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 an HVAC company thinking about gas stoves? We’ll tell you in a moment! First, we wanted to try and cut through the drama, confusion and inaccurate info to present a recap of the facts and only the facts:

Fact #1:

There are an estimated 40 million gas stoves in the U.S. and no, “the Man” is not coming for your gas stove. Yet many cities — and some provinces — are already moving away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce CO2, particularly in new construction homes. This will make it worthless to invest in a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.

Fact #2:

Gas stoves have been the target of debate due to multiple recent investigations that have suggested that emissions from gas stoves may be harmful to your health. Namely, leading to respiratory illness and asthma.

Fact #3:

The air inside our homes (and businesses) is much less than perfect. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has studied this issue in-depth, sharing findings that indicate indoor levels of 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 certainly are not the only culprit. Others could 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 emit 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 moisture may enter the home via the basement or crawl space from the foundation around the home.
    • Well-Insulated Homes: Naturally there are energy savings benefits, but homes that are well insulated are “more restrictive” and as a consequence won’t have as much infiltration from natural, outdoor air.

Fact #4:

There are common guidelines for residential ventilation and suitable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are more commonly known as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have widely adopted these standards to identify minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in order to minimize adverse effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for the entire household.

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

Fact #5:

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

First, whenever 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 safety ventilated 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 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 “Bobby Flay” chef in your home. Read on to find out more about the available solutions for your home.

Comparing Whole-Home Residential Ventilation Options

System Type Advantages Disadvantages
Exhaust Fans Simple and Inexpensive Commonly, 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 cause 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 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 these appliances and which solution might be best for your home, contact Service Experts at .

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