Sunday, August 1, 2010

pilot lights

I was taking care of a friend’s house near Big Bend National Park a few summers ago and the usual daily temperature did not fall below 100 F until late in the evening. The kitchen was situated in the middle of the house and would not cool down at all. After considering every option I opened the top of the propane stove and found that there were three pilot lights running full time. Luckily I could turn them all off with a screwdriver. Although I had to light the stove manually, the temperature of that room dropped probably 10 degrees or so.

During the winter we sometimes leave the oven pilot light on, but only when we want the extra heat. Otherwise, leaving the stove pilots lights on not only heats up the kitchen, but apparently burns quite a bit of fuel, be it natural gas or propane.

There are many different types of gas stoves: some come with electric click starters and have a pilot light for the oven, some won’t allow the pilots to be turned off, and some you might not want to mess with at all. But under the right circumstances this idea can save quite a bit of energy, money, and make your kitchen more comfortable in the summer.

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