Some reasons to be wary of your self-cleaning oven.
Since its inception in 1969, the self-cleaning function has worked its way into the specifications of nearly every domestic oven on the market, having become such a selling point that it is practically impossible to sell an oven without it. Before later in the century when the internet could provide information to the contrary, consumers, upon hearing the phrase ‘self-cleaning’ probably imagined themselves reclining by the fireplace while their sleek, new oven slaved in the kitchen. Disappointingly, the reality of the self-clean function still involves some ‘hands and knees’ time, albeit not as much. Additionally, it comes with more subtle considerations that many consumers, even contemporary ones, will not be aware of, that is until they learn about them the expensive way.
Once Started There is no Going Back…
The self-cleaning feature conventionally includes a safety lock on the oven door to prevent exposing the user or surroundings to temperatures in the region of 500℃. Typical oven temperatures rarely exceed 300℃, meaning that the blast of heat you normally feel after opening the oven door to poke your potatoes would be considerably higher than that required to singe your eyebrows (220℃).
This feature also has implications for any objects absentmindedly left inside the appliance. Even plastic oven-friendly dishes can safely withstand temperatures only up to 190℃. For diligent oven owners, this may not be a commonly-faced problem, however people have been known to leave valuables in household appliances, even those well known for featuring safety locks.
It Gets Smelly
If you haven’t deduced it already, the self-clean function works by burning baked-on food and grease in order to leave only a small amount of easily-cleaned ash. The rest of the mess does not simply disappear however and needs somewhere to go, and that ‘somewhere’ is likely to be the air in your house. Without adequate ventilation you could be paying for your self-cleaning cycle in scrunched up noses for up to two weeks after using it. It is also worth noting that cycles can run up to 6 hours, which depending on the amount of proximate furniture and dirt at the outset, could turn your kitchen into nasal purgatory for much longer than is convenient.
It Can Fry Your Circuits
There is so much energy involved in a self-clean cycle that even your house might protest to the sudden load on its circuitry. Ovens have been known to trip fuses on normal settings, but this occurrence is a common complaint with self-cleaning cycles, which have been known to actually burn fuses within the device as well as the home’s mains circuit. As a workaround to the issue, some disgruntled users have recommended using the feature sparingly, and when you do, running the cycle for a shorter period, or even not at all. The downside of this is that in order for the cycle to be effective it needs time as well as high heat.
WIth this in mind, the next issue that arises is your energy bill. If you are inclined to scarcely use electric heaters to save on bills, you should be aware that the heating element of an oven is considerably thicker than that of a space heater, requiring much more energy to heat. It follows that a full-length self-clean cycle does not have a trivial effect on your energy consumption. A self-clean cycle will typically use 10 kWh per cycle; to put that into perspective, a toaster will typically use 0.04 kWh, with some domestic solar panels only producing 5 kWh in an entire day.
For those with self-cleaning ovens, it’s natural to seek a compromise between the risks and costs involved, and the inconvenience of manual cleaning. If neither options are ideal for you, Nottingham Oven Cleaners are here to help. Give us a call on 0115 846 1156 and let the professionals handle your dirty work.