Time to replace your old stove? Not sure what to get? If you are in the market for a new oven, there are many options to consider. First step is to decide on the type of oven that you want. Here is some info on the different options:
- Conventional Ovens—These can be gas or electric—gas is about three times as efficient as electric. The higher temperature rises to the top which means that food on lower racks will not cook at the same rate as food on the higher racks. You do not find too many of these type ovens these days.
- 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 much more quickly.
- Combination cookers—These combine 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—We know you know these well! Because these are smaller they are the best option when you are just reheating. These can save 80% than an electric oven.
While you will not find the Energy Star rating as you look for your oven as they are not available for cooking appliances, you can still look at the EnergyGuide 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.
Below are some recommendations of energy efficient ovens:
- The Green Guide recommends Wolf built-in ovens. In 2000, Wolf became part of the Sub-Zero company. Sub-Zero is one of the Top 10 Green Brands according to the ImagePower Green Brands Survey and has a strong history of being green. These ovens begin at around $4000.Their website, discusses the “eco-friendly kitchen” and provides advice for remodeling kitchens in an environmentally considerate way. You may want to check that out as you begin to update your kitchen.
- The US Appliance site lists the Viking Combi Steam Convection Oven Professional Series and the Viking Combi Steam Convection Oven Designer Series as some of the energy efficient products they offer. They both have electronic steam systems which uses water and energy efficiently. The site also recommends the Viking 30” Gas Open Burner Range Professional Series which has natural airflow baking for quicker and more even heat-up. It has convection heating with fan forced air. You can also check out many of the other Viking ovens that are recommended and find the one that will best meet your needs. The price of these ovens begins at around $2700.
- Miele offers the Speed Oven which combines a microwave and a convection oven, allowing you to use just what you need for whatever food you are preparing. This will allow you to reduce the amount of energy needed. These begin at around $2800.You can read about Miele’s commitment to low energy consumption in their Sustainability Report.
- The Electrolux Icon Designer Series 30” High Speed Oven also combines a microwave and convection oven to increase energy efficiency. The 30” Electric Wall Oven from the same series has what it calls the “Wave-Touch Control Panel Technology” which allows you to make sure that everything will be finished at the same time with each part of the meal cooked to exactly the right temperature for exactly the right amount of time. Also, the clear door allows you to peek in at what’s cooking without having to open the door and let out the heat. These ovens begin at about $1700. (http://www.electroluxusa.com/node13.aspx?categoryid=3114 ) Check out Electrolux’s Sustainability Report as well.
- The Bosch ovens are known for their efficiency. The new 500 series allows for multiple rack cooking. These ovens feature the Genuine European Convection which includes a third heating element that surrounds a two-speed fan. This leads to faster cooking and less energy consumption. Also, the oven preheats in less than 6 minutes. The 500 Series ovens begin at around $1800.
That should get you started. The U.S. Department of Energy EERE (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) site can always provide additional information before you purchase any appliances.