Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?

In the past few months, we have seen several news stories concerning the potential ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is a heating and cooling company writing about gas stoves? Hold that thought! First, we wanted to try and cut through the drama, confusion and misinformation to present a review of the facts and only the facts:

Fact #1:

There are an estimated 40 million gas stoves in the United States and no, “the Fed” is not coming for your gas stove. But many cities — and some states — are already moving away from natural gas as part of a growing decarbonization, particularly in new construction properties. This will make it worthless to invest in a gas stove, even if they haven’t been banned.

Fact #2:

Gas stoves have been the target of controversy due to multiple recent studies that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be hazardous to your health. Namely, leading to respiratory illness and asthma.

Fact #3:

The air found in our homes (and businesses) is much less than excellent. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) references studies that indicate indoor levels of pollutants can be two to five times — and on occasion more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.

Even though gas stoves may contribute to poor indoor air quality, they certainly are not the only culprit. Others could 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 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 produce 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 stormwater runoff may enter the home through 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 natural, outdoor air.

Fact #4:

There are common practices for residential ventilation and satisfactory 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 determine minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to decrease adverse effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for you and your family.

That being said, the final performance of your ventilation is not directly tested or audited. Even if it was, it’s highly dependent on climate conditions outdoors, the size of the home and other factors. The precise ventilation performance in the average home is not easily determined.

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 potential for lower indoor air quality. Proper and consistent ventilation is the real answer to this debate.

First, anytime 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 released out of your home. But let’s be honest: how often do any of us use the fan on the range hood?

Which takes us to our next point. There are more suitable whole-home ventilation solutions that will consistently improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still allowing you to be the "Bobby Flay" 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
    Simple and Inexpensive
  • Typically, manually controlled
  • Not energy efficient
  • Not the most effective for proper ventilation costs
Outside Air Dampers
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Integrated 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
  • Proper Ventilation throughout the home
  • Adjustable Automatic Ventilation
  • Higher cost
  • May require distribution ducting
  • Installation may be problematic in retrofit applications

So, why is a HVAC company talking 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 system might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at 386-310-2061.

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