With a vacuum attachment, carefully clean the coils.

• Clean your microwave often. This keeps it running efficiently while also preventing residual food odors from seeping into other dishes. Boiling a bowl of water with lemon in it will freshen up the microwave and soften caked-on spills and splatters so that you can easily wipe them up.

• Cook several things in your oven at once. Preparing several dishes—or even meals—at the same time can save you time, money, and energy. Just freeze what you don’t need to eat immediately.

• Consider whether or not you even need to use your oven to heat your meal. Perhaps a smaller appliance—such as a pressure cooker, wok, or toaster oven—will cook your food more quickly and efficiently.

• Do tasks by hand, when possible. Using manual eggbeaters and can openers instead of their electric counterparts can save energy and money over time.

• Clean your gas stovetop after cooking. This ensures that your gas jets will work efficiently and that your food will heat evenly and in a timely manner. For more on this maintenance, see How to Clean & Maintain a Stovetop or Kitchen Range.

• Make sure the flames on your gas range are burning blue. Yellow flames mean that your range is not operating efficiently. To learn how to make adjustments, see How to Adjust a Gas Burner.

• Check to see that your oven door shuts tightly. A loose seal means heat loss and wasted energy. Carefully clean the oven door’s gasket and the place where it meets the cabinet with a commercial kitchen cleaning product or hot, soapy water to ensure that grease and food particles are not getting in the way of a good seal.

• Only run your dishwasher when it is stacked full of dishes. But do not over-fill your dishwasher; dishes that are packed in too tightly will not come out clean. For more on dishwashers, see Dishwasher Energy Efficiency.

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort