Because your stove uses a ton of energy, following some simple conservation tips can have a significant impact on range energy use. Because your stove generates a lot of residual heat, how and when you cook can also affect how much energy your air conditioner uses as well.
Lower your home’s energy use by following this advice when cooking on your stove.
General Tips for Saving Energy When Cooking
Follow these general tips to help conserve energy when cooking.
- During the summer, avoid cooking with your stove during the hottest time of the day. Use the microwave, toaster oven or air fryer instead of the stove during hot weather. This will put less strain on your air conditioner and it will use less energy to keep your home cool. *Use the range hood to help remove heat from the kitchen when cooking during the summer.
- Plan your meals and use the stove efficiently. Try to cook multiple dishes in succession, taking advantage of the residual heat from previous dishes to reduce energy usage.
- If you have a self-cleaning oven, use the self-clean cycle early in the morning or late at night because that cycle will release lots of heat into your kitchen.
- Ensure that your stove is properly maintained. Have a Sears Technician professionally clean and maintain your stove yearly. During Clean & Maintain service, the tech will:
- Check control operation. Range controls are checked for accurate temperature control of the oven and stovetop burners. Faulty controls can cause the range to waste energy when overheating occurs.
- Examine oven door alignment and clean the oven door gasket. A loose door gasket or bent door hinges can prevent the oven door from sealing, allowing heat to escape during baking. You’ll wind up paying higher energy bills because the burner ignites more often and stays burning longer to heat the oven. The technician adjusts and cleans the oven door gasket to make sure it seals the oven door properly.
- Test oven self-cleaning operation. On ranges that have self-cleaning ovens, the service technician checks the control and oven door lock to make sure the oven door stays completely closed during the self-cleaning cycle. During the self-cleaning operation, the oven heats to extremely high temperatures to burn spills and residue inside the oven to ash. To prevent energy waste and excessive heat from escaping into your kitchen, the technician makes sure that the self-cleaning cycle and oven components work properly.
- Check and clean the stovetop burners. The technician cleans and checks electric elements to make sure they’re operating properly and efficiently. On a gas range, the technician cleans, checks and adjusts the surface burners to prevent energy waste.
- Check oven burners or elements. The technician examines and adjusts oven burners in a gas range or electric elements in an electric range so they heat efficiently.
- Inspect readily accessible electrical wiring. The technician will check the wiring on gas and electric ranges, for insulation damage, proper grounding and secure connections. Damaged wiring or wiring that’s not secure can cause inefficient heating and energy waste.
Use Cooktop Burners Efficiently
Follow these tips to save energy when cooking on your stovetop.
Keep Burners Clean
Clean the burners regularly to ensure efficient heat transfer. For gas burners, clean the slots in the burner heads as shown in this video.
The gas burners will heat properly and burn efficiently when they’re clean.
For an electric stove with coil burners, clean or replace the drip pans regularly so the elements heat efficiently. Coil burners don’t heat as well when the drip pans are dirty because the pans don’t efficiently reflect heat back up to the bottom of the cookware.
Use the Right Type and Size of Cookware
Use this advice to save energy by using the right type of cookware on your stovetop.
- Buy pots and pans with thick bottoms made of aluminum alloys that transfer heat efficiently from the flame or element on the stove top to the cooking surface inside the cookware. Spending a little extra on quality cookware can save you money on energy bills over time.
- Use the size of cookware that matches the heating element or burner that you’re cooking on. Don’t use a small pot or pan on a big burner. You’ll waste a lot of heat and energy using a large burner to heat a small cookware.
- Replace any cookware that has a warped bottom. Flat-bottomed cookware allows for better heat transfer. Pots or pans that don’t sit flat on a cooking element surface can require twice the energy to heat properly.
- Use lids on cookware when possible. Covering your pots and pans with lids helps to trap heat and cook your food more efficiently. This reduces cooking time and saves energy.
Tips for Using Your Oven Efficiently
Follow this advice for using your oven efficiently to help save energy.
Preheating the oven is necessary for some recipes but not for others. You typically don’t need to preheat the oven when roasting meat for hours at low temperatures. Don’t preheat the oven unless it’s necessary for the dish that you’re baking.
For foods that require precise temperature control, like cookies and cakes, preheating is important. Follow recipe instructions for preheating the oven when necessary.
When you preheat an oven with a hidden bake element, use the broiler element to preheat the oven more efficiently.
- Start the oven in the Broil mode.
- After 5 minutes, turn off the broiler and set the Bake mode at the desired temperature.
- Load the oven as soon as the Preheat Light turns off.
Using the broiler element to preheat the oven will typically cut the preheat time in half for ovens with a hidden bake element. This will save significant energy over time.
Leave Space between Dishes
When baking multiple dishes simultaneously, make sure to leave enough space between them for air circulation. Crowding the oven can lead to uneven cooking and longer cooking times. Consider using multiple racks or baking dishes of appropriate sizes to optimize the use of space.
Use the Convection Mode
When your oven has a convection fan, use it. Convection ovens circulate hot air, resulting in more even cooking and reduced cooking times. By using convection mode, you can usually reduce the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and often reduce baking time to use less energy while achieving the same baking results.
Avoid Opening the Oven Door to Peek at Food
Opening the oven door to peek at food allows heat to escape the oven cavity and lengthens the bake time. Avoid wasting energy by looking at food through the oven door window.
Implementing these energy-saving tips can help reduce your energy consumption while using the stove, leading to lower utility bills and a more eco-friendly kitchen.