Friday, January 16, 2009

Green Kitchen Guide to Energy Efficient Stove Cooktops

Green Kitchen Guide to Energy Efficient Stove Cooktops

Author: Sunny Miller

When it comes to designing a green kitchen, evaluating stove cooktops for their energy efficiency can cause you to make a decision between convenience or your preferred method of cooking and being eco-friendly. But, if you really want to conserve energy and help to reduce your carbon footprint, your stove cooktop is something you need to consider in your kitchen design.

Unless you are going to cook in your fireplace over an open flame, you've got to consider the energy usage of the model of stove or cooktop that you buy. Most cooks prefer a gas cook top. With gas, the heat is easier to control and this can make cooking a lot easier.

However, gas stoves are powered by natural gas which is a fossil fuel and, as we know, fossil fuels are not that environmentally friendly. On the other hand, the electricity that powers electric cook tops comes mainly from coal burning power plants which, once again, are not that environmentally friendly. So, what's an environmentally sympathetic cook to do?

When it comes right down to it, choosing stoves and cooktops that are practical and good for the environment boils down to one thing - the efficiency of energy usage.

Which Stove Cooktops Are Most Energy Efficient?

When looking for energy efficiency, the electric cooktops are going to beat the gas ones hands-down. They are simply more efficient, so if the environment is tops on your list, go with electric.

But, there are many different types of electric cooktops that you'll need to evaluate for your green kitchen. In today's electric cooktops, there are many choices between the surface elements. These include induction elements, halogen elements and the traditional electric coil that seemed to be almost old-fashioned today. Each of these has it's advantages and disadvantages and they are not all equal when it comes to energy efficiency.

Needless to say, the newer technology cooktops are going to be more costly but they will also be more energy-efficient. The induction stove is the most energy-efficient because it transfers energy electromagnetically right to your pan. Of course, these are the highest priced.

The ceramic glass cooktops that use halogen elements are the next best when it comes to using energy, however if you don't have very flat pans, you will be wasting energy because they do not work efficiently if there isn't good pan to cooktop contact.

The least expensive - the electric coils are also the least energy-efficient not to mention the least attractive so please cross these right off your list when shopping for new cooktops for your kitchen!

Basics Of Energy Efficient Living: A Beginner''s Guide To Alternative Energy And Home Energy Savings

When considering stove cooktops for your kitchen, you're going to have to weigh your budget with your desire to lower your carbon footprint. Just like most things in life, you have to compromise to achieve your goals. Going with a higher-priced and more efficient model might cost you more upfront but can save on your energy expense as well as your impact to the environment over time.

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To find out more about which stove cooktops are more energy efficient as well as get more tips for an eco-friendly green kitchen, visit the Green Kitchen Design Guide.

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