Most cooking aficionados prefer natural gas cooktops over electric ones because they heat evenly, and provide precision control with instant on/off capability. Natural gas appliances have other big advantages. For example, they typically last longer and require less maintenance than their electric counterparts. Natural gas is easier on the pocketbook too; according to the DOE, it is 68% cheaper than electricity. So it’s probably fortunate that 54% 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
Dr Dean 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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Len Penzo says
Nor will I! It’s natural gas all the way for me too, Janet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Len Penzo says
You won’t regret it, Derek. Believe me. (And if you won’t believe me, just ask Kevin.)
Robert @ The College Investor says
I’m all about the NG dryers. I had an electric dryer at my old house, and it cost a fortune. Now, my gas and electric bill is so much cheaper, even in a bigger house!
Lisa Under the Redwoods says
Our gas stove is over 50 years old and going strong!!
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!
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.
PA Natural Gas says
Good points! I would also add that natural gas appliances tend to produce warmer temperatures than appliances powered by other fuels.
Kalen Bruce says
I definitely prefer natural gas! I always had electric appliances until recently. It wasn’t until after we moved into a house with gas appliances that we learned how great they really are.
Right now we just have a gas water heater, but we’ll be adding a gas cooktop/stove. We don’t think we’ll be in our house long enough to make the furnace worth it (we’re re-doing the kitchen anyhow which is why that’s worth it). We hope to go either solar or natural gas in a future home, but that’ll be a few years away.
Natural gas lines don’t come to our house, though they end about 250 feet away.
I asked the gas company about bringing the gas main up our street to our house, and they quoted me a price of $39,000, plus the additional cost of having our chimney relined (they demand it of all new gas customers who switch from oil heat) which is a few thousand dollars, plus the cost of bringing gas from the street in front of our home, and a new gas meter, and the cost of a new gas burner for our furnace, plus we must hire a plumber to install it.
Compared to all that, even paying about 20 cents/kwh for electric isn’t so bad.
RD Blakeslee says
Our situation could be called “comfortable prepping”.
Our large propane tank can operate our gas range indefinitely when the power grid goes down.
Karen Kinnane says
Love natural gas for price and dependability. When the grid goes down we still have hot water because our gas water heater does not need electricity to operate. I do have a glass top electric stove which may cost a bit more to operate, and we cook / bake a lot, but cleaning the stovetop is a breeze for which I am willing to pay a bit extra in fuel. Have gas clothes dryer for winter and from April through October dry all laundry outside. There is currently a Leftist plot to ban all gas stoves due to the false idea that gas stoves pollute. I worked as a waitress for many years under many different chefs and never saw a single chef with any respiratory problems, even though they also mostly constantly smoked like dirty chimneys. The chefs presided, five and six days a week, eight to ten hours a day, over eight burner commercial gas stoves with never a problem. Banning gas stoves is a Leftist plot and you better watch out for it and stop it!
Mary Ann says
Never had access to natural gas where we lived. Would have had to be propane so went with electric. I’m 67 and always cooked on electric. Also easier to clean the stovetop with electric. And there’s red alert lights that come on when the top is hot- even after you shut the burner off – so you do know it’s still hot.
We had to rent a home for a few months a couple of years ago and it had a propane fueled gas stove. I absolutely hated it. Freaked me out! Thought my sleeves would catch fire! Lol!
It’s all a matter of what you’re used to. Yeah- electric costs more for sure. But it also costs more for gas appliances and installation.