It’s no secret that burning natural gas isn’t good for our health. Studies have recently revealed that 12.7% of childhood asthma cases in the United States are linked to gas stoves in the home. A study from the International Journal of Epidemiology also found that children living in households that use gas stoves for cooking are 42% more likely to have asthma. These and many other studies have cemented that homes with natural gas stoves directly correlate with significant health issues.
The US as a whole is working toward banning gas stoves in homes because of the impact on the environment and public health. The city of Seattle has banned most uses of fossil fuels in new buildings, including appliances like gas furnaces, gas water heaters, and gas cooktops. A key point here is that gas bans currently only apply to new buildings. Despite the health concerns, many homeowners are still choosing gas stoves during kitchen remodels while they still have the chance.
Gas vs. Electric Stoves Pros & Cons
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Pros of Gas
- The avid home chef will likely prefer gas to electric. Gas cooktops give the person cooking more control of the heat and the burners heat more evenly and quickly.
- Burners on gas cooktops cool down quicker.
- In some areas, gas appliances can be less expensive to run than electric ones.
- Gas stoves can still be used during a power outage.
- Gas cooktops typically come with cast iron grates, which are more durable than electric ranges with a glass top.
Cons of Gas
- Gas stoves are a direct cause of poorer air quality in the home. Burning natural gas is a detriment to your health and puts you and your family at risk.
- The upfront purchase of a gas stove is typically more expensive than an electric stove.
- If you have poor ventilation in your kitchen, burning natural gas is an even higher risk.
- Maintenance is required not only of the cooktop but the plumbing for your gas line should be regularly inspected also. If there’s even the smallest tear in the gas line, you run the risk of filling your kitchen, or possibly your entire home, with gas.
- Gas stoves are more expensive to ‘rough in’ when remodeling. The cost of running plumbing for gas pipes is more expensive than the wiring for an electric stove.
- With more nooks and crannies, as well as exposed elements, gas cooktops are typically more challenging to clean.
- Gas stoves give off more ambient heat than electric ranges, which makes your home heat up more. This may be nice in the winter but it can impact your overall heat/ac performance.
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Pros of Electric
- The two main types of electric cooktops are electric coil and induction.
- Electric cooktops are better for your health because they don’t emit c02 and N02, creating unsafe levels of indoor air pollution.
- Electric ranges are typically less expensive than gas cooktops, and they are less expensive to install as well.
- Most electric cooktops include a visual safety feature indicating when the cooktop is hot. Electric coil stovetops typically turn red when they are on, and many have a light or indicator to warn you the surface is still warm even once turned off. Induction cooktops also cool down very quickly.
- A major bonus of electric stoves is that many of them are solar energy compatible!
Cons of Electric
- Electric cooktops give you less control over heat levels while cooking than gas options.
- Electric cooktops take longer to heat up.
- Electric coil cooktops typically take longer to cool down than the cast iron grates on gas cooktops.
- Glass cooktops can become difficult to clean once something has burned onto the surface.
- The glass surface on electric cooktops is easier to break and expensive to replace.
- Electric ranges cannot be used during a power outage (unless you have a special setup with solar power).
So, Which is Better: Gas or Electric Stoves?
There are pros and cons to both gas and electric stove options. Which you may prefer heavily depends on your cooking style and how often you use the stove. But, it all boils down to the health and safety of those in the household and the environmental impacts.
Nationally, there is legislation in the works to move away from natural gas in the home all together. It is important to work with a high-quality, trusted contractor who will stay up to date on current codes and regulations and guide you through the process of selecting the best appliances for your home.
When you’re ready to make changes to your kitchen, we’ve broken the process into 10 simple steps. Download the eBook, “The Kitchen Renovation Handbook: 10 Steps to Design the Kitchen of your Dreams”, to learn more.