The kitchen is the heart of the home, and likely where you and your kids spend a large portion of your family time. Doing what you can to improve energy efficiency in the kitchen can do wonders for your monthly utility bills. Creating a comfortable, safe space for your family means investing today so that you can reap the benefits tomorrow and for years to come. Keep these energy-saving tips in mind and transform your kitchen into a green haven.

Only Run Your Dishwasher When It’s Full

A simple task, but an effective one. Most dishwashers are designed to use the same amount of energy and water, no matter if they’re half full or completely stacked to the brim. Don’t waste precious resources on a half empty dishwasher. You can cut costs by half if you make the commitment to only running your dishwasher when it’s completely filled. Also try to avoid hand-washing. You might think it saves water, but it’s actually the opposite. Running a dishwasher requires around one-third of the water it takes most people to hand wash their dishes in the sink.

Take Care of Dripping Taps

Have you become accustomed to the regular plunk of water droplets in your kitchen sink? Dripping taps are a bigger deal than you might expect. If your tap is steadily dripping, in just one hour you can waste up to a liter of water. If the water leaking from your tap is heated, you’re also wasting a great deal of energy. If you don’t have the resources or knowledge to fix the dripping tap, by all means, hire a professional. Their one-time-fee will save you tons in wasted energy and water bill expenses down the road. Avoid putting hot leftovers in the fridge; it’ll have to work harder to maintain the cool temperature, costing you more.

Some Refrigerator Tips

It’s easy to waste energy when it comes to the refrigerator. This appliance in constantly running and racking up your utility bill. Beyond investing in an energy efficient refrigerator, there are steps you can take to reduce wasted energy. Instead of opening your fridge and gazing at its contents, decide what you want before opening the door—standing in front of your open refrigerator can cost you around $50 a year, and it accounts for seven percent of total appliance use according to Home Energy Magazine. If you’re putting and liquids or leftovers in your fridge, make sure you cover them with lids or saran wrap, because excess moisture in your fridge will make it work harder, which causes more energy loss.

Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances

With so many appliances, the kitchen is a hotbed of energy usage. If you want to cut down on these expenses and overwhelming waste, you may need to consider upgrading your appliances with energy efficient options. From ovens to refrigerators and everything in between, just one appliance upgrade could make all the difference in your energy usage and bill.

When it Comes to Lighting

If you have a skylight, you likely love the interior lighting it provides during the day. Skylights can also make your kitchen look dramatically larger. However, skylights can also contribute to major heat loss. According to ConsumerEnergyCenter.org, a skylight in the roof of a house will generally lose around 35 to 45 percent more heat during cold weather, thanks to rising heated air. Luckily, there have been many advancements in window design. There are now skylight panes that prevent heat loss; some are even capable of being opened, which means natural cooling abilities when the hot summer months roll around. Replacing your skylight may be an expensive endeavor, but its benefits will be long-lasting. If you’re worried about the costs, check if you qualify for home improvement financing from a company like Renovate America. Their PACE financing program helps homeowners pay for energy efficient upgrades through their property taxes, meaning your skylight doesn’t need to paid in full when installed.

Going green in your kitchen doesn’t need to cost a fortune, and few simple fixes could see your family saving hundreds in energy bills and cutting back on energy waste. Keep these tips in mind and make a difference in your home.

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