Doing everything you can to stay cool on these hot summer days means taking a good look at your kitchen. Many kitchen appliances give off a lot of heat, especially the oven. Using fewer appliances during the hot summer days can lower your energy bill and save money in the process.
What do you do to stay cool in the kitchen? Here are a few simple and inexpensive ways to help save energy and money in the kitchen during the dog days of summer:
- On hot days, avoid using the oven as much as possible. The heat from the oven can raise the temperature in your home, so oven cooking should be kept to a minimum. When you do need to bake in the oven, do it during evening hours when it’s cooler outside. Open some windows and use a fan to blow out the heat until you’re finished.
- Find cooler, more energy-efficient ways to prepare meals. Choose to eat more meals like salads or cold fruit that don’t require as much preparation. Use an outdoor grill, pull out the crockpot, cook on the stove or microwave oven, or maybe it’s a good day to go out for dinner.
- Use the microwave to heat liquids, rather than the stove. The microwave is faster and uses less electricity.
- Turn off lights and close blinds and curtains to keep the hot sun out. Take advantage of the daylight instead of artificial lighting. Avoid direct sunlight and install window coverings to prevent heat gain. Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Switch lights to energy-saving bulbs.
- Use fans for additional ventilation. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan allows you to raise the thermostat about four degrees and remain comfortable. This will make your home more energy-efficient. Also, turn off all fans when leaving a room and make sure kitchen fans are vented to the outside.
- Keep activities that generate heat to a minimum. This includes running a computer, burning open flames, dishwashers, and using other hot devices like toaster ovens, deep fryers and etc. Even stereos and televisions can produce heat in your home.
- Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near a room’s air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from the appliances and causes the unit to run longer than necessary.
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting. Water heating accounts for about 18 percent of energy consumption in homes. You’re probably showering in cooler water than you would in winter, anyway.
- Run your dishwasher at night to reduce the load on your air conditioner. Dishwashers mainly use electricity to heat water and for drying. Reduce energy use by turning off the heated dry switch on the dishwasher and leaving the door propped open after washing is complete. The hot dishes will quickly air-dry.
- Refrigerator and freezer doors should remain closed as much as possible. Avoid placing hot items in the refrigerator.