Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In recent months, we have seen numerous news stories pertaining to the potential 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 of all, we wanted to try and cut through the hype, confusion and misinformation to share a recap of the facts and only the facts:
There are close to 40 million gas stoves in the United States and no, “the Man” is not coming for your gas stove. But dozens of cities — and some states — are already moving away from natural gas as part of a growing decarbonization, particularly in new construction homes. This will make it pointless to purchase a gas stove, even if they haven’t been banned.
Gas stoves have been the subject of arguments due to several recent studies that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be harmful to your health. Namely, worsening respiratory illness and asthma.
The air found in our homes (and businesses) is much less than ideal. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed reports that indicate indoor levels of airborne pollutants may be two to five times — and occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
Even though gas stoves may play a role in poor indoor air quality, they certainly are not the only culprit. Others could be:
- Occupants Within the Home: People and pets at home produce carbon dioxide (CO2), odors, tobacco 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 produce unhealthy 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 moisture may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the foundation bordering the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: Naturally there are energy savings benefits, but homes that are well insulated are “more restrictive” and as a result won’t have as much infiltration from natural, outdoor air.
There are common standards 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 embraced these standards to determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in order to decrease adverse effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for everyone.
That being said, the overall performance of your ventilation is not directly measured or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly predicated on the local environment outdoors, the square footage of the home and other factors. The precise ventilation performance in a typical home may vary.
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 poor indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real key to this debate.
First, whenever 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 released 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 better whole-home ventilation solutions that will consistently improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still allowing you to be the "Bobby Flay" chef in your home. Read on to learn more about the possible 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 solution might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 303-647-5749.