Is it really possible to save energy costs using your microwave? I was asked this question recently when someone expressed concern that using a microwave to heat, say water, coffee or one small food item would use way more energy than necessary. While the topic remains a ‘heated’ debate (sorry for the pun) I think you’ll be surprised to learn that energy savings is just one of the benefits you will get from your microwave even if it is for just a small food item.
There are many ways to save energy in your home and your microwave can help. How much energy does your microwave use? According to EnergyUsageCalculator.com using my microwave for one hour per day will cost me approximately $40 per year.
Try that calculator out for yourself. Be sure to calculate your various appliances too for fun.
Let’s break down our various options for cooking..say a baked potato. On average it takes 6-8 minutes to cook a potato in your microwave. However, it will take one hour of cooking time for ONE potato in your oven. According to the calculator to run my oven for 1.25 hours (remember time is spent on preheating your oven for 15 minutes) it will cost $0.30 versus $0.0156 if done in the microwave.
So what is the big deal? We’re talking fractions of pennies here!
While it seems like small potatoes now, let’s look at a scenario where I want to eat a potato everyday for an entire month. According to the calculator it will cost me $9.13 per month to cook that potato in the oven. However, in my screen shot it shows that I could cook approximately 8 potatoes (microwave can be used 7.5 times in one hour to cook a potato) a DAY in that same one hour in the microwave and it will still only cost me $0.11!
So for the same 30 potatoes cooked ONE per day over the course of one MONTH in the oven it will cost me $9.13. However, over the course of 30 days I could have cooked 240 potatoes for $3.35 in the microwave! But we still are not done yet.
Have you ever had the feeling of NOT wanting to cook when it is a sweltering day outside? We live in Florida and we’re already having that late August humidity and it is only June! The thought of firing up the oven, opening the door or having hot pots of boiling, steaming food on the stove top, heating up the kitchen is not my idea of fun. Your air conditioning doesn’t like it either. Each time you use your stove or oven you are increasing the temperature of your home.
When your temp goes up, the air conditioning will kick on. Remember that it took 15 minutes to preheat the oven as well as one hour to cook. We’re committed to at least 1 1/4 hours of air condition running harder. When a microwave stops the heat is only in the food, not in the appliance. There is no residual heat left. Now that you’ve had this hot oven going for more than one hour, it will take a few hours to cool down. All the while your kitchen and home still remaining hot.
The next time you reach for the stove to boil that pot of water or cook a potato, reach for that microwave door instead. Keep cool this summer and stop burning a hole in your wallet!
What is your most frequently microwaved food in your house?
P.S. Do you want great single serve microwave recipes for one person? Check out Marie Smith’s Microwave Cooking for One. I love all of the simple recipes you can cook from everyday, to gourmet. I purchased the book recently and can’t wait to try it. Have a bigger family, just multiple the ingredients, easy! Disclosure – MicrowaveMadeEasy.com is paid a small commission if a purchase is made through this link. This helps support the website and our family, thank you!