Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In the past few months, we have seen many news stories concerning the possible ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is an HVAC company talking about gas stoves? We'll tell you in a moment! First, we wanted to try and cut through the drama, confusion and inaccurate info to provide a recap of the facts and only the facts:
There are approximately 40 million gas stoves in the United States and no, “the Fed” is not coming for your gas stove. But many cities — and some states — are already transitioning away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce emissions, especially in new construction homes. This will make it worthless to buy a gas stove, despite what lawmakers are talking about.
Gas stoves have been the focus of arguments due to multiple recent investigations that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be harmful 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) has studied this issue in-depth, sharing findings that indicate indoor levels of airborne pollutants can be two to five times — and sometimes more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
Even though gas stoves may help lead to poor indoor air quality, they are definitely not the only factor. Others could 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 gas (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 stormwater runoff may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the soil surrounding the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: It may seem counter-intuitive, but 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 suitable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are often referred to as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have largely embraced these standards to establish minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to decrease any harmful effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for everyone.
That being said, the overall performance of your ventilation is not directly assessed or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly reliant on the weather outdoors, the size of the home and other factors. The actual ventilation performance in your average American home is not easily determined.
It’s still entirely your choice. 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 lower indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real key to this debate.
First, anytime you prepare meals 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 honestly: 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 products that will significantly improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still enabling you to be the top chef in your home. Read on to find out more about the potential solutions for your home.
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So, why is a HVAC company talking 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 option might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 803-399-7208.