Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In recent months, we have seen several news stories regarding 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 drama, confusion and misinformation to provide a summary 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. However, many cities — and some states — are already transitioning away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce emissions, specifically in new construction properties. This will make it pointless to invest in a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.
Gas stoves have been the focus of debate due to several recent studies that have indicated that emissions from gas stoves may be dangerous to your health. Namely, worsening respiratory illness and asthma.
The air found in 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 could be two to five times — and sometimes more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
While gas stoves may play a role in poor indoor air quality, they certainly are not the only culprit. Others might 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 natural 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 emit unhealthy 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 through the basement or crawl space from the soil surrounding the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: It may seem counter-intuitive, but homes that are well insulated are “sealed tighter” and as a result won’t have as much infiltration from fresh, outdoor air.
There are common practices for residential ventilation and suitable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are known by industry experts as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have generally followed these standards to identify minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to reduce any harmful effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for everyone.
That being said, the overall performance of your ventilation is not directly assessed or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly reliant on the weather outdoors, the size of the home and other factors. The true ventilation performance in your average American home may vary.
It’s still entirely your choice. 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 key to this debate.
First, anytime you prepare meals 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 ventilated out of your home. But honestly: how often do any of us use the fan on the range hood?
Which takes us to our next point. There are more suitable whole-home ventilation strategies that will significantly improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still allowing you to be the #1 chef in your home. Read on to find out more about the possible solutions for your home.
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So, why is a HVAC company talking 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 system might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 614-334-3192.