe off moisture from containers before putting them in the refrigerator.   Uncover food release moisture and makes the compressor work harder.  It may also cause an excessive build-up of ice in your freezer.

Defrost regularly.  When there is already 1/4 inch frost buildup, defrost your refrigerator.  Too much frost makes your unit operate inefficiently.  Clean the condenser coils at least twice a year using a vacuum cleaner or broom.

Do you have anything to add?  Please comment and share what you know.  Pencil Projects Inc. will keep you updated on other ways to make your home more energy efficient.  Please follow us also on our facebook page.

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