Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?

Recently, we have seen many news stories pertaining to the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating, air conditioning and plumbing company writing about gas stoves? Hold that thought! First of all, we wanted to try and cut through the hype, confusion and misinformation to present a summary of the facts and only the facts:

Fact #1:

There are an estimated 40 million gas stoves in the U.S. and no, “the government” is not coming for your gas stove. Yet several cities — and some states — are already transitioning away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce emissions, especially in new construction properties. This will make it worthless to buy a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.

Fact #2:

Gas stoves have been the focus of controversy due to some recent studies that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be harmful to your health. Namely, worsening 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) has completed reports that indicate indoor levels of airborne pollutants could 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 are definitely not the only factor. Others might 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 release unhealthy substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), another common indoor allergen, through what’s known as “outgassing.”
  • Cleaning Compounds: Home cleaning products may produce VOCs or other chemicals.
  • Nearby Soil: Radon gas and stormwater runoff may enter the home through the basement or crawl space from the foundation bordering the home.
  • Well-Insulated Homes: Naturally there are energy savings benefits, but 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 known by industry experts as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have widely adopted these standards to determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to minimize any harmful 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 predicated on climate conditions 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 say goodbye to your gas stove and replace it with electric, and you also don’t have to pick between your gas stove and the possibility for lower indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real secret to this debate.

First, each time you prepare a meal 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 better whole-home ventilation products that will dramatically improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still enabling you to be the #1 chef in your home. Read on to find out more about the possible solutions for your home.

Reviewing Whole-Home Residential Ventilation Options
System Type Advantages Disadvantages
Exhaust Fans
    Basic and Inexpensive
  • Commonly, manually controlled
  • Not energy efficient
  • Not the most reliable for proper ventilation costs
Outside Air Dampers
  • Fairly affordable
  • Built into the HVAC System
  • Adjustable Automatic Ventilation
  • Not energy efficient
  • May result in air pressurization inside the home
  • May introduce excess moisture/humidity into the home
  • May adversely impact comfort in cold and more humid climates
Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)
  • Energy Efficient
  • Sufficient Ventilation throughout the home
  • Adjustable Automatic Ventilation
  • Higher cost
  • May require 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 gas stoves and which option might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 801-436-8985.


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