Choosing Your Range: Gas, Electric, or Dual Fuel?
All appliances are not
created equal. That’s especially true when it comes to big ticket items like a gas
or electric range. There are several things you need to be aware of before
purchasing an energy efficient range top. The trick is deciding whether it
should be gas, electric, or dual fuel?
For people who do a lot of
range cooking, gas is by far the most enjoyable to cook with. A top of the line
gas range and oven will cost anywhere from $1,500 - $6,000. The more insulated
the range is, the more cost efficient it will be. Use a moderate flame to cook
and be sure to check the flame’s color. A blue flame is using gas efficiently
and a yellow flame indicates an adjustment needs to be made.
A modern electric range may
save you some dough on your electric bill. The best ones on the market use 1/3
less energy to run. Electric ranges also come with easy-to-clean glass or
ceramic tops. To make it more efficient,
keep the stove top reflectors clean. The reflectors generate heat, too. Keeping
them clean will make the burners more proficient. For long-term efficiency, be
sure to check the heating coils. If one is failing, this can be a huge power
The built-in cooktop range can
be gas or electric. The difference here is there’s no oven. It’s a range built
into the counter; installation
is similar to that of a kitchen sink but with gas or electric.
Cost of Cooking
Think about the long-term cost of using
a range/oven. Every appliance has two-costs, one to buy it and another to
operate it. According to the California Energy Commission, most Americans
prefer to cook with electricity. About
58% of Americans use electric over gas. But according to a Consumer Guide test
on the cost of cooking, it’s actually cheaper by .07 cents an hour to use gas
over electric. So understanding the future cost of the unit is important. This table from the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings
compares the cost of cooking a casserole in several ways. It assumes the cost
of gas is $.60 a therm, and electricity is $.08 a kWh.
|Electric Oven||350||1 hour||2.0 kWh||$.16|
|Electric Convection Oven||325||45 minutes||1.39 kWh||$.11|
|Gas Oven||350||1 hour||.112 therm||$.07|
|Electric Frying Pan||420||1 hour||.9 kWh||$.07|
|Toaster Oven||425||50 minutes||.95 kWh||$.08|
|Electric Crockpot||200||7 hour||.7 kWh||$.06|
|Microwave Oven||“High”||15 minutes||.36 kWh||$.03|
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