How can we protect our families from gas stove pollution?
There are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to gas stove pollution and keep your family safe.
1. Improve ventilation in your kitchen
Whenever possible, use range hood ventilation and/or open a window in your kitchen while you’re cooking to improve air flow.
If you have a hood over your stove, turn it on. A hood that sucks up the air and ventilates it outside is more effective than a ductless hood fan that simply circulates the air in your kitchen.
Unfortunately, like gas stoves, there are no performance standards for stove hoods, and stoves are not required to be sold with a vent hood. If you don’t have a hood ventilation system, consider using a free standing fan to direct air flow out the window.
Air purifiers with a HEPA filter can help remove some PM2.5 from the air, but they will not remove toxic gasses like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, or benzene. Make sure you get an air purifier with ozone-free technology.
2. Reduce your reliance on your stove
There are plenty of affordable, easy to use, electric kitchen appliances that can replace the use of your gas stove and even your oven.
Electric kettles, slow cookers, pressure cookers, rice cookers, microwaves, toaster ovens, air fryers, and individual electric/induction burners can do a lot of heavy lifting day-to-day and keep your stove use to a minimum.
These items do not emit pollution into your home, and they have other safety benefits – timers and auto-turn offs for example, so you don’t have to worry if you left the oven on when you’re going about your day.
3. Replace your gas stove with an electric or induction stove
The only way to totally eliminate your family’s exposure to gas pollution at home is to remove gas and gas-powered appliances all together. This is a big project.
If your stove is at the end of its life and you want to go electric, or you’re ready to take advantage of tax benefits and upgrade to an efficient electric stove, here is a guide from Make the Switch Now to take you through the process. An abridged version is below:
- You may need to increase the electric service to your home
- Make sure you install the necessary outlets or circuitry in your kitchen
- Take advantage of federal or state electrification & energy efficiency rebates
- Find an electric or induction stove that matches your style & budget
- Bring in a gas plumber and electrician to remove your old stove and install the new stove safely
- Look up guidance from your sanitation department on how to recycle your old gas stove, take it to a recycling center, or call a junk removal company
Cooking over an electric stove significantly reduces your exposure to air pollutants that can harm your and your family's health.