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Tips for Tiptop Kitchen Efficiency

Save money with these simple measures

The kitchen is one of the home’s biggest energy consumers, so keeping it in tiptop shape can help save money on your electric bill.

When replacing appliances, look for Energy Star-certified products. An Energy Star-rated refrigerator uses half as much electricity as a 15-year-old fridge, and an Energy Star-rated dishwasher is 12% more efficient than noncertified models.

Keep the refrigerator well stocked. A full fridge cools down faster after the door has been opened because of thermal mass.

Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

Turn off the heated dry function on your dishwasher and opt to air-dry dishes instead. Be sure to run only full loads, as dishwashers take the same amount of energy to wash a partial load as a full one.

Cover pots while cooking to keep the heat in and lessen cooking time by up to 10%.

Use the right size burner for your pot. A burner with a larger circumference than the pot wastes energy.

Cook with copper pots or copper-bottomed pots on electric stoves. Copper is an efficient conductor of electricity, which means it takes less time to get hot.

Make sure your pots and pans are flat on the bottom to ensure good contact with heating elements. Warped pots and pans don’t heat up as well and waste energy.

When you can, use your microwave instead of the range.

Don’t open the oven while baking. Opening the oven door can reduce the temp-erature by about 25 degrees each time. If you need to take a peek, turn on the oven light instead.

Use glass or ceramic dishes in the oven. They retain heat better than their metal counterparts, allowing lower oven temperatures when baking.

Unplug appliances when they’re not in use. Coffeepots, toasters and blenders can consume electricity even when they’re off.