Gobble Up These Thanksgiving Energy Saving Tips
Warm pumpkin pies, steaming mashed potatoes, platters of roast turkey. While Thanksgiving is focused on food and family— all that cooking and baking (not to mention football watching) can cause your energy bills to spike.
Go Green and Save Money with these Thanksgiving Energy Saving Tips
Don’t buy a turkey bigger than you needBigger isn’t always better. A smaller turkey takes less time to cook and saves energy. If you are feeding a large crowd, buy a second turkey rather than one of those mammoth ones. Also, preheating the oven isn’t necessary when roasting a turkey.
Resist the urge— keep the oven door closedTo prevent heat loss, use the oven light to check on a dish’s progress rather than opening the oven door. As tempting as it may be, opening the oven just for a peek can set the temperature back 20°F.
Turn down the thermostatWith all the cooking going on in the kitchen and extra people in your home, you can turn down the thermostat a few degrees.
Keep the fridge door closedPlan ahead and remove all ingredients in one or two trips. Each time the refrigerator or freezer door is opened, its compressor has to run longer to replace the cold air that spills out.
Use the right baking dishGlass and ceramic dishes retain heat better than metal, allowing you to reduce the oven temperature by 25°F. They also distribute heat more evenly and stay hot longer.
Maximize the ovenAdd side dishes in the oven alongside your turkey. Cooking food simultaneously saves energy. Be sure to adjust cooking time for higher or lower temperatures.
Utilize the stoveWhile most Thanksgiving menu items are typically cooked in the oven, the stove actually uses less energy. Always keep pots and pans covered to prevent heat loss and keep burners clean.
Try the slow cookerThe slow cooker is incredibly easy to use, frees up the oven and stove for other dishes, and saves energy. Consider cooking your mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, or warm apple cider in your slow cooker.
Make friends with your microwaveUse the microwave instead of your regular oven whenever possible. Microwaves use less than half the power of your regular oven, and cook faster too.
Try a no-bake recipeGive your oven a break and opt for a no-fuss, no-bake dessert recipe. These are typically easy to put together and will put less stress on your oven.
Let leftovers coolQuite possibly the best part of the Thanksgiving holiday. Let your leftovers cool before placing them in the fridge because your refrigerator has to work harder to cool them down.
Dishwasher to the rescuePerhaps the worst part of Thanksgiving is all those dishes. You may wonder what is best: dishwasher vs hand washing? Not only do dishwashers save you time, they use less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand, and use less water. Open the dishwasher door to air dry instead of using the heated dry cycle.
Check your attic insulationIf you are pulling down your holiday decorations from the attic after Thanksgiving, bring a ruler or tape measure to check your insulation levels. If you can see your rafters, you probably need more attic insulation.
By following these energy saving tips, your energy bill will look as good as your Thanksgiving meal. To keep the energy savings going, follow our Holiday Energy Tips to save more money this season.