Cuppa time? Think about the number of times you have boiled water for your “wake up” coffee or tea. When thinking about energy savings at home, do you pay attention to little appliances like the kettle?
A brief history
Between 3500 and 2000 B.C., the earliest recognized kettle-shaped vessel which was originally used for cooking was discovered in Mesopotamia. To quench the thirst of British tea drinkers and an electric kettle was discovered in the late 19th Century. This electric kettle has a built-in heating element, encased in a metal tube that was housed in the water chamber of the kettle. A few years later around early 1950, Russell Hobbs created the first automatic electric kettle which featured a cool-touch handle and lid to prevent burning one’s hands.
How it works
A metal coil is inside every kettle. Whenever electrical energy travels through the coil it turns into heat and warms the cold water inside.
A few cents every cuppa
It cost between 4 to 5 cents each time you boil water using an electric kettle. It also depends on the size of the kettle and your electricity rate. Most commercial kettles range from 1.5 L to 1.8 L, the larger size intuitively consumes more electricity.
Use it efficiently
When it comes to boiling water, kettles are already 50% more efficient than stovetops but you can save even more by doing these things.
- Don’t overfill. Only boil what you need.
- Buy the right size kettle. If you usually boil a cup or two at a time, get a really small kettle.
- Don’t boil if you don’t have to. For making tea and coffee, you don’t need to bring the kettle to a full boil. Set your kettle so that it only boils the water to the temperature you need.
- Prewarm the teapot sparingly and reuse the water. If you are boiling water for tea and you want to prewarm your teapot, just pour a half cup of boiling water in the pot. Swirl it around for about 10 seconds or so and pour it back into the kettle. Bring the water to a boil again which will maintain the temperature of your tea for a longer period.
- Use the hot water right away. You don’t wanna keep boiling.
- Look for insulated energy saving kettles. These kettles will keep more of the heat inside the kettle so that the water lasts longer before it needs to be boiled again and takes less energy to come back to the boil.
- Save the extra hot water. If you boil too much hot water, use what’s left. Leave it in the kettle – someone else might want to make themselves a cup of tea or put the water in a thermos to keep it hot.
- Clean it at least once amount with vinegar solution to avoid build-up of limescale.