Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In the past few months, we have seen a number of news stories regarding the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating, air conditioning and plumbing company thinking about gas stoves? More on that question later! First, we wanted to try and cut through the drama, confusion and misinformation to provide a recap of the facts and only the facts:
There are an estimated 40 million gas stoves in the kitchens of American families and no, “the Fed” 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 homes. This will make it worthless to buy a gas stove, even if they haven’t been banned.
Gas stoves have been the subject of arguments due to several recent investigations that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be harmful to your health. Namely, it’s causing respiratory illness and asthma.
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 pollutants can be two to five times — and on occasion more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
Although gas stoves may play a role in poor indoor air quality, they are definitely not the only factor. 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 natural 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: Household cleaning products may produce VOCs or other chemicals.
- Nearby Soil: Radon gas and moisture may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the soil around the home.
- Well-Insulated Homes: It may seem counter-intuitive, but homes that are well insulated are “sealed tighter” and as a consequence won’t have as much infiltration from fresh, outdoor air.
There are formal guidelines for residential ventilation and suitable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are often referred to as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have largely embraced these standards to determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures so that you can reduce any negative effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for everyone.
That being said, the overall performance of your ventilation is not directly measured or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly dependent on the weather outdoors, the square footage of the home and other factors. The precise ventilation performance in a typical home may vary.
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 be forced to decide between your gas stove and the possibility for poor indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real key to this debate.
First, each time you prepare meals 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 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 much more effective whole-home ventilation products that will significantly improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still enabling you to be the “Bobby Flay” chef in your home. Read on to find out more about the possible solutions for your home.
Comparing Whole-Home Residential Ventilation Options
|Simple and Inexpensive
|Typically, manually controlled Not energy efficient Not the most effective for proper ventilation costs
|Outside Air Dampers
|Fairly inexpensive Incorporated 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 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 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 these appliances and which solution might be best for your home, contact Sunbeam Service Experts at .
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