As the days are progressing deeper into the winter, temperature has started to drop dramatically.

End result to this? Well, a pricey utility bill coming from excessive use of heating appliances at home. If you’ve ever managed utility bills for your home, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about — though electric costs surge in both summer and winter due to use of A/C and heaters respectively, winter costs tend to be even higher than those of summer time. With combination of high utility costs with Christmas and New Year holidays, winter season really puts a lot of stress on us financially with a burden of spending money for ourselves (utility costs) as well as for others (holiday gifts). Especially this year, with the economy being still cold as it is, this financial burden could hit on us even more critically.

So to help you cut back on your winter spending, I’m providing you with some simple tips to save money this season: And yes, as this blog is named “Green Your Kitchen”, these are tips to save on your kitchen utility costs 🙂

Refrigerator

1) Refrigerator/Freezer — According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a few simple adjustments can trim roughly up to 40~50% of operating costs associated with refrigerator and freezer. First is to adjust the thermostat to appropriate temperature: 37~40 F degrees for refrigerator and 0~5 for freezer. By having the thermostat set at the right temperature and not make it too cold can save up to 25% of your fridge’s energy consumption. Cleaning the condenser coils on the rear or bottom of the fridge allows for easier cool air-flow, and thus cut energy cost. In addition, using an ice tray instead of automatic ice maker can also cut energy consumption by up to 20%.

Oven

2) Oven and Ranges — When using your burner, match the burner size to that of a pan. When using a small pan, use a smaller burner and save the large burner only for those larger pans that cannot fit onto the smaller burner. For gas stoves, don’t let the flames lick the side of the pot. By matching the burner to pan, electricity won’t be wasted heating the kitchen rather than food, and thus you’ll see your electric bills shrink by little every time. Additionally, you can also save energy when using oven by eliminating preheating process and cutting the power several minutes before the end of cook time. Many cooks agree that preheating is totally unnecessary except for a few recipes such as baking, and by eliminating preheating time, you can cut back on time and energy. Also, by cutting the power before the cooking ends, you can put residual heat to work and cut back a few dollars every month.

Dishwasher

3) Dishwasher – Most dishwashers use the same amount of water and energy regardless of the amount of dishes in it. Thus, instead of running the washer when it’s only half-full, run the machine only when it is full and it will help you save on costs. Also, while many people believe they can save water and energy by hand washing dishes, the truth is that a dishwasher requires less than one-third the water it would take to do those same dishes in the sink, if run only when it’s full. Thus, doing so will not only save you a buck per month, you also won’t have to deal with hand-washing the dishes.

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