When it comes to using electricity in your home, kitchen appliances can empty your wallet fast. In fact, the kitchen accounts for about 30% of your electric bill. Today’s kitchen appliances include refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, microwaves and smaller appliances like mixers, coffee pots and blenders. When you consider how many kitchen appliances you use every day, it is no wonder that your electric meter is spinning. However, there are ways that smart and savvy buyers can save money by choosing smart kitchen appliances.
Fridges and Freezers Not all kitchen appliances use the same amount of energy. In fact, refrigerators and freezers account for about two-thirds of the energy used in your kitchen, because it takes a lot of energy to keep food in a continuously cold or frozen state. To help consumers choose more energy-efficient refrigerators, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Blue Star rating for appliances that consume less energy, while still providing the necessary power to run a modern kitchen. Blue Star labels identify refrigerators that are at least 15 percent more energy efficient than the federal minimum. Another way to save money is to choose a refrigerator with the freezer on top or bottom, because side-by-side fridges use more energy. Automatic ice makers and water dispensers also use more energy and increase electricity consumption. Stoves When choosing a stove, it is important to pick an energy-efficient oven with the smallest amount of heat-leakage. Look for a stove with the Blue Star label to guarantee the highest level of efficiency. In addition, electric ranges use much less energy than gas stoves. In fact, the efficiency level for an electric cook-top stove is about 85 percent, because you heat the food directly, and the source of energy is turned off the moment you are done cooking. Electric coil stoves are the least energy efficient, because they take time to heat up and use a lot of energy to do so. Gas-powered stoves are the biggest offender, using about 16 percent more energy than electric ovens. Gas stoves use electric and gas to heat, so you are actually using two energy sources. Microwaves are more energy efficient than either gas or electric stoves, but can only be used to cook small meals. Dishwashers The dishwashers used today have changed a lot since their debut many years ago. Not only are current models more energy efficient, but they also use less water, improving energy consumption while lowering your water bill. When choosing a dishwasher, look for models with the Energy Star rating, which are about 20 percent more efficient than the federal minimum. Some innovative models now feature energy-saving options like soil-sensing technology, in which a sensor detects how dirty the dishes are to consume less energy. Look for a dishwasher that has a heat-free drying option, because additional electricity is used to heat-dry the dishes. Some manufacturers also offer eco features, which when activated, lowers the water temperature for a more energy-efficient wash. No matter what kitchen appliances you need, there are always ways to save.