Is This Really The End for Gas Stoves?
In recent months, we have seen numerous news stories pertaining to the possible ban of gas stoves used for cooking. So why is an HVAC company thinking about gas stoves? More on that question later! First of all, we wanted to try and cut through the excitement, confusion and inaccurate info to share a recap of the facts and only the facts:
There are close to 40 million gas stoves in the U.S. and no, “the Fed” is not coming for your gas stove. However, many cities — and some states — are already moving away from natural gas as part of efforts to reduce CO2, especially in new construction homes. This will make it worthless to invest in a gas stove, whether or not they are actually banned.
Gas stoves have been the focus of debate due to some recent studies that have implied that emissions from gas stoves may be hazardous to your health. Namely, it’s causing respiratory illness and asthma.
The air within 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 airborne pollutants may be two to five times — and on occasion more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.
Although gas stoves may contribute to poor indoor air quality, they are definitely not the only factor. Others might be:
- Occupants Within the Home: People and pets at home produce carbon dioxide (CO2), odors, vape 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 release harmful substances known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), another common indoor allergen, through what’s known as “outgassing.”
- Cleaning Compounds: Home cleaning products may produce VOCs or other chemicals.
- Nearby Soil: Radon gas and humidity may enter the home through the basement or crawl space from the foundation surrounding 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.
There are common guidelines for residential ventilation and suitable indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. These guidelines are known by industry experts as the ASHRAE 60.2 standard. Local building codes have largely embraced these standards to establish minimum ventilation requirements and other measures in an effort to minimize adverse effects on your health, resolving both health and safety problems for everyone.
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 true ventilation performance in a typical home fluctuates widely.
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 pick between your gas stove and the possibility for poor 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 properly released out of your home. But honestly: 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 strategies that will significantly improve your indoor air quality and home comfort while still allowing you to be the top chef in your home. Read on to find out more about the available solutions for your home.
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|Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)|| || |
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 817-668-6689.