Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In the past few months, we have seen several news stories regarding the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating, air conditioning and plumbing company talking about gas stoves? More on that question later! First, we wanted to try and cut through the hype, confusion and inaccurate info to share 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. But 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 pointless to invest in a gas stove, despite what lawmakers are talking about.
Gas stoves have been the focus of controversy due to several recent investigations that have suggested that emissions from gas stoves may be hazardous to your health. Namely, leading to respiratory illness and asthma.
The air inside 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 occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
While gas stoves may play a role in poor indoor air quality, they obviously aren’t the only cause. 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 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 release 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.
- Nearby Soil: Radon gas and stormwater runoff 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 result won’t have as much infiltration from fresh, outdoor air.
There are well-known guidelines 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 largely adopted these standards to determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures so that you can decrease 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 measured or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly reliant on climate conditions outdoors, the square footage of the home and other factors. The precise ventilation performance in a typical home fluctuates widely.
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 choose between your gas stove and the possibility for poorer indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real key to this debate.
First, anytime 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 properly released out of your home. But let’s be honest: 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 products that will consistently improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still allowing you to be the master chef in your home. Read on to find out 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 gas stoves and which solution might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 713-396-3760.