Recent studies into the potential harm caused by gas stoves have found links between the use of the fuel and asthma in children. Health concerns include the effects of high levels of air pollutants emitted, such as nitrogen dioxide. Such concerns about using these appliances in the home have resulted in the U.S. Safety Agency even considering regulating gas stoves altogether.
The debate over a ban on gas stoves rumbles on. Recently, the Energy Department has proposed new efficiency standards for both gas and electric stoves. While many cities and counties across the country already have decarbonization ordinances in place, which can include the use of gas stoves.
Currently, over 34.67 million U.S. households use stoves fueled by natural gas. While the majority of people in most states have already opted for electric ranges, what are the alternatives to gas stoves for those considering switching? We take a look at the options, how much they cost, and the associated benefits.
Percentage of Households in the U.S. That Use Gas Stoves
The graphic above consists of data collected from the EIA, which shows the number of households in each state that use a gas cooking appliance. The national average of homes that use gas as the main source of cooking is 38%. As we can see, California is way over the average and has a huge majority of homes that feature gas stoves at 70%, the most out of all of the states. This is compared to states like Florida and Maine, where only 8% of households use a gas-cooking appliance. For those looking to join the majority of households in the country and switch to an alternative, what are their options?
Electric and Induction Are the Main Stove Alternatives to Gas
There are two principal alternatives when looking to replace your gas stove: electric and induction.
Electric cooking appliances are most common in around 68% of U.S. households. Electric cooktops work from beneath a glass or ceramic surface via heated metal coils. Heat is then transferred through the surface to the pot or pan.
Induction stovetops also use electricity but work slightly differently. They send magnetic currents via copper coils directly to your cookware. It results in food being heated more evenly and as there are no gaps between the generated heat and the cookware itself, it avoids any heat being lost.
What Are the Benefits of Gas Stove Alternatives?
One benefit of switching from gas to electric appears in the recent Inflation Reduction Act, a climate spending bill signed into law in 2022. Homeowners may be legible for a rebate of up to $840 for purchasing a new electric stove. What are the other pros, and cons, of gas stove alternatives?
Pros and Cons of Electric Stoves
Electric stoves are a more common and affordable alternative to gas stoves. Electric stoves are not only cheaper than gas, but they can provide an easier cooking experience due to their ability to produce consistent low heat without the risk of going out as gas does. They can also be easy to clean if you opt for a smooth cooktop that is installed beneath a glass surface.
Electric stoves may be cheap and easy to use, but they’re less long-lasting than gas ones. They also take longer to heat up and would not work during a power outage, so if this is a common occurrence in your area, you would need to rely on a generator.
Pros and Cons of Induction Stoves
One of the main benefits of induction cooktops is that they are efficient as they can heat up food 50% faster than other types of stoves, and have very precise temperature control. As mentioned, they cook food more evenly than electric stoves. They are also relatively easy to clean.
Despite the benefits of induction stoves, they do come with their drawbacks. Induction stoves only work with cookware that is designed to be used with induction. Although this type of cookware is very common and easy to find, it can be more expensive than traditional pots and pans.
How Much Does it Cost to Install Electric and Induction Stovetops?
A new cooktop will cost you between $300 and $1,000 if you opt for an electric one. They make for a slightly more affordable alternative to gas stoves, which average at around $300 to $1,500. Yet it is worth taking into consideration that electric stoves may need replacing more often.
The costs don’t end with just the material, however. If you are changing from gas to electric, you’ll need to make extra modifications. Labor costs for this appliance will set you back around $75 to $150 an hour. You will also need to factor in the cost of installing a junction box, which comes in at around $200.
An induction stovetop is the costliest, setting you back between $1,000 and $2,500 on average. Labor costs are also significantly higher at roughly $225 to $350 per hour. As they run on electricity, they will also require a junction box to be installed.
The costs of each will vary depending on the material you choose, the brand, and the number of burners.
Is Gas Cooking a Thing of the Past?
As health concerns come to light, many homeowners will be considering the alternatives to natural gas stoves available in order to keep themselves, and especially their children, safe. As awareness around climate change also becomes more prevalent, electric cooking appliances are far more commonplace in homes across the U.S. For example, in New York City, natural gas hookups will be banned in any new building under 7 stories as of December 2023. The same will apply to all new buildings as of 2027. This is happening in many cities and counties across the country.
Author: Adam Graham is an industry analyst at Fixr.com. He analyzes and writes about the real estate and home construction industries, covering a range of associated topics. He has been featured in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens and The Boston Globe, and written for various outlets including the National Association of Realtors, and Insurance News Net Magazine.