100 Words On: The Big Advantages of Natural Gas Appliances

Most cooking aficionados prefer natural gas cooktops over electric ones because they heat evenly, and provide precision control with instant on/off capability. Typically, all natural gas appliances — not just cooktops — last longer and require less maintenance than their electric counterparts. Natural gas is easier on the pocketbook too; according to the DOE, it was 68 percent cheaper than electricity in 2011. So it’s probably fortunate that 54 percent of all American homes accommodate natural gas appliances.

The bottom line: Yes, generally speaking, natural gas appliances cost more up front — but their reliability and efficiency usually make them the cheapest alternative over the long run.

Photo Credit: public domain



Comments

  1. 1

    says

    If we had gas availability, I would have gone that route.

    I have added propane for a cook-top-which we love, and gas fireplace. Hopefully the city will extend gas lines soon to my neighborhood, though I will only be replacing appliances when needed.

    • 2

      Len Penzo says

      I love my gas fireplace, Dr. Dean! It’s not as “homey” as using real wood, but it puts out the heat, looks good and, best of all, there is no ash to clean — or need for a chimney sweep!

  2. 3

    says

    Hi Len–I completely agree? And I’m agreeing because I have an electric stove (no gas line to the house!). One of the big issues I have with electric stoves–in addition to all those you’ve listed–is that you can easily leave a burner on, walk away, and not know you’ve done it. Burners aren’t red when they’re on less than medium settings so this is easier to do thay you think. With gas you can always tell when the heat is on because of the flame.

    Not only does leaving the burner on waste energy and money, but it’s also a fire and personal injury risk, especially if you have small children. We’ve had no fires or burns, but we’ve lost some stuff after putting it on what we thought was a cold burner. It’s not always obvious!

    • 4

      Len Penzo says

      Yeah, I have never been a fan of electric stoves, Kevin. That seems really dangerous that you can’t even tell they’re on sometimes.

      It’s a wonder how electric stoves still have any market share.

      In any case, there is a real opportunity for electric stove manufacturers to exploit if they want to. I think it would be easy to fix that issue.

  3. 5

    Bill says

    Electric is so expensive, compared to natural gas, for heating, as well. For our next house, gas heat and range are a must. Our electric bill almost killed me every time I opened the bill this year, even though it was a mild winter.

    • 6

      Len Penzo says

      I hear ya! I want to look into natural-gas-fired air conditioners when my electric one finally takes its final bow.

  4. 7

    Janet says

    I’ve lived in homes with both and let me tell you something. Gas is easier to cook with, but best of all it is WAY cheaper. I’ll never live in a house with electric appliances again.

  5. 10

    says

    One of my criteria when we were house hunting 11 years ago was a house with a gas range. We hit the jackpot with our current home. Gas range, gas oven, gas water heater — even the dryer connections were for a gas dryer. It did mean buying a new gas dryer for the move-in, but that was okay because our old electric was over ten years old at the time.

    Now that gas dryer is 11 years old and still running like a champ.

    • 11

      says

      Oh, and of course the big one — a gas furnace.

      Our utilities counter-balance each other. Gas is low in the summer when the A/C runs up the electric bill, and reverses in winter.

      • 12

        Len Penzo says

        We’re all-gas too on everything, DC — save for the oven, which doesn’t have the issues that electric cooktops do. In fact, I’m actually quite happy with it, although I’m sure I’d save money if I had a gas one instead.

  6. 13

    Derek says

    Agreed. We have a gas furnace, fireplace, and water heater. Wish they ran a line to the dryer and range but no dice. Range would be easy, dryer very difficult. I’ll probably have the range done some day.

  7. 17

    says

    Growing up, we had a gas stove, and I never thought too much about it. Then, when it came time for me to buy my first house, at the decision of my husband, we got an electric stove. Can I tell you how much I regret that decision, and wish I would have consulted with my dad on that. My husband, at the time, wasn’t aware of the differences. But now, yeah, he’s aware!

  8. 18

    says

    We can use natural gas in our cars. It’s insurance against these astronomical gas prices. People do it in Europe, why not in the US? It would lead to a breakdown of the all-important oil lords. That would not be pretty.

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