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Energy Efficiency of Cooktops

How energy efficient is the various types of cooktops? This is a question that everyone wants the answer to when they are shopping for cooktops. While most of the newer models of induction, electric and gas cooktops have acquired the Energy Star rating, some are still more eco-friendly than others. The key is to find the balance between your needs and those of the environment when shopping for cooktops. An appliance is not truly efficient if your productivity is decreased.

Induction cooktops are some of the very energy efficient types of cooktops on the market today. Because induction cooktops use the transfer of electromagnetic energy to heat the cookware rather than the cooktop, there is virtually no loss of energy. Approximately 90 percent of the energy produced is used. This means that induction cooktops may help you to save money on your electric bill each month as they offer some great energy saving benefits. Your kitchen will also stay cooler using these cooktops, thus reducing your monthly utility bills even more. If your primary concern is reducing your carbon footprint, then induction cooktops are probably the best choice for you.

Electric cooktops are another type of cooktops that help with energy efficiency. Today’s electric cooktops boast a number of features to reduce the loss of energy. Many models have duel size burners, reducing energy wasted from pans sitting on heating elements that are too big. Some electric cooktops also have an automatic shut-off feature if you accidentally leave the burner on. Many do not require as high of a voltage of electricity as induction cooktops, making the monthly operating costs slightly lower in some cases. If the green in your wallet is just as important as the green in the environment, electric cooktops may be the correct answer for you.

Gas cooktops are preferred by many as it offers a different cooking style. They are still a favorite among professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts. Gas cooktops may give you more control over the heat than induction cooktops or electric cooktops and, as a result, cook food more evenly. If cooking with gas is important to you, you can slightly increase the energy efficiency of gas cooktops by choosing a model with a lower BTU. Gas cooktops may cost less to operate each month depending on your rates for natural gas. With the cost of electricity on the rise, gas cooktops are definitely the gourmet, budget friendly choice for those looking for energy saving cooktops.

Once you decide whether induction cooktops, electric cooktops or gas cooktops best fit your needs, you should consider some of the durability factors of the various models within that category. Is the appliance insulated? Is it vented? The answer to these questions will help you to pick the cooktops that will work best for you and your situation.

cooktops

How To Select The Right Swimming Pool Heater

Swimming pool heaters are essential if you want to use your pool after the sun has set or if you want to enjoy a longer swimming season. There are many different types and models of pool heaters available to choose from and it’s important to have one that meets all of your needs. While the many available choices and the number of considerations that need to be taken into account may seem overwhelming when purchasing a pool heater, it doesn’t have to be that way. Simply by determining the answers to a few questions before you start shopping, you can greatly narrow down what you’re looking for and make your choice much easier.

Whether you’re in the market for a heater for an above ground swimming pool or an in-ground swimming pool, you will have a number of different types of heaters to choose from. To begin with, different models of pool heaters are powered by different energy sources. For example, swimming pool heaters can be powered by electricity, natural gas, propane or solar energy. The power source that will be right for you will depend upon what is available in your area as well as your preferences with respect to operation, efficiency, cost and environmental impact.

The specifications for swimming pool heaters will typically use BTUs, or British Thermal Units, to express the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of your pool by one degree Fahrenheit. Most models of pool heaters will fall somewhere in the range of 75,000 BTUs to 400,000 BTUs. The higher the BTU rating, the faster the unit will heat the pool water. Therefore, it’s not surprising that higher BTU ratings also come at a higher cost. The speed that you need your heater to warm up your pool at will depend upon your pool usage. For example, if you only want to heat your pool for weekend use, you might want faster results. However, if you are keeping your pool at a constant temperature throughout the swimming season, you might not mind if it takes a few days to raise the temperature of your pool at the beginning of the season.

In addition to considering the amount of energy required by a certain pool heater to raise the water temperature of your pool, it’s also important to consider efficiency. Fortunately, swimming pool heaters are given an efficiency rating so this factor is typically easy to determine. While most electric and gas heating units feature an efficiency rating of 80% to 83%, it’s possible to find models with a rating as high as 95%. Naturally, heaters with a higher efficiency rating require less energy to operate and therefore will also cost you less money to operate.

As a result of modern-day energy costs, electric heaters are generally the most expensive type of pool heater to operate. Propane heaters are next in line while heaters powered by natural gas tend to cost approximately half as much to operate as propane heaters. Solar heaters, on the other hand, are very inexpensive to run and are extremely efficient as they are powered by sunlight. In fact, solar swimming pool heaters involve extremely low or even zero energy costs. While solar pool heaters depend on sunny weather to heat pool water, they are a great option for regions that receive plenty of sunshine.

Another consideration to keep in mind when shopping for a new pool heater is the durability of the models that you’re looking at. Since your heater will be outdoors, it’s important to make sure that the model you choose is designed to withstand harsh weather and UV radiation. Many high quality units will come with weather resistant housing which protects the internal components of the heater and extends the lifespan of the unit significantly.

Some people like the peace of mind that often comes with purchasing products from trusted manufacturers with a long history of providing top-quality, long-lasting products. In the swimming pool equipment industry, there are several manufactures and brands that have been around for many years and that have a reputation for producing durable and high-performing pool heaters. If you’d like to go with a trusted brand name, you can either rely on word-of-mouth from other pool owners or conduct some simple research online to determine which manufacturers have the best reputation.

When considering the purchase of a new pool heater, you will also have to figure out the size of heater that your pool requires. This will depend upon the surface area of your pool and the thermal efficiency that you want. Pool equipment retailers will often provide equations or sizing charts that will allow you to easily determine the size you need. Last but not least, you will need to consider how much you are willing and able to spend so you can determine which swimming pool heaters will fit your budget.