Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?

In recent months, we have seen several news stories concerning the possible ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating, air conditioning and plumbing company thinking about gas stoves? Hold that thought! First of all, we wanted to try and cut through the excitement, confusion and inaccurate info to share a summary of the facts and only the facts: 

Fact #1: 

There are approximately 40 million gas stoves in the kitchens of American families and no, “the Man” is not coming for your gas stove. But dozens of 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 pointless to invest in a gas stove, even if they haven’t been banned. 

Fact #2: 

Gas stoves have been the subject of debate due to multiple 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 ideal. 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 help lead to 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 fuel (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 produce unhealthy substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), another common indoor allergen, through what’s known as “outgassing.” 
  • Cleaning Compounds: Many popular cleaning products may produce VOCs or other chemicals. 
  • The 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: It may seem counter-intuitive, but homes that are well insulated are “sealed tighter” and as a result won’t have as much infiltration from natural, outdoor air. 

Fact #4: 

There are well-known standards for residential ventilation and acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are often referred to as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have generally adopted these standards to establish minimum ventilation requirements and other measures so that you can minimize adverse effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for everyone. 

That being said, the overall performance of your ventilation is not directly assessed or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly reliant on climate conditions outdoors, the square footage of the home and other factors. The actual ventilation performance in your average American home fluctuates widely. 

Fact #5: 

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 choose between your gas stove and the possibility for lower indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real key to this debate. 

First, whenever you cook with a gas stove, you ought to use the fan on your range hood so the combustion byproducts like smoke and CO gas are properly released out of your home. But honestly: how often do any of us use the fan on the range hood? 

Which leads to our next point. There are much more effective whole-home ventilation solutions 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. 

Comparing Whole-Home Residential Ventilation Options 

System Type  Advantages  Disadvantages 
Exhaust Fans  Easy and Inexpensive  Typically, manually controlled Not energy efficient Not the most effective for proper ventilation costs 
Outside Air Dampers  Reasonably affordable Incorporated into the HVAC System Adjustable Automatic Ventilation  Not energy efficient May lead to air pressurization inside the home May add excess moisture/humidity into the home May adversely impact comfort in cold and more humid climates 
Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)  Energy Efficient Balanced 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 thinking 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 solution might be best for your home, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing at .