If your oven has a self-cleaning option, don’t use it more than once a month and only after you’ve used it took cook something, so it can take advantage of the heat. Otherwise, the energy used in cleaning will counteract any benefits.
Self-cleaning or not, it is important to keep your oven and stovetop clean as buildup will reduce efficiency.
Here is a “how-to” so you can clean your oven without harmful chemicals: http://www.ehow.com/how_5115109_clean-oven-green-way.html
Possibly, but it depends on how you clean your oven and, frankly, how dirty it is. Ovens that have a lot of caked-on material inside of them do not generally cook as efficiently as clean ovens, so from this standpoint it’s probably better to clean regularly. However, if your oven is a self-cleaning oven, which essentially incinerates the spills on the inside at about 900 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 hours, keep in mind that it takes an enormous amount of energy to do this, and you may be expending more than you save. On the flip side, one of the benefits of self-cleaning ovens is that they clean without having to use chemicals which can be bad for the environment, and certainly a lot of grease build-up in your oven can present a fire risk. If it’s purely energy savings you’re after, you may be better off having a professional examine your oven for any cracked or worn-out seals or other potentially hidden defects that could cause heat to escape. Fixing problems such as this certainly will impact your energy usage and make your oven more efficient.
For the most part, all appliances work more efficiently when they are maintained properly and cleaned. This includes washers, dryers, and especially cars. When they are not taken care of, they lose efficiently, and thus waste more energy.
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