What Is The Most Energy-Efficient Way To Boil Water? (2023)
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Did you know that boiling water is one of the most energy-intensive activities in your home? However, The most energy-efficient way to boil water is by using an induction stove with a modern kettle designed explicitly for this usage.
This energy-efficient way can also be the most cost-effective way to boil water but it is not always the case and other factors need to be taken into consideration.
Read on to find out how efficient your current way of boiling water is, and if you should change.
Induction – The Most Energy-Efficient Way To Boil Water
Induction stoves heat up quickly and immediately begin transferring the heat energy that is being generated to the metal base of the item holding the water. The metal base usually has a larger surface area than a typical kettle element and this allows for faster and more efficient heat exchange.
However, the age, condition, and energy efficiency rating of the induction appliance must be taken into consideration. Older, poor-quality induction hobs may only be about as efficient as a modern-day electric kettle.
Tests show that a good quality induction hob is about 85% efficient at transferring heat energy to bring water to boiling point.
How efficient is a modern Electric kettle at boiling water?
Modern kettles have good insulation and the heating element sits directly in the water which allows for direct heat exchange. The age, quality, and materials used to create the kettle have a significant impact on its efficiency.
A good quality electric kettle is about 80% efficient at transferring heat energy to bring water to boiling point.
How Efficient Is An Electric Stovetop At Boiling Water?
Electric stove tops are relatively slow to heat up when compared to an induction hob and an electric kettle. This means that they are consuming power before getting any results which makes them about 70% efficient.
Older models will have an energy efficiency rating below 70% due to the inferior materials used and the lack of technological advancements. Energy efficiency may also drop if the electric stove is paired with old-style kettles pots or pans.
How efficient Is A Microwave At Boiling Water?
A microwave can be energy inefficient when it comes to boiling water as it drops down to a rating of about 50% efficiency. This is because the energy created is not going directly into heating the water as it is first converted into microwaves which are then scattered within the microwave itself.
However, you should consider using a microwave to heat small amounts of water. When used in this way microwaves are more energy-efficient than boiling water on the stove or using an electric kettle.
Just make sure to use a microwave-safe container and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
How Efficient Is A Gas Stove At Boiling Water?
Natural gas stoves use energy in the form of concentrated flames to heat the pot, pan, or kettle containing the water until it reaches boiling point. Unfortunately, the flame is also heating the air around the item which drops its efficiency rating down to that of its electrical counterpart at about 70%.
However, electricity costs are generally much higher than the cost of natural gas. Therefore, the energy efficiency of both electricity and natural gas would be the same but the numerical price of the gas would be cheaper.
How To Boil Water For Energy Efficiency
To boil water efficiently you must first use the most efficient equipment as described above, but more importantly, the amount of water you heat up is the biggest determining factor.
For example, heating 2 cups of water in a microwave at 50% efficiency will be more energy efficient than heating 8 cups of water in an electric kettle and wasting 6.
I wish I could say this would never happen but almost everyone I know likes to fill the kettle but never uses all of the water!
How To Be Energy-Efficient And Cut Costs When Boiling Water
#1 Boil only what you need
First things first, use the right amount of water. There’s no need to boil more water than you need, as this just wastes energy. Measure out the amount of water you need before boiling it and pour it into the kettle or pot.
This will not only save energy, but it’ll also save you time.
#2 Use heat Energy From The Cheapest Source
Induction heating is the most efficient, but boiling water in a lidded pan or kettle should be less expensive due to high electricity costs.
And consider using a microwave to heat small amounts of water in a microwave-safe container.
#3 Always Use A lid
Always cover or partially cover the pan or kettle spout when using a gas stove as this helps to trap the heat energy. Trapped energy concentrates its power back to the water below causing the water to boil faster as the energy is not lost to the air.
Electric kettles should always be lidded and for safety, the spout should never be covered or blocked as the building pressure may eject the lid and water from the kettle.
#4 Choose A wider Base Than The Heat Souce Being Supplied
Choosing a broader base than the heat source below will ensure the minimum amount of heat energy is lost to the air or the walls of the pan or kettle being used to contain the water. Gas stoves usually have the flames pointing sideways and a larger base is more suited for capturing and utilizing the heat energy.
#5 Centre The Pan Or Kettle On The Hob
Next up, use the right size burner or hob. If you’re only boiling a small amount of water, use a smaller burner or hob. If you are using a large burner or hob for a small amount of water not only does it waste energy but it can damage the appliance in the long run.
For more on energy-efficient appliances, you might want to look at this review by the good food guide.