The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it can also use a lot of energy to keep up with busy families. That isn't good for the environment or your budget. 

Small changes can add up to big savings on your utility bill. For example, setting your dishwasher to air dry instead of heat dry uses up to 30 percent less energy. Also, if you're in the market for new appliance, consider an Energy Star qualified product. 

Check out our tips to save energy in your kitchen and see how much you can save.

  • Set thermometer to 140 degrees Fahrenheit if you have an automatic dishwasher. Otherwise, set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Reducing from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can save over 18 percent on energy costs.
  • Use the coolest water setting possible for washing clothes and household cleaning.
  • Turn off water heater when you will be away for the weekend unless there is the chance of freezing.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Insulate hot water storage tank and piping. Be sure not to block air vents. This can save $8-$20 per year.
  • Drain a few gallons of water from the tank every six months. This increases the efficiency and life of the water heater by removing sludge from the tank.
  • Use a water heater timer for electric units.
  • Provide annual maintenance, and keep the unit clean.
  • Purchase a new energy-efficient water heater with the proper capacity for your family's needs. If you're in the market for new appliance, always consider an Energy Star qualified product.