Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In recent months, we have seen a number of news stories pertaining to the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating, air conditioning and plumbing company thinking about gas stoves? We'll tell you in a moment! To begin with, we wanted to try and cut through the excitement, confusion and misinformation to share a recap of the facts and only the facts:
There are approximately 40 million gas stoves in the United States and no, “the Man” is not coming for your gas stove. Yet dozens of cities — and some states — are already transitioning away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce CO2, specifically in new construction properties. This will make it much less worthwhile to buy a gas stove, even if they haven’t been banned.
Gas stoves have been the target of debate due to multiple recent studies that have suggested that emissions from gas stoves may be hazardous to your health. Namely, worsening respiratory illness and asthma.
The air found in our homes (and businesses) is much less than perfect. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) references studies that indicate indoor levels of pollutants could be two to five times — and occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
Even though 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 release 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.
- Nearby Soil: Radon gas and stormwater runoff may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the soil around 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 well-known 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 widely embraced these standards to establish minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to minimize any harmful 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 climate conditions outdoors, the size of the home and other factors. The precise ventilation performance in your average American home is not easily determined.
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 choose between your gas stove and the possibility for poorer indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real key to this debate.
First, each time you prepare a meal 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 discharged out of your home. But let’s be honest: how often do any of us use the fan on the range hood?
Which leads to our next point. There are better whole-home ventilation solutions that will consistently 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.
|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 859-905-0834.