Measuring the effects of using electric kettle to pre-boil water

1 minute read

Electric Kettle

A December 2022 paper1 published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health proposes that between 6.3-19.3% of current childhood asthma is attributed to gas stove usage. Homeowners have the opportunity to substitute a gas stove with new induction stove technology (Interested? Reach out to us for a decarbonization plan), but many individuals, like renters, are not able to make investments into their health and house via a new stove.

For these individuals, some recommended techniques to reduce exposure to gas exhaust are to utilize a fume hood, buy an air purifier for the kitchen, or even open a window when cooking. The study supports these recommendations by finding that reducing exposure through ventilation is associated with a reduction of childhood asthma risk.

Another idea we wanted to investigate is to reduce cooking time for recipes. In this quick post, we go over the math of heating up water in an electric kettle for recipes that require boiling water, like cooking pasta or rice.

Heating a liter of water from 68 Fahrenheit to boiling (212 at sea level) requires 330kJ, or .091kWh of heat.

A typical electric kettle consumes between 2,000 and 3,000 watts per hour, and takes two minutes to boil a liter of water, resulting in about .04 kWh of energy consumed. At an electrical price of 22 cents per kWh, boiling a liter of water will add less than a cent to your electrical bill, while resulting in lower emissions in your kitchen.

The famous 2020 study2, published in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology, showed stove usage producing high concentrations of sub-10nm particles, even within the first ten minutes of cooking. From this and the low cost of boiling water in an electric kettle, we support boiling water in a kettle before making stovetop dishes to reduce overall particulate matter.

Illustration: PM Mass Conc. over time during cooking2:


  1. Gruenwald, T.; Seals, B.A.; Knibbs, L.D.; Hosgood, H.D., III. Population Attributable Fraction of Gas Stoves and Childhood Asthma in the United States. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20, 75. 

  2. Indoor Particulate Matter during HOMEChem: Concentrations, Size Distributions, and Exposures. Sameer Patel, Sumit Sankhyan, Erin K. Boedicker, Peter F. DeCarlo, Delphine K. Farmer, Allen H. Goldstein, Erin F. Katz, William W Nazaroff, Yilin Tian, Joonas Vanhanen, and Marina E. Vance. Environmental Science & Technology 2020 54 (12), 7107-7116 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c00740  2