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Save Energy Simply

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Save Energy With One Simple Step #8

We’re up to tip number 8 of my Save Energy With One Simple Step series.  That’s a whole lot of potential energy savings to be made without doing an awful lot!

Today’s tip is about saving energy in the kitchen.  Which, whatever form of energy you’re talking about, then I am all for!

So, tip number 8:

microwaves more energy efficient

Microwave it.

I don’t know how you feel about microwaves.  Growing up we never had one as my parents worried about “rays”, and I never had one myself until my mid-twenties.  Then, when I worked in my first proper job I treated myself to one, and I’ve never been without one since.  I still don’t know about the “rays” (high-frequency radio waves) but what I do know is that modern microwaves can use around 50 to 65% less energy than an oven to cook your food, depending on what you’re cooking (according to the Consumer Energy Centre).

You see, microwaves work by using those high-frequency radio waves to heat water molecules inside the food.  This makes them ideal for cooking small quantities of food, very quickly.  With small quantities of food, not only do they cook in minutes (or less) but you’re also saving energy through the fact that you don’t need to preheat your oven.  My electric oven takes an age to heat up (15 minutes or so to 200 degrees C) so for every portion of food I cook in the microwave, I’m saving at least 25 minutes of oven electricity.

For large quantities of food, then it’s always more efficient to use your hob or oven, due to the larger content of water molecules and the differing way that hobs and ovens cook food.  In terms of energy efficiency – microwaves are the most energy efficient, followed by hobs, followed by ovens.  So look to cook your food on the hob first, before the oven, if you can.

So there you have it: for large portions of food – use your oven or hob.  For small portions of food – microwave it.  Apart from a baked potato – I hate microwaved baked potatos so I’ll give you that one exception!

And today, as I’m in a good mood, I’ll give you two tips for the price of one: remember to switch your microwave off at the wall when you’re done so you’re not wasting energy powering the microwave’s clock!

AND as I feel like spoiling you even more, here’s a link to some surprising uses for microwaves, including sterilising sponges without the use of bleach, and sterilising garden soil to make it fit for planting seedlings in.  Don’t say I’m not good to you!

See you next Thursday for the next tip, in the meantime keep your eye out for my next post, coming up shortly!

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Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Save Energy With One Simple Step #7

I’m up to tip number seven in my weekly series of how to save energy simply.  If you missed any then you can find all the tips here.

Today we’re going back to the fridge and freezer with tip number seven:

pack your freezer to save energy

Fill For Efficiency.

Is your freezer looking a little bit on the empty side?  Perhaps it’s a few days before you do a food shop and all you’ve got in there is a bag of frozen peas and a tub of indiscriminate contents (we’ve all been there!)?  Or maybe you never really have much food in your freezer to begin with.  Well, you could be pouring energy down the drain.

Freezers work best when they are full.  This is because freezers expend most energy when they have to cool down the warm air that gets in when you open the door to take food out.  A packed to the brim freezer means there is less room for warm air, and the frozen goods in the freezer cool down any wam air that does make it’s way in, meaning your freezer doesn’t have to work quite so hard.

So go wild and pack your freezer to the brim!  You don’t have to spend a fortune on food – plastic bottles filled with water will do the trick, as will freezer bags filled with ice cubes.  Styrofoam blocks will also do just the job.

A handy bonus is that if you have a power-cut it will take much longer for your food to defrost.

fridge tips to save energy

Fridges are slightly different beasts.  If you pack your fridge too tightly then you’ll over-work your fridge, using much more energy that you need to.  Your food will cool too much, and perhaps even freeze, and trust me, nobody wants frozen lettuce.  Other food might not cool enough, and nobody wants a tummy bug either.  Especially not frozen lettuce and a tummy bug at the same time!  So make so you don’t overpack your fridge and that air can circulate easily.

Again, you won’t save hundreds of pounds but if you change your habits and implement little energy saving steps here and there, like the ones that I’ve mentioned throughout this series (tips that don’t take too much effort), then these savings will soon add up, which is always a good thing!

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