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"Electrifying Lawn Care Narrative" by Riya Anand
Policy assessment with Nussbaum's Central Capabilities by Riya Anand
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Composting Policy Brief by Shan Shan Liang

Replace Gas Stoves with Electric Induction Heaters

By Jae Kwak
What is it?
You can replace your gas stoves with electric induction stoves.
Residential kitchens cook either with gas or with electricity. Gas stoves burn fossil fuel (natural gas) to generate heat for cooking in pots and pans. These can be replaced with modern electric induction stoves, which emit no CO2 or other polluting gases and are very energy efficient. Conventional electric stoves are also an alternative. They use resistance heating instead of induction (electromagnetic) heating and so are less efficient.
Why do it? What are the benefits?

Health

Scientific evidence strongly suggests that gas cooking, relative to electric and induction methods, substantially increases the risk of asthma symptoms, especially for children. In addition to nitrogen oxides, which aggravate respiratory symptoms, there is evidence linking gas cooking to harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and formaldehyde. There are also studies linking gas cooking and negative cognitive outcomes in children, but the evidence is not yet conclusive.

Energy efficiency

Scientific evidence strongly suggests that gas cooking, relative to electric and induction methods, substantially increases the risk of asthma symptoms, especially for children. In addition to nitrogen oxides, which aggravate respiratory symptoms, there is evidence linking gas cooking to harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and formaldehyde. There are also studies linking gas cooking and negative cognitive outcomes in children, but the evidence is not yet conclusive.

Cooking time

Relative to other methods, induction cooktops allow for much faster cooking. For instance, a study found that induction cooktops could heat 5-lb of water in about 5.5 minutes, whereas it took gas cooktops about 14 minutes to heat up the same amount of water. Induction cooktops also allow for more precise control of temperature.

Safety

While gas stoves generate flames that provide heat for pans, induction cooktops, using electromagnetic energy, directly heat pans without generating heat themselves. Since only the pan becomes hot, it is a safer option especially if you have children or pets. Once the pan is removed, it automatically turns off, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off.

Article 1

About the article…

How to do it?

Full-sized induction appliances are available where gas and conventional electric stoves are sold.
You may need an electrician to install the cooktop/range, especially if you need new wiring.

Costs?

See e.g. http://lowes.com and https://www.homedepot.com/ which offers a wide range of models. If you’re just looking for cooktops, built-in 4-element induction cooktops are available from about $350. Induction ranges are much more expensive, starting at about $1000, so electric coil ranges, which are available from around $435, may be a more affordable option if you need a full range. For reference, a 4-element gas cooktop is available from about $320, and the cheapest gas ranges are around $380
Since prices for portable induction cooktops start at around $50, it is not that costly to buy one for yourself to test how they are and experience the benefits firsthand.
For installation, you will likely need an electrician, especially if you don’t have a 240 VAC junction box near your desired location. Expect about $200 in installation costs for built-in induction cooktops or induction ranges, which is similar, if not cheaper than the installation costs for gas cooktops and ranges.

Other considerations

Induction heating is a mature technology. It is widely used globally for commercial and residential cooking. It makes a slight humming noise when in operation. Fossil fuel is generally used to generate the electricity used in residences, including for induction stoves. In general, induction cooking results in a net reduction of fossil fuel combustion. As the electricity grid becomes green the reduction in carbon emissions becomes correspondingly larger.
Also you need to make sure that your cookware is compatible with induction. Most stainless steel and cast iron cookware is compatible with induction. A general heuristic is that if a magnet sticks to the cookware, it is likely compatible with induction cooking.
Even professional cooks are increasingly adopting induction cooking, with big names like Rick
Bayless, Ming Tsai, Fabio Viviani, Alexandre Couillon, and Eric Ripert strongly endorsing induction cooking. The advantages they cite are precise temperature control, safety, speed, and the ease of cleaning up.

Podcast of October 20, 2021

Listen to the Electrify This!
For a deeper dive: Replacing gas stoves with induction/electric stoves

by Jae Kwak, Fall 2021

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