Unless you eat out every day or survive on pre-made foods, you most likely have a cooking range in your house. Because an average range can function with no issues way beyond its 12-year lifespan, many people are stuck with older appliances. If you are ready to update your range, check out the selection modern market has to offer.
Before we go into discussing different types, let’s get clear about the terminology. After many years of performing appliance repair in Virginia, we’ve noticed a bit of confusion among our customers when it comes to the use of the words “stove,” “range” and “oven.” Let’s turn to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Stove: a portable or fixed apparatus that burns fuel or uses electricity to provide heat
Oven: a chamber used for baking, heating or drying
Range: a cooking stove that has an oven and a flat top with burners or heating elements
Therefore, what most of us have in our kitchens is called a range, which is a single unit with a cooktop and a built-in oven. Informally, we often call it a stove, but for the purpose of this article, let’s stick to the word “range.”
When the cooktop and oven are not connected, we are talking about a set. You can install the cooktop into the countertop and have oven in a different spot. This way you can have them powered separately, and end up with a gas oven and electric cooktop or vice versa.
Gas ranges produce heat by burning natural gas or liquid propane. They usually feature anywhere from 4 to 8 burners of different sizes. Generally, gas ranges have following advantages:
- You can visually monitor the temperature by looking at the flame and adjusting it
- The heat change is immediate: when you turn it down, it takes effect right away
- Can be used when the power goes out
- Gas is less expensive than electricity
- Risk of a gas leak if the range/piping malfunctions or the flame goes out while the range is on
- Gas ranges are typically more expensive than electric ones, and so is the gas pipeline hook-up if you don’t have one installed already.
Electric ranges have that modern look and are often very slick and elegant. They are powered by electricity that heats up coils, which transmit heat to the cooking vessel. The coils can be visible and accessible or hidden under a smooth surface (typically glass) that makes the range top level.
- Cheaper to buy and install: only requires a plug
- If you opt in for a glass top, it’s extremely easy to clean: no disassembly required because heating element is not exposed
- Easy turn-on without need of igniters
- The flat range top can be used as additional countertop space
- Slow heat adjustment: the coil will cool down and heat up gradually
- Subject to power outages
- Glass tops are fragile and can be easily scratched or cracked if you don’t follow the user manual (and that’s when appliance repair service comes to the rescue!)
- Not all cookware is compatible with glass tops: certain shapes and materials are recommended
However, there is one variation of electrical ranges that can compete with gas ones. They are called induction ranges and we’ll talk about them in our next blog post. Meanwhile, if you’ve already decided which range you want, give Discount Appliance Repair a call and we’ll help you install it in no time!