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Here's how swapping your cooktop can save you money on your energy bill

"It's endlessly helpful."

"It's endlessly helpful."

Photo Credit: iStock

The effort to become a dynamo in the kitchen can be greatly aided by the latest induction technology, which leverages the power of electromagnetic fields with cost-saving results. 

In fact, induction cooking can lower utility bills, avoid harmful pollution from gas stoves, and — importantly for cooks on a time crunch — provide speedy meal prep, all according to the U.S. Energy Department. 

The good news is that making the switch can be easy and affordable, thanks in part to hundreds of dollars in rebates. 

Are you thinking about switching? 

Adding an induction cooktop to your kitchen doesn't have to be a budget-buster. Duxtop offers well-reviewed portable single-burner versions for around $83 that you can take camping, or even to the backyard for an al fresco experience, when not in use on your countertop. Larger models with more features and multiple burners cost a little more, though up to $840 in federal rebates are available to help you make the switch. 

The efficiency and cost-savings are realized through fascinating science. 

Unlike common electric and gas stoves, induction cooktops use an electromagnetic current to direct heat to a flat-bottomed pot or pan. As long as a magnet can stick to the cookware, it will work. 

"The heat is created from within the cookware itself; as soon as you remove it from a burner, the heating stops. This way, you can cook your food without the cooktop getting as hot as it would on a traditional gas or electric cooktop," DOE's Vivien Bui wrote in a description of the tech

The cooktops mostly have glass or ceramic surfaces. They are easy to install, as they use common electric outlets. If you have an electric stove, you can easily switch to a full induction range. 

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Why are induction cooktops important? 

It's an efficient, effective cooking method invented about a century ago. But it seems the innovation is finally catching on, as nearly 70% of people these days aren't opposed to buying one, according to respondents surveyed by Consumer Reports. 

Families seem to be realizing that the tech simply uses energy much more efficiently — up to three times better than a gas burner and 10% more than traditional smooth-top electric ranges, per the DOE. The better use of heat is part of the way the tech can lower your energy bill

How induction helps the planet

In addition to saving energy and money, induction tech reduces burn risk and eliminates harmful air pollution generated by gas stoves, including formaldehyde. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health states that 12.7% of childhood asthma cases in the U.S. are "attributable" to gas stoves, though other experts feel more research is needed to better understand the risk. 

Furthermore, induction cooktops can save the most important resource you have: your time. The tech can boil water 20-40% faster than other common burner types, per the DOE. 

"You know how they say a watched pot never boils? Well, if you have four minutes to spare with your induction cooktop, that saying is proved wrong," AnneMarie Horowitz, a DOE communications staffer, said in the government report. "It's endlessly helpful having a stove that's faster, safer, and better for the planet." 

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