Refrigerators and Freezers
o Try to keep your refrigerator door closed. You can waste a considerable amount of energy by continually opening and closing the refrigerator. When getting ready to prepare a meal, take all ingredients out at once. Also, make certain that the door is completely closed after you’re done using the refrigerator.
o Locate your freezer or refrigerator away from direct sunlight, heating equipment and heater vents. Provide enough open space on the sides, above and behind for proper air flow.
o Set the temperature of your refrigerator between 36 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer close to 0 degrees for maximum savings. The United States Food and Drug Administration also endorses these temperatures to preclude rapid development of bacteria
o Keep your refrigerator or freezer full, but do not overdo it. Overfilling causes the compressor to run longer. Keep foods somewhat separated on the shelves, being sure that they will not block the unit’s interior air vents.
o Keep the unit’s condenser coils residue free and unblocked for the most energy efficiency.
o Since a snug-sealing door gasket is important for the efficiency of your refrigerator, clean door gaskets with warm water or a detergent that leaves no residue.
o Seal all moist foods that are stored in your refrigerator. Moisture might be drawn into the air, causing the unit to work for a longer period of time.
o If you use an older back-up freezer that only has a little food in it, use only the primary freezer and shut down the older one.
o If you own more than one oven, use the smaller one whenever feasible.
o Save both time and money by using one oven to cook the complete meal. A cake or pie can go into the already heated oven after the main course is done.
o Use a pressure cooker. It reduces cooking time to less than half compared to typical cookware.
o Warming foods, dishes and platters with the oven’s already stored heat after roasting, requires no additional energy. If the food must be kept hot for longer than a half-hour, set the oven no higher than 140 to 200 degrees.
o Consider using a microwave oven, small portable electric frying pan, grill, or toaster oven/broiler rather than your oven. Cook out-of-doors or prepare cold meals to prevent heating up the kitchen and steam to the air inside your home. Microwave ovens use less than 1/2 of the power of a traditional oven and cook food in approximately 1/4 of the time.
o Covered pots or pans will begin producing steam or boiling quicker than those that are uncovered, permitting quicker results and less energy use.
o Cook with pots and pans that completely cover the heating elements. Use pots with even bases, vertical sides and tight-fitting lids in order to retain heat and permit lower temperature settings.
o Cook with crock pots, outdoor grills or casserole dishes to minimize the use of your stove’s heating elements and oven.
o Use only enough water to produce steam and preclude sticking when cooking fresh or frozen vegetables.
o Make sure that reflector pans under an electric stove’s heating elements are bright and clean. They reflect heat onto the bottom of the pot.
o Do not cover oven racks with foil. It can block the flow of heated air making the oven work longer to finish the job.
o Cook following exact timing and temperature instructions. Accurate timing reduces the need for repeated opening and closing of the oven door to check on cooking progress. Each time the oven is opened, the oven cools by 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
o On an electric stove, begin with high heat then decrease the temperature as the food starts to boil or bubble. Switch off the surface element a few minutes before cooking is complete. Electric stoves remain hot for a few minutes after they have been switched off.
o During warmer days, do your major cooking in the cooler evening or early morning hours. Try to use the range top instead of the oven.