Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?

In the past few 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 writing about gas stoves? More on that question later! 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:

Fact #1:

There are an estimated 40 million gas stoves in the kitchens of American families and no, “the Man” is not coming for your gas stove. But several cities — and some states — are already moving away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce CO2, specifically in new construction properties. This will make it pointless to buy a gas stove, despite what lawmakers are talking about.

Fact #2:

Gas stoves have been the target of debate due to several recent investigations that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be harmful to your health. Namely, leading to respiratory illness and asthma.

Fact #3:

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 may be two to five times — and on occasion more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.

Although gas stoves may play a role in poor indoor air quality, they certainly are not the only culprit. Others might 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 fuel (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 produce harmful 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 humidity may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the foundation around the home.
  • Well-Insulated Homes: While there are significant energy efficiency benefits, homes that are well insulated are “sealed up” and as a result won’t have as much infiltration from natural, outdoor air.

Fact #4:

There are formal practices for residential ventilation and satisfactory indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are more commonly known as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have generally followed these standards to identify minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to minimize any harmful effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for everyone.

That being said, the ultimate performance of your ventilation is not directly measured or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly dependent on the local environment outdoors, the square footage of the home and other factors. The precise ventilation performance in the average home fluctuates widely.

Fact #5:

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 be forced to decide between your gas stove and the prospect for poorer 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 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 strategies that will significantly improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still allowing you to be the #1 chef in your home. Read on to learn more about the potential solutions for your home.

Comparing Whole-Home Residential Ventilation Options
System Type Advantages Disadvantages
Exhaust Fans
    Basic and Inexpensive
  • Typically, manually controlled
  • Not energy efficient
  • Not the most reliable for proper ventilation costs
Outside Air Dampers
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Built 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 adversely impact comfort in cold and more humid climates
Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)
  • Energy Efficient
  • Balanced Ventilation throughout the home
  • Adjustable Automatic Ventilation
  • Higher cost
  • May need distribution ducting
  • Installation may be challenging in retrofit applications

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 solution might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 315-313-6531.


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