Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In recent months, we have seen many news stories regarding the possible ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is an HVAC company writing about gas stoves? We'll tell you in a moment! First of all, we wanted to try and cut through the excitement, confusion and inaccurate info to present 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 government” is not coming for your gas stove. But several cities — and some states — are already transitioning away from natural gas as part of a growing decarbonization, specifically in new construction properties. This will make it worthless to buy a gas stove, even if they haven’t been banned.
Gas stoves have been the target of controversy due to multiple recent investigations that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be dangerous to your health. Namely, leading to respiratory illness and asthma.
The air inside our homes (and businesses) is much less than excellent. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed reports that indicate indoor levels of airborne pollutants can be two to five times — and sometimes more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
Although gas stoves may help lead to poor indoor air quality, they obviously aren’t the only cause. Others might 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.
- Construction Materials and Furnishings: Paints, carpeting, fiberglass, particle board and fabrics may emit harmful substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), another common indoor allergen, through what’s known as “outgassing.”
- Cleaning Compounds: Household 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 foundation around the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: While there are significant energy efficiency benefits, homes that are well insulated are “sealed up” and as a consequence won’t have as much infiltration from fresh, outdoor air.
There are formal guidelines for residential ventilation and satisfactory indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are known by industry experts as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have generally adopted these standards to establish minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to decrease adverse effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for the entire household.
That being said, the ultimate performance of your ventilation is not directly measured or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly dependent on climate conditions outdoors, the size 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 pick between your gas stove and the possibility for poor indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real answer to this debate.
First, whenever you prepare a meal with a gas stove, you 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 leads to our next point. There are much more effective 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 possible solutions for your home.
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So, why is a HVAC company writing about gas stoves? Well, the “V” in HVAC stands for “Ventilation” and “There’s an Expert for That”! To learn more about gas stoves and which solution might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 816-787-0500.