Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?

In the past few months, we have seen a number of news stories pertaining to the possible ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating, air conditioning and plumbing company writing about gas stoves? Hold that thought! To begin with, we wanted to try and cut through the excitement, confusion and misinformation to provide a summary of the facts and only the facts: 

Fact #1: 

There are an estimated 40 million gas stoves in the United States 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 much less worthwhile to invest in a gas stove, despite what lawmakers are talking about. 

Fact #2: 

Gas stoves have been the focus of arguments due to some recent studies that have indicated that emissions from gas stoves may be dangerous to your health. Namely, leading to respiratory illness and asthma. 

Fact #3: 

The air within our homes (and businesses) is much less than perfect. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has studied this issue in-depth, sharing findings that indicate indoor levels of pollutants could be two to five times — and occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels. 

While gas stoves may help lead to poor indoor air quality, they certainly are not the only culprit. Others could be: 

  • Occupants Within the Home: People and pets at home produce carbon dioxide (CO2), odors, tobacco 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 release 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. 
  • The Soil: Radon gas and stormwater runoff may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the foundation surrounding the home. 
  • Well-Insulated Homes: Naturally there are energy savings benefits, but homes that are well insulated are “sealed up” and as a consequence won’t have as much infiltration from fresh, outdoor air. 

Fact #4: 

There are formal practices for residential ventilation and suitable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are more commonly known as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have largely followed 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 overall 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 your average American home fluctuates widely. 

Fact #5: 

It’s still entirely your preference. You don’t have to rip out your gas stove and replace it with electric, and you also don’t have to pick between your gas stove and the prospect for lower indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real secret to this debate. 

First, whenever you cook 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 is our next point. There are better whole-home ventilation products that will consistently 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. 

Comparing Whole-Home Residential Ventilation Options 

System Type  Advantages  Disadvantages 
Exhaust Fans  Easy and Inexpensive  Commonly, manually controlled Not energy efficient Not the most reliable for proper ventilation costs 
Outside Air Dampers  Reasonably affordable Incorporated 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 negatively impact comfort in cold and more humid climates 
Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)  Energy Efficient Sufficient Ventilation throughout the home Adjustable Automatic Ventilation  Pricey May necessitate distribution ducting Installation may be difficult in retrofit applications 

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 Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing at .