How To Make Your Kitchen More Energy Efficient

Look around your kitchen. Do you see any appliances with a small blue sticker that says "ENERGY STAR" on it? If so, you're already on your way to saving energy and money on your next power bill. If you don't see that sticker anywhere, it might be time to upgrade some or all of your appliances to more efficient, cost-effective models.

The ENERGY STAR symbol was created in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help consumers make informed choices about the types of products they buy (via The EPA sets the standards for energy performance of things like appliances, homes, or even buildings. An ENERGY STAR rating shows consumers that the product they are purchasing will save them money by reducing the amount of energy they use. According to the EPA, over seven billion ENERGY STAR products have been sold since the beginning of the program. So what are the best products you should be buying to help make your kitchen more energy efficient? It turns out, the newer the model, the more energy savings you'll likely see.

Your biggest appliances may be your biggest problem

One of the biggest energy users in your kitchen is also one of the biggest appliances. You might be tempted to shop for a refrigerator based on fancy touch screens or special doors, but an ENERGY STAR rating means upgraded cooling and lighting systems, and that means big savings for you (via Ross & Witmer). Fridges with the freezer on the bottom are less wasteful since heat rises and it takes more energy to cool down a freezer-top model. And check to see if the refrigerator you're buying is organized in a way that makes sense for your use. This way you won't have to open it as much or keep it open as long, letting out that precious cold air (via Monogram).

If you have a dishwasher that's more than 20 years old, you're probably putting more than soapy water down the drain. The energy and money you're spending from the extra ten gallons of water used for each cycle is just plain wasteful. Using induction cooktops and convection ovens and ranges is another great way to make your kitchen more energy efficient. They can reduce both the time and energy needed to cook food. But, no matter which appliances you choose to upgrade, you can feel good about helping save energy, while keeping a little more money in your bank account.