Gas Stoves

Gas Stoves are Safe, Clean & Efficient

In response to recent hysteria claiming gas stoves are unsafe and not environmentally friendly I am compelled to push back on this. Let's break it down into the various components of the frenzy.

Let's start with the emissions from burning natural gas. There are emissions from burning natural gas which is why furnaces and water heaters are required to be vented. A gas cook top is shown in the image with an exhaust vent hood. Most modern homes have a designated cooking area with some sort of exhaust hood over the range top burners. This serves to remove steam and unwanted cooking odors, such as fish, but also will remove and exhaust the minute emissions from burning natural gas.

The fact is that these small burners do not produce anywhere near the volume of emissions that could actually cause any real harm, if they did we would have detectors going off in every home with gas cooking on a regular basis! But they don't and that is because the carbon monoxide emitted is so minor it is not a hazard of any significance. However for those concerned there is the simple solution of using the vent hood or opening a window. Which leads us to the next issue, burning fossil fuels and the contribution of CO2 from doing so.

Natural gas is used to generate 38.4% of electricity in USA. Followed by coal at 21.9%. Nuclear comes in at 18.9% and Wind, Hydro and Solar combined produce 18.1%.

Over 80% of electricity is made from burning fossil fuels or nuclear reactors anyway, so the truth is there are emissions and pollution produced somewhere to make the electricity in the first place.

Now we must turn our attention to the most efficient way to use energy. Consider how electricity is actually made, delivered and used in your home. Looking at the graphic note that 62% is lost in the process of burning coal or natural gas (or by a nuclear reaction) to produce heat that is used to convert water into steam which then spins a turbine that is connected to a generator that produces electricity. Note that Wind and hydro also spin a generator to produce electricity. All those generators use a LOT of copper and other mined resources in their construction, and more in the transformers and distribution network required to deliver the electricity to your home. Therefore, even if 100% of that energy is converted into heat at the appliance, it is still less than half of the amount of energy consumed to produce and deliver the electricity! Rooftop solar is only marginally better, but today less than 2% of electricity is produced that way.

It is more efficient to burn natural gas at the point of use to heat water, cook food, dry clothes or warm your house.

There has been a lot of ballyhoo that INDUCTION cooking is better but there are facts omitted in the marketing of this old technology. Induction for cooking is no more efficient than conventional resistance elements that cost substantially less. It requires iron or steel cookware and a 50 amp 240 volt circuit with heavy wires just like a normal electric range. Many homes and distribution networks simply do not have the capacity to provide so much power, which is also a bottleneck for charging electric cars at home in a reasonable time. Induction doesn't work as an oven as it requires close contact with a steel or iron pan to work. Because it is electricity, more than 60% of the energy consumed is lost in the generation and delivery of the power.

Consumers have the right to choose the most efficient way they want to use the energy they pay for.

The only role of government is to provide accurate information so everyone can make their own informed decision.