Ask a pro chef, and he will always choose a gas stove instead of an electric one. Gas stoves allow instant and precise control over the flame. Besides, a gas flame can heat the sides of the cooking utensil and not just the bottom. Even home-owners who love cooking want gas ranges to take advantage of energy efficiency. But the only concerns are safety and venting. So do gas stoves need to be vented to be safe?
Careless use of gas ranges can lead to safety hazards. To prevent that and maintain the air quality in the enclosed area, it is essential to vent gas stoves. You can fall ill if you regularly expose yourself to gas leaked from the stove. There are many other problems that can crop up. Luckily, venting gas stoves can prevent accidents and solve other issues so that you can enjoy cooking. It’s time to learn more!
Why Do Gas Stoves Need To Be Vented
When the combustible gas used in gas ranges starts to leak, it can cause various health problems. Cooktops can emit other harmful gases, too. Altogether, it is a matter of health and hygiene in the kitchen. Here are the reasons why gas stoves need to be vented:
Cooking, especially in oils with low smoke points, can produce gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde. Inhaling these can cause respiratory problems, irritated airways, asthma, susceptibility to lung infections, depletion of protective antioxidant tissues in the lungs, etc. The particles thus introduced into the air mix with air-borne chemicals to cause more dangerous pollutants.
Besides, cooking gases themselves can be harmful. Most cooking gases like natural gas, LPG, or propane, are non-toxic and safe. But long-term exposure to them in enclosed areas can cause skin blisters, headaches, nausea, irritation, dizziness, chest pain, etc. They can lead to suffocation or displacement of oxygen from the lungs. Cooking cases and their byproducts can potentially kill you, too.
Besides the danger of poisoning or suffocation due to the gases and their byproducts while using gas ranges, and even risking the death of your plants or your family members, another reason why you should worry about gas ranges is a potential fire hazard. Your stove could be leaking gas because of improper positioning of the knob after you’ve turned it off or because of problems in the fuel line.
Gas leaks for a long time can cause a buildup of gases, leading to fire hazards. Even the smallest spark can lead to dangerous situations. As a result, the house can burn down, putting the people inside in a deadly situation. Leaked gas can also cause the explosion of gas-powered appliances. Interestingly, gas ranges have a 25% less chance of creating a kitchen fire due to unattended cooking, compared to electric gases.
Odor and Stickiness
Incomplete combustion of gases, while cooking on your gas stove, can fill your house with a gassy odor, Besides, when you cook spicy food or if you burn food, it emits an intense smoke that can cause a burning sensation. Leaked cooking gas may also have a strange smell that spreads throughout the house.
Besides, cooking on high heat can also leave a greasy residue on the walls and cabinets. The smell of gas remains in these greasy spots in the house. In addition, dust particles in the air can stick to this grease and look dirty. However, all of this is also true in the case of electric gases.
So, you can understand that sufficient ventilation in the house, especially in the cooking area, is crucial, not only if you are using gas ranges, but also if you have an electric stove in the house. Otherwise, it can cause fire, lead to health problems, and even fill the house with odor, air pollutants, and grease. Even your house plants can die if you don’t vent properly.
How Do Gas Stoves Need To Be Vented With Range Hoods
Now that you know why you should vent gas stoves, it’s time to find out how to do it. The ideal way to go about with ventilation is to channel the smoke and gas outside. For this, you should install a gas range hood. There are different kinds of hoods available in the market. When buying the hood, you should remember to pick one that covers the length and breadth of your stove.
Gas ranges produce lots of fumes. So, while buying a hood, consider the cubic feet of air that it can remove in a minute. This is expressed by the unit CFM. A hood should remove at least 100 CFM for 10,000 BTUs produced by the stove. It’s recommended that you get a hood with a ventilation power of at least 500 CMF, as other factors also come into play, like kitchen size, ductwork, and cooking routines.
Make sure that the unit you buy is in proportion to your kitchen size. Don’t ignore the manufacturer’s specifications. Proper installation is also essential, and if you don’t have any experience with installations, it’s best to hire a pro. When you have a range hood to vent a gas stove, remember the following:
Other Ways of Ventilating The Kitchen
It is crucial to install a range hood to vent a gas stove. In addition to that, you need to make sure that your kitchen – and your entire house – is well-ventilated. That way, the smoke or any leaked gas will not stay trapped in the house. For that, you can take the following steps for better ventilation:
Doors and Windows:
The simplest way to let out stale air is to keep the windows in the house open so that there is a smooth circulation of air. Fresh air from the outside can enter the house, while the polluted, gassy air can exit through the open doors and windows, giving your home a dose of freshness.
Exhaust Fans and Ventilators:
Opening doors and windows may not be enough to enable the circulation of air, and a pocket-friendly way to do that would be installing an exhaust fan that will remove stagnant air. A heat recovery ventilator, on the other hand, will redistribute heat and move out stale air.
Smoke Eater and Air Purifier:
Installing air purifiers and smoke eaters is a sure-shot way to ensure that the house has no harmful has or pollutants. While air purifiers are general air cleaners, smoke eaters are powerful devices specially engineered to remove smoke, gas, or sooty fumes that gas ranges might emit.
Apart from these, you can also take other steps to keep the air in the house clean so that the gas emitted while cooking on a gas stove does not cause discomfort to the people in your home. You could try setting plants in different parts of the house. Even air conditioners filter air and pump in clean air. So, do gas stoves need to be vented even after these? Well, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
These are just additional steps to keep the overall house air clean. After all, there’s more to clean air than just kitchen fumes. Remember that when you are in the kitchen for long hours, cooking on a gas stove, you are constantly exposed to the smoke and gases. So gas stoves need to be vented outside specifically with hoods and kitchen exhaust fans.
When Do Gas Stoves Need To Be Vented
Venting the gas stove in the kitchen is essential, particularly at the time of cooking. You should switch on the range hood about 10-15 minutes before you turn on the stove. This will get the air circulating, and by the time you turn on the stove, all the gas and fumes will move out quickly.
Usually, an odor that comes out when you turn on the gas stove; so, the hood will pump this odor right away. Once you are done cooking, and you’ve turned off the stove, keep the hood running for around 10-15 minutes more. This will push out all the residual smoke and gas. If your house continues to smell, you can always turn to the other ways of boosting the ventilation in the house.
Do gas stoves need to be vented if there’s leakage?
Venting gas stoves may seem like a good idea if you notice gassy smells and feel like there has been a leakage of the cooking gas. But you should touch any electrical switch at that time to prevent any electric spark. Just open the doors and windows and contact your gas supplier immediately.
Venting the gas stoves is an essential step. But do gas stoves need to be vented more than electric stoves? Well, gas stoves may give off a little more smoke and fume, but there are more cases of fire hazards in kitchens with electric ranges. As long as you’re careful, and ensure regular venting, gas stoves will be an excellent cooking tool, giving you complete control over the flame.