Give Thanks This Year for Energy Efficient Appliances
This time of year tends to bring families together to celebrate the holidays. However, with the ongoing pandemic limiting travel plans and large family gatherings, this year’s Thanksgiving dinner may look a little different.
But there are still many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Whether you’re cooking for just yourself, a small group, or a larger outdoor gathering, remember to say “thank you” to your energy efficient kitchen appliances that make your Thanksgiving feast possible – all while saving you energy.
Thank you, oven
The MVP of Thanksgiving, your oven does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to cooking turkey. But is your oven an energy efficient model? The easiest way to know is by checking for the Energy Star seal of approval. Energy Star-certified ovens are guaranteed to cut down on your energy consumption.
Convection ovens are also more energy efficient. These ovens circulate air continuously, which reduces the cooking times and the temperature you need to thoroughly cook your food. According to the Department of Energy, you’ll consume about 20 percent less energy a month when you use a convection oven instead of a standard model.
What’s more, self-cleaning ovens also tend to be more energy efficient because they have better insulation. Remember to run your oven’s self-cleaning cycle once a month to clear away any buildup. This way, your oven will need less energy to reach the set temperature.
Thank you, stove
Typically, a gas range stovetop will use less energy than electric stoves. Why? Electricity can reach and heat up your gas stovetop three times quicker than an electric stove. As an energy efficient option, you could end up paying less than half as much with a gas range than an electric stove.
However, even if you don’t have the most energy efficient stove, you can still save energy. Remember to use a pan that fits the size of the burner you’re using. If you use a large burner to heat a small pan, you could be wasting more than 40 percent of the heat your stove is working to produce. If you follow this one simple tip, the DOE estimates you could save $36 a year on an electric stove and $18 annually for a gas stovetop.
When you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner, you should also choose your cookware with care. Using a flat-bottomed pot consumes 50 percent less energy to boil water than a pot with a warped bottom. You can also increase energy efficiency by using pans that are more conducive. For example, copper-bottomed pans heat up much faster than regular pans.
Thank you, refrigerator
Investing in an Energy Star-certified refrigerator is the quickest way to ensure energy efficiency. Refrigerators with the Energy Star certification consume 15 percent less energy than other models – and according to the EPA, these fridges use less energy than a 60W light bulb.
If you’re committed to your current refrigerator, there are other ways to make sure it is running at maximum efficiency this Thanksgiving. For starters, make sure your fridge’s doors are tightly sealed so it isn’t leaking cold air. Refrigerator seals get worn down over time, so be sure to replace them every couple of years.
And once your Thanksgiving dinner is finished, let your leftovers cool before putting them into the refrigerator. Putting hot food inside raises the temperature that your fridge is working so hard to keep cool.
Thank you, dishwasher
Once your Thanksgiving festivities have ended, you’ll likely feel extra-thankful for your dishwasher. Once again, Energy Star certified dishwashers are the most energy efficient options available. These models will save an average of 3,870 gallons of water over the course of its lifetime. These dishwashers typically consume 10 percent less energy than other models.
Of course, there are other ways to maintain efficiency even if your dishwasher isn’t Energy Star certified. Only run your dishwasher when it has reached full capacity. This habit ensures you get the most out of every cycle your dishwasher runs.
You can also turn the water temperature down on your home’s water tank. Heating the water is the most energy-intensive part of running your dishwasher. Turning your water tank thermostat down to 120 degrees can help you save a substantial amount of your dishwasher’s energy consumption.
Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.