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Not many people can survive without a dishwasher, fridge, or stove. However, kitchen appliances account for a large percentage of your energy bills. In fact, energy experts say that freezers and fridges are the main energy guzzlers in homes—after central heating—and use up to 20% of a home’s electricity. Since nearly every SA home has a refrigerator that is used throughout the day, it’s a wise choice to invest in energy-efficient kitchen appliances in order to decrease the amount of energy and water you use. Here are some tips to help you choose the best energy-efficient appliances for your kitchen.
How to Choose the Best Energy-Efficient Kitchen Appliances
Buy energy-efficient appliances and lower your energy bills
Image via: Energy Star Ideas
Look For the ENERGY STAR Label
ENERGY STAR is a government-backed label for energy efficiency that is placed on energy-efficient products. It not only helps you to save money, it helps you to protect the environment. The symbol was established to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and diverse pollutants brought about by the ineffective use of energy. It makes it easy for people to identify and buy energy-efficient appliances which help them to reduce their utility bills without forgoing comfort, performance, and advanced features.
ENERGY STAR qualified products are 10%-50% more energy efficient than regular products. They also adhere to strict technical specifications which are continually updated. For example, dishwashers with the ENERGY STAR label have lower energy consumption and minimal water use. Some offer great performance and do not make a lot of noise.
Scrutinize the Construction
If you want to save energy in your kitchen, the first appliance you have to change is the refrigerator—the major energy sucker. If your fridge was manufactured before 1993, it’s high time you changed it. While purchasing a new refrigerator is an added expense, one with an ENERGY STAR label will cost half as much to run. Buy a fridge with a freezer on top, as it will use 10%-25% less energy than one with a bottom-mounted freezer or a freezer on the side.
Examine your kitchen appliances carefully before buying them
Image via: Stanton Homes
Avoid buying a fridge with an automatic ice-maker and dispenser, as it will increase your energy use by 14%-20%. The ice-maker and dispenser will also amplify the buying price. In general, the bigger the unit, the more energy it will expend. One thing most people don’t know is that some types of food last longer outside the fridge. Fruits, for instance, rot much faster when placed in the fridge because they exude ethylene gas as they ripen. When this gas is trapped in the fridge, it causes them to rot. If you must buy a standalone freezer, steer clear of an upright one and choose a chest freezer, as it is more energy efficient.
Another appliance you must carefully analyze before buying is a stove. The stove you acquire should have burners that can properly accommodate your pots and pans. When you use the right cookware on burners, you can save as much as R250 a year for a gas stove and R450 a year for an electric stove. Always keep the burners clean to make sure they operate efficiently. When they have blue flames, it means the combustion is good, but if the flames are yellow, it means the gas is burning inefficiently and service may be required.
Compare Gas with Electric Stove Tops
Many people prefer to cook with gas because it offers instant-on heat, it doesn’t waste a lot of heat once cooking is done, and you can easily control temperatures. If you love gas stove tops, keep in mind that the lesser the BTU output, the lower the energy it will consume. If you prefer electric stoves, pick one that uses induction elements, as these are more which is more energy-efficient. Induction elements transport electromagnetic energy straight to the pan, leaving the cook-top relatively cool and consuming a lot less energy than standard coil elements. The only drawback of cook-tops with induction elements is that they can only be used with metal cookware and they are mostly found on higher-priced models, as the technology is fairly new. Electric stoves use up less energy those that use gas, which add between 25%-39% carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide to the air. Whether you decide to buy a gas stove or an electric one, choose the most energy-efficient model. Pick one you will be able to live with for a long period of time.
An electric stove is more energy-efficient than a gas one
Image via: Columbia Cabinets
When shopping for kitchen appliances, you might be tempted to buy the cheapest ones. However, the cheapest appliances can cost you a lot of money in the long run. Don’t just think about the purchase price, but also consider the expenses involved in running them. Think about how much it will cost to operate them, maintain them, and even repair them. Choose energy-efficient kitchen appliances to save yourself money and also to help save the planet.