In a survey of 100 professional chefs, 96 percent said they preferred cooking with gas over electricity. Gas ranges offer robust heat, precise temperature control and a range of functions that electric ranges don’t offer, like charring and flambéing.
And yet we have spoken to customers in Morris, Somerset, Union and Sussex Counties who are concerned about their propane ranges. Many have heard they are unsafe and may even be “banned.” We want to discuss the issues surrounding gas stoves and put some of the overheated rumors (pardon the expression) to rest.
There is no plan to remove or ban gas stoves from homes in New Jersey. The rumors began in 2023 when the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) asked for public input on hazards associated with gas stoves.
Recent studies have drawn a connection between some gas stoves and indoor air quality. For example, a December 2022 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health concluded that “12.7% of current childhood asthma nationwide is attributed to gas stove use.”
Unfortunately, This study and others don’t distinguish between “gas stoves” and propane stoves. A stove powered by natural gas works much differently from one fueled by propane.
Natural gas is composed mostly of methane, one of the significant concerns of these studies. Methane can leak from natural gas stoves. But propane contains no methane. If you cook with propane, you don’t need to worry about these emissions.
A January 2022 study of 53 natural gas stoves by researchers at Stanford revealed that “in addition to methane emissions, co-emitted health-damaging air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) are released into home air and can trigger respiratory diseases.” Considering about one-third of homes in our country use natural gas for cooking, that’s something that needs to be addressed.
And there are differing findings on gas cooking. A Lancet Respiratory Medicine abstract found “no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.”
Another air quality concern raised is particulate matter, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes as microscopic solids or liquid droplets that can be inhaled and cause serious health problems.
All cooking — whether with gas, electricity or any other energy source — generates particulate matter. Even a toaster oven can produce it. That’s why it’s so important to ventilate your cooking area with a hood or, at minimum, an open window.
Some people prefer to cook on electric ranges, but they should know they have safety issues. While propane ranges cool quickly after you turn off the flame, electric elements stay dangerously hot well after you’re done cooking.
A 2020 study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that electric ranges cause household fires at a rate 2.6 times greater than gas ranges, civilian injuries at a rate 4.8 times higher and civilian deaths at a rate 3.4 times higher.
As northern New Jersey’s most trusted propane delivery and home comfort services provider, Dixon Energy is always available to discuss the best and safest ways to use this versatile fuel in your home.
Have questions for us about your propane appliances? Contact the Dixon Energy team.