Investing in energy efficient appliances is a great idea. As cooking takes up a proportion of your household’s gas and electricity bills, purchasing an energy efficient oven can save you money, and is better for the environment too.
Many features can affect the appliance’s efficiency.
Pyrolytic self-cleaning ovens tend to have much better insulation due to the high temperatures involved in the cleaning process. This extra insulation often means the oven is significantly more efficient. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the pyrolytic self-cleaning process uses quite a lot of energy.
Oven doors have come a long way in the last few years, with manufacturers adding extra insulation for better efficiency. If you’re after an efficient appliance, look for models with triple or even quadruple glazed doors, as these dramatically cut down the amount of heat that can escape.
If your oven is fitted with a bulb, you won’t have to open the door to keep an eye on your dishes. This means less heat will escape and less energy will be used.
Fan ovens not only allow for more consistent heat and cooking times, but they also allow you to cook at lower temperatures. This is another feature that can save energy.
As with nearly all household appliances, it’s worth starting your search for an efficient oven with the EU energy rating.
This handy grade helps give you an idea of how efficient the oven will be to run, and allows for easy comparison with other models. It ranges from A+++ (most efficient) to D (least efficient).
While an oven with a better energy efficiency rating may have a higher price, it’s worth calculating how much you’ll save over a less efficient model in the long-run. The energy label (or retailer’s product specifications) will list the kWh usage for conventional and/or convection cooking. The lower the number, the better.
While an oven with a better energy efficiency rating may have a higher initial cost, it’s worth calculating how much you’ll save over a less efficient model in the long-run.
One of the biggest choices to make about your oven is the fuel type.
There are pros and cons to both gas and electric, which you can read about in more detail in the earlier dedicated sections in the guide.
Overall, gas ovens tend to be cheaper to run than electric ovens, but the difference may not be that significant. Which? have calculated that using a gas oven over an electric oven will save you roughly £20 a year. This does add up over the appliance’s lifetime, but you may still prefer to go with an electric model if you want more features, or are more comfortable with using this fuel.
One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your oven and reduce the cost of your energy bills is to cook a little smarter.
While ovens are well insulated, a lot of heat escapes every time you open the door.
As nearly all ovens have glass doors and interior lights, you should be able to keep an eye on things with the door closed, keeping the heat inside. This is especially true if you go for a built-in model and install it at eye level.
If you have a double oven, use the right size cavity for the amount of cooking you’re doing. There’s little point using the larger oven if you’re just baking a small dish, as you’re heating space you don’t need.
It’s also recommended to cut your food into smaller pieces. This not only reduces the cooking time, but you’re also less likely to overcook your items.
Get to know how long it roughly takes for your oven to preheat, so you can start cooking as soon it reaches temperature.
If you’re using a big oven, try cooking more than you need to make the best use of the space. You can then refrigerate or freeze the leftovers, ready for heating up on a different day. This saves both energy and time.