Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In recent months, we have seen numerous news stories regarding the possible ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating and cooling company talking about gas stoves? Hold that thought! First of all, we wanted to try and cut through the hype, confusion and misinformation to present a review 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. However, several cities — and some states — are already moving away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce emissions, particularly in new construction properties. This will make it pointless to purchase a gas stove, even if they haven’t been banned.
Gas stoves have been the target of arguments due to some recent studies that have indicated that emissions from gas stoves may be dangerous to your health. Namely, it’s causing respiratory illness and asthma.
The air inside our homes (and businesses) is much less than excellent. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) references studies that indicate indoor levels of 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 are definitely not the only factor. Others may 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 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 harmful 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 surrounding the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: While there are significant energy efficiency benefits, homes that are well insulated are “more restrictive” and as a consequence won’t have as much infiltration from natural, outdoor air.
There are formal standards for residential ventilation and suitable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are more commonly known as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have largely adopted these standards to identify minimum ventilation requirements and other measures so that you can reduce any negative 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 assessed or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly reliant on climate conditions outdoors, the square footage of the home and other factors. The true ventilation performance in a typical home may vary.
It’s still entirely your preference. You don’t have to say goodbye to your gas stove and replace it with electric, and you also don’t have to be forced to decide between your gas stove and the potential for lower indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real key to this debate.
First, each time you cook with a gas stove, you really should use the fan on your range hood so the combustion byproducts like smoke and CO gas are safety released out of your home. But to be candid: how often do any of us use the fan on the range hood?
Which is our next point. There are much more effective whole-home ventilation solutions that will dramatically 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.
Reviewing Whole-Home Residential Ventilation Options
|Simple and Inexpensive
|Typically, manually controlled Not energy efficient Not the most reliable for proper ventilation costs
|Outside Air Dampers
|Fairly affordable Integrated into the HVAC System Adjustable Automatic Ventilation
|Not energy efficient May cause air pressurization inside the home May add excess moisture/humidity into the home May negatively impact comfort in cold and more humid climates
|Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)
|Energy Efficient Sufficient Ventilation throughout the home Adjustable Automatic Ventilation
|Higher cost May require distribution ducting Installation may be difficult 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 option might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at .