Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In the past few months, we have seen many news stories concerning the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating and cooling company talking about gas stoves? We'll tell you in a moment! First of all, we wanted to try and cut through the hype, confusion and misinformation to provide a review of the facts and only the facts:
There are approximately 40 million gas stoves in the U.S. and no, “the government” is not coming for your gas stove. Yet several cities — and some states — are already moving away from natural gas as part of a growing decarbonization, particularly in new construction properties. This will make it worthless to invest in a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.
Gas stoves have been the focus of debate due to multiple recent studies that have suggested that emissions from gas stoves may be harmful to your health. Namely, worsening respiratory illness and asthma.
The air within our homes (and businesses) is much less than excellent. 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 contribute to 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 release 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.
- The Soil: Radon gas and humidity may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the foundation bordering the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: While there are significant energy efficiency benefits, homes that are well insulated are “sealed up” and as a consequence won’t have as much infiltration from natural, outdoor air.
There are common 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 adopted these standards to determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures so that you can reduce 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 dependent on the weather outdoors, the size of the home and other factors. The true 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 pick 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 should use the fan on your range hood so the combustion byproducts like smoke and CO gas are properly discharged 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 strategies that will dramatically improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still enabling 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 thinking 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 210-570-9705.