If it's time to replace your old electric cooktop with a newer model, the possibility of trying a gas unit could cross your mind. Before making the switch, keep in mind that you'll have to convert the electrical circuit and plug in your kitchen from 220 volts to 110 volts for the new cooktop to work.
Electric cooktops use either coil elements or radiant ribbons installed under ceramic glass to heat food. These two variations offer the same energy efficiency rates; the smooth surface of a glass-top range is the easier of the two to clean. The standard size for an electric cooktop is either 30 or 36 inches in width. The cooktop requires a 220-volt circuit to run, which is greater than the usual voltage for household circuits.
Gas cooktops use less energy than electric models and waste little energy. They come in the same standard sizes as most electric cooktops and are greener options. If you already have gas lines running to your home to supply heat or hot water, than you can also have a line run to your kitchen to supply the stove. Gas cooktops cannot run on a 220-volt circuit. Instead, they need a 110-volt circuit for their electronic pilots. To convert to a gas cooktop, you also must change the electric circuit that supplies it.
A 220-volt circuit is considered high voltage. Because circuits of different loads require breakers of different amps to be up to code, you shouldn’t try to convert the 220V plug to a standard 110V on your own. The risk of injury and of violating code is too high. Instead, hire a licensed electrician to convert the line and the plug. You should also hire a licensed plumber to evaluate your gas lines and make any necessary changes before the stove is installed.
You can’t run an electric cooktop on a 110V circuit; the change should only be made to support a new gas cooktop. While gas cooktops are more efficient than electric models, converting yours over won’t make a huge impact on your energy costs. Stoves don’t use enough energy to make a large difference month-to-month. Gas cooktops aren’t as easy to clean as electric; they can pollute your home with dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide. Take these drawbacks into account before attempting to convert your cooktop and making changes to your home’s electric system.
- Good Green Kitchens; Jennifer Roberts
- Palo Alto Weekly: Converting Electric to Gas Stoves Takes Careful Planning
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