Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?

Recently, we have seen many news stories concerning the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating, air conditioning and plumbing company writing about gas stoves? More on that question later! To begin with, we wanted to try and cut through the drama, confusion and misinformation to share a review of the facts and only the facts:

Fact #1:

There are an estimated 40 million gas stoves in the United States and no, “the Fed” is not coming for your gas stove. But several cities — and some states — are already transitioning away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce CO2, especially in new construction properties. This will make it pointless to invest in a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.

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 hazardous to your health. Namely, it’s causing respiratory illness and asthma.

Fact #3:

The air within our homes (and businesses) is much less than ideal. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) references studies that indicate indoor levels of pollutants can be two to five times — and occasionally 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, 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 emit unhealthy 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 foundation around 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.

Fact #4:

There are common guidelines for residential ventilation and suitable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are known by industry experts as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have generally embraced these standards to determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in order to decrease any negative effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for everyone.

That being said, the final 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 true ventilation performance in your average American home fluctuates widely.

Fact #5:

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

First, whenever 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 safety discharged 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 more suitable whole-home ventilation solutions that will significantly improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still enabling you to be the #1 chef in your home. Read on to learn more about the possible solutions for your home.

Comparison of Whole-Home Residential Ventilation Options
System Type Advantages Disadvantages
Exhaust Fans
    Easy and Inexpensive
  • Typically, manually controlled
  • Not energy efficient
  • Not the most reliable for proper ventilation costs
Outside Air Dampers
  • Fairly inexpensive
  • Incorporated into the HVAC System
  • Adjustable Automatic Ventilation
  • Not energy efficient
  • May cause air pressurization inside the home
  • May introduce excess moisture/humidity into the home
  • May negatively impact comfort in cold and more humid climates
Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)
  • Energy Efficient
  • Proper Ventilation throughout the home
  • Adjustable Automatic Ventilation
  • Higher cost
  • May necessitate distribution ducting
  • Installation may be problematic in retrofit applications

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 these appliances and which option might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 856-310-4824.

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