Choosing an Energy Efficient Range: Gas vs. Electric

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When it comes to cooking appliances, the choice between gas and electric is not a clear or easy one from an environmental standpoint.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, while most of the electricity in the United States comes from coal-burning power plants. Neither source is a perfect solution to our energy needs.

What is greener - gas or electric stoves?

What is greener – gas or electric stoves?

Gas stoves
Many cooks prefer gas stoves because of the ability to control cooking temperatures more effectively. Gas ranges also offer instant heat, and don’t keep the heat going once the cooking is done. For those who prefer gas stoves, it helps to know that the lower the BTU output, the more energy-efficient their gas stove will be.

Electric stoves – there are a couple of newer, more innovative energy efficient options.

  • Induction elements transfer electromagnetic energy directly to the cooking pan, leaving the cooktop relatively cool and consuming less than half the energy of standard coil elements. Induction element cooktops require metal cookware (stainless steel, cast iron, or enameled iron) while aluminum and glass pots are not effective. Induction element technology is still relatively new, so it is mostly found in higher priced models of electric stove appliances.
  • Ceramic glass surfaces use halogen elements as their heat source, making them the next best choice in electric stoves (from an efficiency standpoint.) Ceramic glass surfaces deliver heat instantly and respond quickly to settings and temperature changes. They are also very easy to clean. Like induction elements, they work efficiently only when there is good contact between the pan and the hot glass surface. Energy will be wasted if the cooking pan bottoms are rounded even a bit.
  • Standard, spiral electric coils, used in most common electric stoves, are at the very bottom of energy efficiency.

Most of us choose a cooking appliance that suits our lifestyle and economic circumstances. The greenest choice one can make is to select the kind of stove one can live with for at least a decade or more. Keeping an appliance for a long period of time saves on materials and resources from a manufacturing standpoint and keeps our landfills from filling up too quickly.

For repair help information, maintenance tips, instructional videos, and range, stove or oven parts for most stove types and brands, visit this excellent home appliance resource.

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