Going With Gas: The Advantages Of Switching Your Electric Range For Gas
Gas ranges are becoming very popular among homeowners. However, it can be hard to find a properly installed gas range in older homes, and many newer homes forgo the added installation expense as well. However, there are several reasons why gas cooking is superior to electric, so if you love to cook, you may want to contact a plumber about making the switch.
What are the pros and cons?
Gas heat and electric heat are distinctly different. Gas cooktops offer:
- immediate heat. When you turn on an electric stove that is flat top or coiled, you have to wait several minutes for the element to heat up to the correct cooking temperature. Since gas stove are an open flame, the heat is available immediately.
- accurate heat. Have you ever cooked rice or candy over the electric stove and needed to move from high heat to low heat quickly? It takes time for an electric element to cool down. However, on a gas stove, the heat is reduced immediately, as you simply adjust the size of the flame.
- cheaper heat. Natural gas is generally less expensive than electricity. Most gas cooktops come with gas ovens as well, so for extended baking or cooking time, you'll save money.
- less waste heat. Have you ever been baking a pie in July, and regretted it because the house heats up when the stove is on? Gas heat is less likely to give you this problem.
There are some reasons why people prefer electric, however. These include safety and ease of use. Open flames can be harmful to children, and gas from the cook top can be turned on without a flame, sending dangerous fumes into the air. Gas ranges are harder to install, and often require the services of certified plumber who works with gas to make sure it done properly.
How do you switch?
If you decide that gas heat is for you, then you should look into the amenities that you house has to offer. You will need to already have, or have installed: a large enough gas line that can hook up to the range. Sometimes, this can be more complicated that you think. If you have a furnace, fireplace, or water heater that uses gas, then you already have gas lines to your house. The plumber may need to run a line from the source to the range.
If you have no gas heat in your house, you will need to call the city to see if there is a gas line in your neighborhood. Then, the plumber will have to run a line from the city line to you home, and then set your range up with gas supply. Depending on the amount of work to be done, the change could cost anywhere from $200 to over a thousand, not including the cost of the new appliance.
A second consideration is a fume hood that vents to the outside. Because gas has the potential to become released into the air, you will need a good ventilation system to make sure your kitchen stays safe. A microwave fan or under-the-cabinet fan is not enough. The fume hood should vent through the roof or the wall. This set-up has a second advantage: a cleaner kitchen. Fume hoods help to remove grease and smoke from the air, which can help your cabinets and walls stay cleaner longer.
You can click here for more information or check if your fume hood vents to outside by looking at the cabinet. Some hoods are decorative, and do not have a cabinet exit. These obviously always vent outside. However, if your is cabinet mounted, you can simply open the doors. If there is a large box or a vent pipe that runs through the cabinet, you are good to go. If not, it's time to call a contractor in order to make this simple change.