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The kitchen is the biggest water and energy using rooms in your home. Think about it!

We pay $69 a year to operate a new fridge, $5 a year to power a coffee maker, and $51 a year to run a separate freezer, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Kitchens are home to appliances that use a lot of electricity, such as the fridge, and ones that use a lot of water, such as the dishwasher. We use these appliances several times a day, so using them as efficiently as possible will help your saving add up quickly!

Refrigerators and Freezers: A Big Part Of Your Energy Bill

The fridge accounts for almost 7% of the average home's utility, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Older models cost a lot more to run. Fridges made before 1980 cost $150 more a year to operate than new Energy Star Models.

To Save Energy:

  • Stick to the right temperature. Keep your fridge between 36 degrees Fahrenheit and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Set your freezer between 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep the freezer full. It works more efficiently full than empty.
  • Defrost manual-defrost models to keep them efficient.
  • If you have a second fridge, unplug it. It can cost between $100 and $200 a year to operate.
  • When buying a new fridge, choose an Energy Star model. It will be !5% more efficient than a regular model.
  • Check the door seals. If they are loose, replace them.

What you can do:

Use Your dishwasher

Why? You can save 5,000 gallons of water each year and $40 in utility costs using a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand, according to Energy Star.

Wash only full loads of dishes

Why? It costs exactly they same to wash one dish as it does to wash a full loan of dishes.

Check your refrigerator's temperature

Why? You lose money if you keep it too cold. To check, put one thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator and another between packages in the freezer. Read them after 24 hours. The temperature should be between 36 degrees fahrenheit and 38 degrees fahrenheit in the refrigerator and 0 degrees fahrenheit and 5 degrees fahrenheit in the freezer.

Use the air-dry option on your dishwasher

Why? It saves energy and keeps the machine from using a heating element to bake your dishes dry.

Scrape dishes instead of pre-rinsing them

Why? Dishwashers made in the past 5 to 10 years can clean even heavily soiled dishes without pre-rinsing.

Use microwaves and crock pots to cook small meals

Why? The use less energy than the stove or oven.

Keep the inside of your microwave clean

Why? It improves the efficiency of your microwave.

Use lids

Why? When cooking, lids keep steam in and help food cook more quickly, which saves energy.

The above estimates for energy savings vary by region and for each individual family.

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