Energy showdown: conventional vs. convection electric ovens

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Buying a new oven is an important decision. An oven is a relatively costly item that should last a long time and stand up to frequent use. Throughout the decision-making process, you’ll likely consider each potential replacement’s record for reliability, your preferred methods of cooking, oven size and even how it’ll look in your kitchen. But one important thing to consider that’s often overlooked is how much energy it takes to operate the oven.

Here, we’ll focus on two types of electric ovens: conventional and convection. In conventional ovens, the heat comes from a single source which is usually at the bottom of the oven. Convection ovens feature a circulation system that moves air throughout the oven chamber to heat it evenly. Based on that information, which would you guess is more energy efficient?

Conventional vs Convection ovens – who won?
The circulation system in a convection oven actually allows the oven to use the heat it produces more efficiently, thus reducing cooking times for most dishes. An experiment by the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings shows that a convection oven can thoroughly cook a casserole at 325degrees in 45 minutes, where it would take a conventional electric oven an hour at 350degrees to get the same effect. Through more efficient heating, convection ovens use 20 percent less energy than conventional ovens, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

It’s also important to note that the type of oven you use is not the only thing that influences energy usage while cooking. Smart cooking habits can also help you save. Visit our guide to oven and microwave tips for more ideas to help you reduce your electricity usage and your bills.

Is conserving energy important to you when you cook? Do you have some smart cooking tips of your own? Please share them in the comments.