Induction cooktops offer the ability to change the heat setting instantly, much like a professional gas range, which is not an option with traditional electric cooktops, according to TheInductionSite.com. However, consumers should expect to pay several times more for the induction cooktop than the typical electric range.
Induction cooktops heat the pan instead of an electrical resistance coil. The cooktop remains cool except for the area directly under the pan. In order for pans to work with induction heat, they must be magnetic. Stainless steel and cast iron work, while aluminum, copper and glass do not. For kitchens stocked with nonferrous cookware, the new induction cooktop requires an investment in new pots and pans.
The cool cooktop also increases safety. Because the energy only transfers to the appropriate pan, it is possible to turn a burner to high, lay a hand on the surface and not suffer burns.
While the initial cost of an induction cooktop is more as of 2015, the efficiency of the induction unit decreases its power requirement. These devices transfer 90 percent of the energy they consume to the cooking pan. They boil water in half the time of a traditional stove. The initial investment price is falling as these units become more popular with consumers, according to the California Energy Commission.