It may be shocking, but the greatest source of pollution isn’t our cars, it is our homes. Several of the things we use daily require lots of electricity. Fortunately, there are ways to curb the amount of electricity that we use so the pollution is lessened. Using energy efficient appliances is one way to accomplish this.
When shopping for green appliances, the kitchen is an easy place to start. Large appliances, like ovens, are probably where most people would start their conversion to green. From glass-front ovens and induction stove-tops to solar ovens, it’s easy to find an oven to fit your needs. Newer eco-ovens also have better insulation and tighter-fitting gaskets and hinges.
In order to find an energy efficient oven that is right for you, always consider the purchase price versus the energy usage of an appliance. Eco-ovens may cost more initially than standard ovens, but they save money in the long run by requiring less energy when in use. These ovens are designed to be more sustainable than a standard oven. The initial sticker shock might be a concern but you will save money in the long run.
Additionally, when considering an eco-friendly oven, make sure there is room for proper ventilation when measuring the space the new oven will occupy. Understanding your cooking needs will also ensure a safe and happy energy efficient oven purchase.
Here are the general types of ovens that are on the market:
• Conventional Ovens — these can be gas or electric. Gas is about three times as efficient as electric. Since heat rises food on lower racks will not cook at the same rate as food on the higher racks. Thankfully there are not many of these left on the market.
• Convection Ovens — these are fan forced ovens which means that heated air is circulated evenly. This allows them to be much more energy efficient than conventional ovens. They use one-third less energy than conventional ovens and cook food faster.
• Combination cookers — these are combination convection ovens and microwaves, allowing you to use the minimum amount of energy for what you are cooking.
• Fan assisted ovens — these are like conventional ovens but have a fan in the back that helps circulate the heat that is coming up from the bottom so that the temperature is more even throughout the oven. These use about 20% less energy than standard ovens.
• Microwave ovens — these are smaller and are the best option when you are just reheating. They can save 80% of the costs of an electric oven.
If Energy Star ratings can’t easily be found as you look for your oven, you can still look at the Energy Guide labels to determine things such as approximate yearly cost.
A good rule of thumb, however, is that smaller ovens, as well as ovens that will take less cooking time, are going to be more energy efficient. Also, self-cleaning ovens are more efficient because they are better insulated which means that they will require less energy for cooking. Gas models often have electric ignitions which are more energy efficient than ovens that require a pilot light to get it started.