Are your kitchen appliances turning the heat up on your energy costs?
Shaun Penticost from Holmewood Interiors talks about how to save money in the kitchen.
Did you know that three of the top five energy-hungry appliances in a home are found in the kitchen, with lighting and consumer electronics taking the other two spots? Reducing energy consumption and spiraling energy costs are currently hot topics. With this in mind, I recently saw a Which running costs report that stated that by using poor energy-efficient appliances, you could add £490 a year to your bills. It was dated November 2021 and the figure will now have increased considerably after the recent energy price increases. However, the report does go on to say that by using the most efficient appliances, this cost could be reduced to just £154 a year.
So, anyone like me who has had the dubious honour of watching a smart meter rapidly counting up, will know that heating and cooling appliances use the greatest amounts of electricity. That includes your hobs, ovens, fridges, freezers and washing machines.
Cooking up a storm
In the kitchen, for energy efficiency induction hobs come out top every time, and we closely monitor the Neff, Siemens, Bosch and Falmec product updates to ensure our customers can find the best fit for them. The benefit of an induction hob is that it generates all of its heat into the saucepan and no heat is lost to the surrounding air before it reaches the food. However, to maximise the energy savings, it is important to use cookware that is made for induction, rather than saucepans that ‘will work’ on induction, as they use less power for faster heating results.
As part of our Holmewood Interiors’ customer service commitment, we always check to see how our clients are finding their newly fitted kitchens. The most frequent comment that always makes me smile is when I’m told how much faster a new oven cooks. Few realise that over time the seals that trap the heat in an oven degrade. Heat is lost, more energy is used to maintain cooking temperatures, and the cooking times and costs increase. So it is worth considering whether your oven could be costing you more than it should.
Put the kettle on, or not?
And, still on the heating theme … have you ever worked out how many times a day you boil a kettle? Although many may consider it an extravagant luxury, this is where a boiling water tap comes into its own. To have boiling, chilled, filtered and sparkling water ‘on-tap,’ you could be surprised to learn that a Quooker tap only costs around 3p a day to run. Compare this to the cost of boiling a full kettle several times a day at 2.5p each time, along with the ‘estimate’ that a hot water tap draws up to 50% less energy than a traditional kettle, and you have to consider whether this is now a luxury or a cost saving must have.
With a Quooker tap, you only run the exact amount of boiling water you want into your mug. You never waste electricity boiling more water than you need and you do not have to waste water running the tap a bit to get cold water to drink. This tap is energy saving, does reduce water wastage and is a sustainable purchase, as with on-tap sparkling water you reduce your plastic bottle waste too.
Lighting up or switching off?
Lastly, let’s take a look at lighting as it holds the number four slot on the energy-consuming home appliances list. Your kitchen is arguably the most used room in the house, and it, therefore, stands to reason that a good proportion of your energy usage for lighting will come from this room. Most kitchens are multi-functional. Yes, we prepare food and cook here, but it is also the focal point in the home, a place to chat with family and friends, set up a work-from-home area, and to help the children plough through their homework too. So, the lighting mix needs to be warm and ambient to relax in, as well as being bright and clear to work in.
Good lighting will alter the whole look and feel of a room and the different tones and formats of energy-efficient LED light does just this. Dated strip lights can be changed to LED down lighters and the under-unit fluorescent tubes switched to cost-saving LEDs. Different moods can be created with LED pendant lighting above kitchen tables and islands, whilst being styled to look elegant, modern, retro or sumptuous; all very achievable whilst reducing your energy bills too.
But savings can go even further with the use of clever technology. For example, lights can be placed on sensors in cupboards so that it activates when the door is opened – think of your fridge light. You only use the light you need when the door is open, so the whole room does not need to be floodlit to find just one mug!
Taking the time to carefully consider energy efficiency when designing your kitchen and choosing new appliances will help to reduce your energy costs. If you would like further information, or more tips on how to use your appliances as efficiently as possible, please visit our website www.holmewoodinteriors.co.uk , call us on 01403 254090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will always do what we can to help.
If you like this post from Horsham kitchen designer Shaun Penticost, then you may also like: