Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
Recently, we have seen a number of news stories regarding the possible ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating, air conditioning and plumbing company talking about gas stoves? Hold that thought! First, we wanted to try and cut through the excitement, confusion and inaccurate info to provide a recap of the facts and only the facts:
There are close to 40 million gas stoves in the U.S. and no, “the Man” is not coming for your gas stove. But several cities — and some states — are already transitioning away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce CO2, particularly in new construction homes. This will make it worthless to buy a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.
Gas stoves have been the focus of controversy due to several recent reports that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be dangerous to your health. Namely, leading to respiratory illness and asthma.
The air within our homes (and businesses) is much less than perfect. 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.
Although gas stoves may contribute to poor indoor air quality, they certainly are not the only culprit. Others may be:
- Occupants Within the Home: People and pets at home produce carbon dioxide (CO2), odors, vape 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.
- 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: Household cleaning products may produce VOCs or other chemicals.
- The Soil: Radon gas and moisture may enter the home through the basement or crawl space from the soil bordering the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: It may seem counter-intuitive, but homes that are well insulated are “sealed tighter” and as a consequence won’t have as much infiltration from natural, outdoor air.
There are well-known guidelines for residential ventilation and acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are often referred to as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have widely followed these standards to determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures so that you can minimize adverse effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for the entire household.
That being said, the final performance of your ventilation is not directly tested or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly predicated on climate conditions outdoors, the size of the home and other factors. The precise ventilation performance in your average American 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 potential for poorer indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real secret to this debate.
First, anytime you prepare a meal with a gas stove, you ought to use the fan on your range hood so the combustion byproducts like smoke and CO gas are properly discharged out of your home. But to be candid: how often do any of us use the fan on the range hood?
Which takes us to our next point. There are much more effective whole-home ventilation strategies that will dramatically improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still enabling you to be the #1 chef in your home. Read on to learn more about the potential solutions for your home.
|Exhaust Fans|| || |
|Outside Air Dampers|| || |
|Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)|| || |
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 these appliances and which option might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 847-306-8730.