Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?

In the past few months, we have seen many news stories concerning the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating and cooling company thinking about gas stoves? We’ll tell you in a moment! To begin with, we wanted to try and cut through the hype, confusion and misinformation to present a recap of the facts and only the facts: 

Fact #1: 

There are close to 40 million gas stoves in the kitchens of American families and no, “the Man” is not coming for your gas stove. But many cities — and some states — are already transitioning away from natural gas as part of a growing decarbonization, specifically in new construction homes. This will make it pointless to invest in a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned. 

Fact #2: 

Gas stoves have been the focus of debate due to several recent reports that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be hazardous to your health. Namely, it’s causing respiratory illness and asthma. 

Fact #3: 

The air within 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 occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels. 

While gas stoves may contribute to poor indoor air quality, they are definitely not the only factor. 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 fuel (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 produce unhealthy substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), another common indoor allergen, through what’s known as “outgassing.” 
  • Cleaning Compounds: Home cleaning products may produce VOCs or other chemicals. 
  • Nearby Soil: Radon gas and moisture may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the foundation bordering 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. 

Fact #4: 

There are formal 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 followed these standards to determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures so that you can minimize any harmful effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for you and your family. 

That being said, the overall performance of your ventilation is not directly assessed or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly dependent on the local environment outdoors, the size of the home and other factors. The actual ventilation performance in a typical home fluctuates widely. 

Fact #5: 

It’s still entirely your choice. You don’t have to say goodbye to your gas stove and replace it with electric, and you also don’t have to choose between your gas stove and the possibility for poor indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real key to this debate. 

First, each time you prepare a meal with a gas stove, you really should use the fan on your range hood so the combustion byproducts like smoke and CO gas are properly released out of your home. But let’s be honest: 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 “Bobby Flay” chef in your home. Read on to find out more about the available solutions for your home. 

Reviewing Whole-Home Residential Ventilation Options 

System Type  Advantages  Disadvantages 
Exhaust Fans  Basic and Inexpensive  Commonly, manually controlled Not energy efficient Not the most effective for proper ventilation costs 
Outside Air Dampers  Relatively inexpensive Built into the HVAC System Adjustable Automatic Ventilation  Not energy efficient May lead to air pressurization inside the home May introduce excess moisture/humidity into the home May negatively impact comfort in cold and more humid climates 
Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)  Energy Efficient Proper Ventilation throughout the home Adjustable Automatic Ventilation  Pricey May require distribution ducting Installation may be problematic in retrofit applications 

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 system might be best for your home, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing at . 

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