29 Oct 2020 have yourself an Energy Efficient Thanksgiving
by Beth Jimmerson
Cooler temps and the return of pumpkin spice everything means fall has officially arrived. And with Thanksgiving just a few days away, it’s also the start of holiday gatherings.
Surprisingly, Thanksgiving takes a lot of energy. Between cooking meals, watching football and shopping online during Black Friday, Americans consume a lot of power over the holiday. A few minor changes can save you from an increased energy bill so you can stay focused on amazing food and good times with loved ones.
Use these five simple tips to keep your Thanksgiving energy efficient:
MAXIMIZE OVEN USE
Most of the action takes place in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. That’s why it’s so important to use your oven efficiently. Set a timer, keep the oven door closed and cook multiple dishes at once. Use glass and ceramic baking dishes — they retain heat better than metal and allow you to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
Avoid preheating your oven. Turkeys are traditionally stuffed in the morning and roasted for hours. Because it’s a long, slow process, there’s no need to preheat your oven. This also holds true for a holiday ham. It might take a few minutes longer to cook, but it’s a great way to cut costs because your oven won’t be wasting energy while it’s empty.
LOWER THE THERMOSTAT
With all the action going on inside the kitchen, the rest of the house will reap some benefits. Cooking and conversation will heat up fast, so go ahead and turn the heat down a few degrees. The heat from the oven and extra people in your home will heat up the other rooms. Your guests will still be comfortable while you keep your heating costs to a minimum.
When dinner is done and everyone is resting in the living room, the kitchen is full of dirty dishes. Skip handwashing and use the dishwasher instead. Dishwashers require 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand. Scrape off plates into the garbage can instead of rinsing and make sure the dishwasher is full.
Allow dishes to air dry rather than using the heat-dry cycle to save even more. Turning off the heat-dry cycle can save more than $40 a year if you run one load a day.
MIND YOUR LEFTOVERS
The second-best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers you eat the next day. Store leftovers in glass, reusable containers. Before you put them in the fridge, let them cool completely. Putting warm food in a fridge affects its resting temperature, causing it to work harder to reach the ideal cool temperature.
When you’re ready for round two, use a microwave. Microwave ovens are fast and efficient and use 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens. Plus, they won’t heat up your kitchen.
If you’re rewarming food on the stove, make sure to match the size of the pan to the heating element so more heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air. Believe it or not, a six-inch-pan on an eight-inch burner will waste more than 40 percent of the energy used.
GET ENERGY SMART
Saving energy is a habit you should practice all year, and the holidays are a great time to start. Just simply being aware of your energy usage can help you save energy and money. Conway Corp’s Energy Smart program was designed to help you balance increasing demands for electricity with our commitment to providing affordable rates.
Conway Corp offers free residential energy audits to help you identify how much energy your home consumes and how to make your home more energy-efficient. Annually, homes that have received a free audit from Energy Smart save $148,000 combined in utility costs. Over the lifetime of the program, these homes have saved more than $2.6 million.
To schedule a free energy audit or to learn more ways to conserve energy, contact Conway Corp at 501.450.6000 or visit ConwayCorp.com/EnergySmart.
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