Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In recent months, we have seen several news stories pertaining to the possible ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is an HVAC company thinking about gas stoves? More on that question later! To begin with, we wanted to try and cut through the excitement, confusion and misinformation to present a summary of the facts and only the facts:
There are approximately 40 million gas stoves in the U.S. and no, “the Man” is not coming for your gas stove. Yet many cities — and some states — are already moving away from natural gas as part of a growing decarbonization, specifically in new construction properties. This will make it worthless to purchase a gas stove, even if they haven’t been banned.
Gas stoves have been the subject of arguments due to several recent reports that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be hazardous to your health. Namely, worsening respiratory illness and asthma.
The air inside 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 airborne pollutants may be two to five times — and occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
Even though gas stoves may contribute to poor indoor air quality, they certainly are not the only culprit. Others may 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 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 emit 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 humidity may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the soil surrounding the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: Naturally there are energy savings benefits, but homes that are well insulated are “sealed tighter” and as a result won’t have as much infiltration from fresh, outdoor air.
There are common practices for residential ventilation and acceptable 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 in an effort to minimize adverse effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for you and your family.
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 weather outdoors, the size of the home and other factors. The precise ventilation performance in a typical home fluctuates widely.
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 be forced to decide between your gas stove and the potential for poorer indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real secret to this debate.
First, whenever you prepare a meal with a gas stove, you should use the fan on your range hood so the combustion byproducts like smoke and CO gas are safety ventilated 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 solutions that will dramatically 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 possible solutions for your home.
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|Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)|| || |
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 system might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 561-629-1826.