Decarbonizing Our Home With An Induction Stove

New LG Oven

We have a new induction stove. It’s beautiful, boils water ridiculously fast, is better for our lungs, and doesn’t burn any fossil fuels. I only wish we had replaced our natural gas stove sooner.

Last summer our stove was having serious problems. The burner in the oven wouldn’t reliably ignite, so we couldn’t use it for baking. That should have been our cue to replace it, but uncertainty around how long it would take to replace plus a feeling that a 10-year-old stove was “worth fixing,” meant we spent $931 getting it back into working condition.

Oven Repair

In the meantime, we started the process of replacing our natural gas range with a new induction version. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a simple swap. We needed electrical work to install a new 240V plug on a 40 amp circuit and research what kind of stove we wanted.

The electrical work was surprisingly complicated. We live in a 3-story townhouse with no basement or attic to run wiring through. The electrical panel is on the second floor, and the kitchen is on the first floor.

Hole in the Wall

The first electrician said it would cost thousands of dollars and require extensive drywall repair and therefore wasn’t worth doing.

Undeterred, we got a more experienced electrician from WireChief who helped us map out a route from the electrical panel, through a bedroom closet, down through the kitchen pantry, and then to the stove. We used metal-sheathed BX wiring that doesn’t need to be embedded in the walls. The wiring is exposed but hidden above the bedroom closet shelves and behind the kitchen cabinets. This simplified the installation and limited the drywall repair.

Puttied

I learned a lot about drywall repair, which I did on my own. It was a time-consuming but relatively straightforward renovation.

Once the electrical work was done, we had to decide what stove we wanted. We read reviews, looked at reliability numbers, and perused display units in the showroom. Honestly, there didn’t seem to be much separating the induction stoves from LG, Samsung, Kitchenaid, GE, and Bosch.

The main differentiator was the physical form. Some stoves have big burners in the back, but we prefer them in the front. Other stoves have touchscreen controls, and we wanted physical dials. We tried to avoid gimmicky features like WiFi controls (why do manufacturers think this is a selling feature!?) and glowing blue lights as much as possible.

Stove Shopping

We created a detailed spreadsheet and weighed the options for a long time but eventually decided the LG LSE4617ST Induction Range was the best option.

We thought the new stove would take a while to arrive (one local appliance store quoted 8 months with current supply chain shortages), but somehow we were able to get one within a week of ordering it.

Unfortunately, the delivery happened while I was in the hospital, so Emily had to deal with everything. I had planned on capping the old natural gas line myself. A foolish thought I had after watching a YouTube video. It was a dumb idea, to begin with, but even dumber when I spent 20 minutes on a video call trying to walk Emily through the process late one night. Ultimately, we realized it was best left for a professional and paid a plumber to cap it.

Induction Pancakes

We’ve been delighted with our new stove. The induction cooktop is fantastic to cook with and easier to clean. We only had to get rid of one good frying pan – all our other pots and pans work fine with induction.

Now we don’t need to worry about indoor air quality problems. Natural gas stoves create high levels of indoor air pollution and are linked to increased asthma rates. Our daughter has spent too much time in the hospital for asthma. And even though she’s been better in recent years, we’re happy not to worry about the pollution we’re causing every time we cook dinner.

Our stove was the only part of our home burning fossil fuels. Now that it is gone, we’ve done all we can to decarbonize our household. I estimated our natural gas consumption was around 3.6 GJ per year, which turns into 0.18 tonnes CO2. It’s not the most significant part of our carbon footprint (food and transport account for more, even car-free vegans), but it was relatively easy to reduce. Every little bit helps.

The total renovation cost $4,818.05.

  • $819.00 – electrical work to install a 240V outlet
  • $47.36 – DIY drywall repair supplies (compound, insulation, etc.)
  • $150.00 – capping the natural gas line
  • $3,801.69 – new LG stove (with 4-year protection plan, delivery, and haul away)
New Stove

3 comments

  1. Congrats on getting this in! I have stove envy. +1 to avoiding wifi and touchscreens that wear out.

    Do you know why induction stoves are so expensive? Is it just supply & demand?

    Like

    • I think it is partly economies of scale. Traditional electric ranges outsell induction by a large margin.
      But I think induction technology is just inherently more complicated and expensive. A simple metal coil will likely always be cheaper than electromagnetic copper coils in induction.

      I think it’s similar to a conventional hot water tank vs a heat pump hot water tank. The conventional will likely always be simpler and cheaper to buy, but you expect to recover the higher upfront cost through cheaper operating costs. I don’t think that’s the same for induction stoves. It’s cheaper to cook on but not enough to offset the costs. So we’re paying a premium for a better cooking experience and safety (less likely to burn yourself on it).

      Like

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