Have you ever wanted a quick cup of tea and found that waiting for the water to heat up seems to take forever. That’s because much of the energy used escapes, and doesn't work to actually heat the water. Here are three ways that are NOT great for heating water, plus one that really works well.
1. Saucepans Are For Sauce
Reaching for a saucepan to heat water may be your only option while camping, but for everyday use it's no good. You can actually feel why the next time you have something cooking on the stove. Hold your hand (carefully!) in the air around the saucepan. You will feel heat radiating from the gas flame or the electric elements. You can also feel heat coming from the metal cook-top itself. The thing is, that heat is warming the air in your kitchen, not the water. What a waste of time and energy!
Gas hot plate: Energy efficiency: ~35%. Heat up time for 1 cup: ~200 seconds
Electric hot plate: Energy efficiency: ~41%, Heat up time for 1 cup: ~180 seconds
Induction hot plate: Energy efficiency: ~67%, Heat up time for 1 cup: ~110 seconds
This problem occurs because physics moves heat in all directions, not just the direction we want it to go in. While heat enters the water inside the saucepan, it also enters the air outside the saucepan. Even the water loses heat as steam rises into the air.
By the time that saucepan of water gets hot, more than half of the energy you’ve used has quite literally disappeared into thin air.
2. The Nuclear Option Isn’t an Option
Nuking a cup of water in the microwave seems like a logical way to heat it up. After all, these ovens cook food by zapping water molecules with beams of microwave energy, right?
The trouble is, microwave ovens are designed to gently raise the food’s temperature so it cooks evenly. If the oven blasted the food with microwaves, the food would be piping hot on the outside and cold inside. It takes several minutes to heat a cup of water in the microwave, wasting more than a third of the electricity along the way.
Microwave ovens Energy efficiency: ~63% Heat up time for 1 cup: ~60-110 seconds
3. Watch That Kettle
An electric kettle works better than these other options. The efficiency is almost perfect, but there’s a catch. It's fine if you're using a full kettle of water when you have guests, but what if you only want one cup for some ramen noodles? You may end up pouring half a kettle of hot water down the drain, meaning you pour half of that energy efficiency down the drain right along with it. Our research shows that on average 25% of boiled hot water will eventually go down the drain.
Electric Kettle: Energy efficiency: ~72% Heat up time for 1 cup: ~30-45 seconds
The Best Option: Nano
The designers of the Nano water dispenser have found a way to deliver hot water as quickly as possible, without wasting much electricity. Nano's innovative flow-through heating system uses an intense burst of energy to heat water in the seconds it takes to flow from the filter to your cup.
With the Nano, you won’t be heating a tank of water warm all day, like many old-fashioned water coolers do. You won't waste all that energy heating up thin air, like you would with a saucepan on the stove. The Nano uses shorter, more intense bursts of energy than a microwave oven. And, unlike a kettle, the Nano heats exactly as much water as you need - no more, no less.
Q&C Nano: Energy efficiency: ~98% Heat up time for 1 cup: ~23 seconds
Nano has an astounding 98% energy efficiency. So the next time you’re in the mood for a quick drink to warm you up, simply tap the Nano to get the hot water you need fast.