Hosting guests for Thanksgiving is a great way of bringing family and friends together, but what with all the cooking, cleaning, TV-blaring and generally increased activity, the holiday can cause a spike in your home energy use. Here's our list of tips for getting the most out of the holiday without sending your energy bill skyrocketing:
- Cook in glass and ceramic dishes. These hold heat better than their metal equivalents and allow you to lower the oven temperature for more efficient cooking.
- Cook sides with the turkey. Planning on having side dishes in the oven at the same time as the turkey is not only energy-efficient because it shortens the amount of time the oven is left on, it's also a time-saver. A turkey takes a long time to cook, so it can help with your overstuffed schedule to double up in the oven.
- Don't hand-wash dishes. And don't pre-rinse them — simply scrape them off and load them into the dishwasher to avoid wasting water.
- Don't peek into the oven. Opening the oven door leads to a temperature loss of 25 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's best to either contain your curiosity or check on the turkey through the oven window.
- Lower your thermostat. The oven will provide a substitute for some of the heat your HVAC system usually provides, allowing it to take a load off for the day.
- Use the microwave for pre-heating. Microwaves are more energy-efficient than ovens, so use them whenever possible to take the burden of pre-heating dishes off the oven.
For even more energy savings, consider getting a home energy audit from Alban Inspections. We work with several funding programs that can provide the audit either for free or at low-cost, including installation of some small appliances.