Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In recent 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 and cooling company talking about gas stoves? More on that question later! To begin with, we wanted to try and cut through the hype, confusion and misinformation to present a review 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 several cities — and some states — are already transitioning away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce emissions, specifically in new construction homes. This will make it worthless to invest in a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.
Gas stoves have been the subject of arguments due to some recent investigations that have suggested that emissions from gas stoves may be dangerous to your health. Namely, it’s causing respiratory illness and asthma.
The air within our homes (and businesses) is much less than perfect. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed reports that indicate indoor levels of airborne pollutants can be two to five times — and sometimes more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
While gas stoves may play a role in 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, vape smoke and pet dander (a common allergen).
- Other Combustion Appliances: Other natural gas (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 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 surrounding the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: Naturally there are energy savings benefits, but homes that are well insulated are “more restrictive” and as a result won’t have as much infiltration from natural, outdoor air.
There are formal standards 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 embraced these standards to determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to decrease any negative effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for you and your family.
That being said, the overall performance of your ventilation is not directly measured or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly reliant on the local environment outdoors, the size of the home and other factors. The true ventilation performance in your average American home is not easily determined.
It’s still entirely your preference. 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 potential for poor indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real secret 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 properly released out of your home. But to be candid: how often do any of us use the fan on the range hood?
Which takes us to our next point. There are better whole-home ventilation solutions that will consistently improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still allowing you to be the master chef in your home. Read on to learn more about the available solutions for your home.
|Exhaust Fans|| || |
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|Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)|| || |
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 these appliances and which option might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 502-785-8230.