The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

poorly insulated ovens

  • Pin It
TylerDavis's picture
TylerDavis

poorly insulated ovens

I live in a very hot climate and hesitate to turn on my oven because it heats the entire house for hours afterwards.  Are all home ovens this poorly insulated, or do I just have a cheap model?  

I assume there is an airgap between the sheet metal layers.  Why don't manufacturers put and inch of Kaowool in there an sell it as an EnergyStar model?

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Tyler, if it heats the entire house, that sounds like not a very good oven. Generally, the oven will heat the entire room, but not the whole house. All other things being equal, if you can find an electric oven with a self clean feature, that will be better insulated than a non self clean electric ( though I wouldn't run the self clean function) and in general, a gas oven will vent to the room more than an electric oven, though not all models.  Some members use countertop ovens, such as the Breville, either on a counter, or in a garage, to try to keep from heating the entire house.  Countertop ovens usually have very little insulation, but since the cavity is much smaller, and the elements put out less heat, they don't heat up the whole room. 

edmaslow's picture
edmaslow

Most modern ovens I know of do use a fiberglass insulation between the panels. Unless it is very old your oven should not leak so much heat. It is possible for the insulation to break down and become ineffective in older ovens. Replacement insulating material is available from appliance parts suppliers (must be high temperature suitable for 1000 F, not house insulation). But it doesn't seem like an easy job- certainly not one I'd like to tackle.  Kaowool which you mentioned is I believe is more expensive and used in ovens and kilns operating at higher temperature than home ovens.

TylerDavis's picture
TylerDavis

The model is a "Tappan Self-Cleaning Oven"  looks to be 1990s vintage

I have never used the self-clean feature.  I notice there is no lock-out bar to prevent you from opening the door during clean cycle.

 

I found today that there is no EnergyStar rating for ovens (or microwaves).  I guess most consumers live in cold climates and consider the waste heat "free heat" ?

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Do the outer surfaces of the oven get hot to the touch?

Maybe contact Tappan and see what they say?

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Tyler, my point about the self clean, is that the internal temp gets very hot, so to make it safe, typically there is more insulation so the outside of the oven won't burn someone.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

TylerDavis,

If you're in a hot climate, the extra heat from your oven probably just doesn't have anywhere to go, and therefore spreads throughout your house in a noticeable way. Is your house air conditioned? If not, you already have plenty of heat in there, and the extra from the oven is enough to be felt. If your house is air conditioned, perhaps the unit is at its peak load with just the normal ambient heat and can't handle the extra. I have that issue at my house during the summer months. My A/C unit is just a little undersized for the house. Usually it does okay, but on the hottest days, it struggles to keep the house comfortable. Any extra heat generated in the house is just not able to be dealt with.

There is a terminology that applies to situations like this, but the term itself is usually only heard (around here anyway) when talking about audio systems. The term is "head room" and refers to the extra power a system should be designed to have in order to take care of special circumstances. It's never noticed unless it isn't there when it's needed!

I have a self-clean oven that is ca 2010, and it heats the whole kitchen even on cold days. The others are right that self clean ovens have better insulation than ovens without the self-clean feature. In fact, the whole unit is generally made of better quality parts, or at least parts that can stand double the temperature range! The fact remains that the heat still has to dissipate eventually. The insulation doesn't keep it from happening, it just slows it down.

TylerDavis's picture
TylerDavis

the outer surface of the oven is quite warm, but not too hot to touch

yes I have A/C and it costs a fortune to run.  Adding several thousand BTUs to the house is something the A/C can handle, but it seems very wasteful.

I understand gas ovens must vent combustion gases somewhere, usually through a vent stack to the roof?

But I guess an electric oven does not have need for any such venting, and just slowly dumps its heat to the kitchen.  Seems like it would be straightforward to plumb a vent stack and forced convection fan to dump heat to the roof after you're done cooking.  Hard to retrofit, but easy to design at the time of construction.