Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
Recently, we have seen many news stories regarding the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating, air conditioning and plumbing company writing about gas stoves? We'll tell you in a moment! First, we wanted to try and cut through the excitement, confusion and misinformation to share a review of the facts and only the facts:
There are an estimated 40 million gas stoves in the kitchens of American families and no, “the Man” is not coming for your gas stove. However, several cities — and some states — are already moving away from natural gas as part of a growing decarbonization, particularly in new construction properties. This will make it worthless to purchase a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.
Gas stoves have been the subject of arguments due to several recent studies that have indicated that emissions from gas stoves may be dangerous to your health. Namely, leading to respiratory illness and asthma.
The air found in our homes (and businesses) is much less than perfect. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has studied this issue in-depth, sharing findings that indicate indoor levels of pollutants could be two to five times — and on occasion more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
While gas stoves may contribute to poor indoor air quality, they obviously aren’t the only cause. Others could be:
- Occupants Within the Home: People and pets at home produce carbon dioxide (CO2), odors, cigarette smoke and pet dander (a common allergen).
- Other Combustion Appliances: Other gas (or wood/oil burning) appliances such as space heaters, fireplaces, furnaces and water heaters.
- Building Materials and Furnishings: Paints, carpeting, fiberglass, particle board and fabrics may release harmful substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), another common indoor allergen, through what’s known as “outgassing.”
- Cleaning Compounds: Many popular cleaning products may produce VOCs or other chemicals.
- The Soil: Radon gas and stormwater runoff may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the soil bordering the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: Naturally there are energy savings benefits, but homes that are well insulated are “sealed up” and as a consequence won’t have as much infiltration from fresh, outdoor air.
There are common guidelines for residential ventilation and suitable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are often referred to as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have generally adopted these standards to identify minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in order to reduce any harmful effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for everyone.
That being said, the ultimate performance of your ventilation is not directly tested or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly reliant on the weather outdoors, the square footage of the home and other factors. The actual ventilation performance in a typical home fluctuates widely.
It’s still entirely your preference. You don’t have to trash your gas stove and replace it with electric, and you also don’t have to choose between your gas stove and the prospect for poorer indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real answer to this debate.
First, anytime you cook with a gas stove, you really should use the fan on your range hood so the combustion byproducts like smoke and CO gas are safety ventilated out of your home. But to be candid: how often do any of us use the fan on the range hood?
Which is our next point. There are more suitable whole-home ventilation solutions that will significantly improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still enabling you to be the master chef in your home. Read on to learn more about the potential solutions for your home.
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|Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)|| || |
So, why is a HVAC company thinking about gas stoves? Well, the “V” in HVAC stands for “Ventilation” and “There’s an Expert for That”! To learn more about these appliances and which option might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 205-267-0023.