Category: Air Quality
A lot has been made recently about gas stoves and indoor air quality. Claims are being made that gas stoves can cause health issues and should be banned. Not surprisingly this has create a divide with one side saying absolutely and the other with a no way no how.
One of the key issues at the heart of this debate is that gas stoves produce contaminates during the cooking process including nitrogen dioxide as well as PM2.5 (particulate matter). This is true – contaminates are produced. Now we are not doctors so we are not going to get into the debate of exactly what that means from a health standpoint. We will say this, allowing contaminates to permeate your home is never a good thing no matter what that contaminate is.
Here is where we try and take the middle ground of the two sides of this debate. We agree that gas stoves reduce the indoor air quality of the home, but cooking on electric stoves also produces contaminates (maybe not as many but contaminates are still produced). We also understand that gas stoves are the preferred method of cooking for many people. Our solution – ventilation. We realize your first reaction might be “of course, you’re a ventilation company”. Yes it is true we are a ventilation company but let’s look at what is happening during the cooking process.
Our first question is would you set a fire pit in the middle of your living room? Crazy – right, the room would be filled with smoke within a matter of seconds causing you to have to evacuate the house immediately. When a gas stove is used, we are in essence doing the same thing. Now the big difference is that a gas stove is a cleaner burning energy compared to wood so there isn’t the immediate build-up of smoke but the contaminates are still being generated. What needs to happen is for those contaminates to be exhausted out of the house. This is where a properly sized and functioning range hood comes in. Simple – bad air with bad things out, good air in.
The next question we pose is if there is a properly sized and functioning range hood that exhausts to the outside over a gas stove, won’t that greatly reduce contaminate build-up in the home? Even in some of the “shocking” studies that are floating around currently, they agree that ventilation is a key way to improve the indoor air quality.
As we stated earlier, we are a ventilation company so we hope you didn’t expect to get through this entire post without us stating we have the perfect solution? Well we do. Air King produces a wide selection of range hood solutions but here is where we get into the “perfect” solution. Of utmost importance is that the range hood vents to the outside, otherwise it is just recirculating most of those contaminates right back into the home. Second is that the range hood is turned on every time the stove is used – even when baking. A big complaint is always the sound level of range hoods. Don’t worry we have that covered and are almost at that perfect solution we talked about. Third is that the range hood stays on long enough to clear any residual contaminates out that might be hanging around after the cooking is done. Now take any range hood (Air King or others) and you can solve for most of these as many range hoods have the ability to vent to the outdoors, some are on the quieter side and if you keep them on, they will clear the residuals. But we are not satisfied with “good”, we want perfect. Enter in the ECQ and LE series from Air King. Here is what makes them perfect. They vent to the outdoors and they operate at very low sound levels. On low speed they are about the sound your refrigerator makes. Even when you need the full power on high speed they are considerably quieter than other hoods. The “perfect” part is these series have a continuous speed that as named runs constantly. Why is that important? This allows the hood to take care of any residual contaminates that are hanging around as well as if there are any slight leaks from a gas stove. The best part is the sound is barely audible at <0.3 sones (what is a sone – click here). These series are ENERGY STAR® certified and also solve for ASHRAE 62.2 which is an indoor air quality code regarding ventilation of homes.
To bring this all to a close, we fully understand that the debate of gas stoves and indoor air quality will probably rage on for a while. Our request/hope is that we look at all the factors involved before we make wide spread decisions based on some knowledge but perhaps not all the knowledge. Main point, vent your range hood and turn it ON!
For more information about the indoor air quality of your home and how you can improve it, please read through the many articles we have written over the years. For information regarding Air King Range Hood solutions click on the Range Hood link in the menu at the top of the page.