Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In the past few months, we have seen a number of news stories concerning the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is an HVAC company writing about gas stoves? We'll tell you in a moment! First, we wanted to try and cut through the hype, confusion and inaccurate info to provide a summary of the facts and only the facts:
There are approximately 40 million gas stoves in the United States and no, “the government” is not coming for your gas stove. Yet dozens of 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 worthless to invest in a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.
Gas stoves have been the target of controversy due to some recent investigations that have indicated that emissions from gas stoves may be harmful to your health. Namely, it’s causing respiratory illness and asthma.
The air within our homes (and businesses) is much less than perfect. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) references studies 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 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 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: 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 well-known practices for residential ventilation and satisfactory 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 establish minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to decrease any negative effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for you and your family.
That being said, the final performance of your ventilation is not directly tested or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly predicated on the weather outdoors, the square footage of the home and other factors. The actual ventilation performance in the average home fluctuates widely.
It’s still entirely your choice. You don’t have to rip out your gas stove and replace it with electric, and you also don’t have to choose between your gas stove and the possibility for lower indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real answer to this debate.
First, anytime you prepare meals with a gas stove, you should use the fan on your range hood so the combustion byproducts like smoke and CO gas are safety discharged out of your home. But honestly: how often do any of us use the fan on the range hood?
Which leads 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 enabling you to be the "Bobby Flay" chef in your home. Read on to learn more about the available 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 847-250-6729.