There are many things to consider when thinking about your home’s energy efficiency and where you can find energy savings. Scrutinizing energy use, your costs, and the many factors that impact them is not a high priority for most of us. Moreover, doing all that research for every appliance and service that is consuming energy in your home can be a real time-sink – and time is money too, right?
When it comes to kitchens, though, ovens are an energy hog that can drive up energy costs the fastest! If you have a very old oven, it may be a good long-term strategy to replace it. But, for most of us, that won’t feel like a cost reduction. Instead, here are a few quick and easy “best practices” for streamlining the efficiency of your oven.
Keep the door closed! Resist the urge to open the oven door while cooking, because this lets valuable heat escape. Make it a habit to use a timer so you can dial in precision cooking times and only open that door when you must! Make sure your oven light works so you can avoid feeling the need to open the door to check on your food.
What’s the platter? Whenever possible, use ceramic or glass dishes in the oven rather than metal sheet pans. They conduct heat more efficiently, allowing you to set the oven temperature down by as much as 25°F.
Clean it, but not after every meal. Limit running the self-cleaning cycle to no more than once per month as this is a significant use of energy.
Plan your installation and inspect your oven quarterly. If you are in the market for a new oven, give a little extra thought to the layout of your kitchen. If possible, install your oven far from your refrigerator to keep these two appliances from working against each other – or add foam insulation between the two if space is limited. Additionally, inspect the seals quarterly. Does the seal on your oven door show signs of charred deposits, gaps, or tears? If so, clean or replace it. If the seal isn’t in perfect working condition, you’re losing heat and costing yourself more than a little dough each month.