Preferred by professional chefs around the world, gas ranges provide precise heat control for any type of cooking. But what about the fumes and pollutants created by burning gas? In this article, we discuss how gas stoves impact air quality and what you can do to ensure your home’s air is safe to breathe.
Are Gas Stoves Dangerous?
Natural gas stoves are generally considered more dangerous than electric and induction ranges for a variety of reasons. For one, gas stoves function with an open flame, increasing the risk of a fire. In addition, gas may leak, which is often undetectable. In this case, igniting the element or lighting a match nearby could cause an explosion.
Although these disasters can be avoided if you’re careful, some of the dangers of gas stoves cannot be escaped. This includes the emissions that come from burning natural gas.
Do Gas Stoves Release Carbon Monoxide?
In a perfect world, combustion would create only two products: water and CO2. In reality, however, we’re faced with incomplete combustion, which produces other chemicals such as carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a colourless, odourless gas that’s extremely poisonous to humans. Inhaling this gas could lead to brain damage and even death. Unfortunately, whether it’s your stove, furnace or car, all sources of combustion can produce CO.
Therefore, if you use a gas range, you should have a carbon monoxide alarm nearby in case CO levels get too high.
How to Check Indoor Air Quality
Not only do gas stoves produce CO, but they can also produce nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Scientists have found that even brief exposure to NO2 can lead to coughing, wheezing and other respiratory symptoms, especially in those with asthma.
As a result, you should monitor your indoor air quality if you use gas-burning appliances in your home. The best way to do this is to purchase an electronic air quality detector that can alert you to high levels of pollutants and air contaminants in your house.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality with a Gas Stove
If you’re shopping for a new stove, we recommend ditching gas entirely and opting for a safer alternative such as an electric range induction cooktop. That said, removing an existing gas range may not be practical, especially if you rent. Luckily, you can do a few things to improve your overall air quality when cooking with gas.
The best thing you can do is use a range fan and exhaust hood. You should also open the windows when cooking with gas if it isn’t too cold outside. By improving air circulation in your home, you can usher more fresh air into the area and force the harmful stuff out.