Should You Get Rid of Your Propane Stove?
Propane gas ranges are safe, high-performing kitchen appliances.
At Frank Lamparelli, we always strive to ensure our South Shore customers stay safe and comfortable throughout the year. That means ensuring your propane equipment is well-maintained and functions efficiently and safely.
Lately, people have asked us if they should stick with propane for their kitchen stove. A couple of years ago, it would be inconceivable for a homeowner to consider getting rid of their gas stove. Propane ranges offer chef-quality performance and precise temperature control. But this year, there’s been growing concern that these products could be banned. Let’s discuss the reason for this concern and separate some facts from opinions.
Are gas stoves going to be banned?
There is no move by the government to confiscate gas stoves. In early 2023, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) commissioner expressed concern, and the CPSC then sought public input on hazards associated with gas stoves.
Why are people concerned about gas stoves?
Some recent studies have linked gas stoves to indoor air pollution and respiratory illnesses. For example, an International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health study from December 2022 stated, “12.7% of current childhood asthma nationwide is attributed to gas stove use.”
But there isn’t a uniform consensus on whether gas stoves materially affect air quality. 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.”
Are propane stoves dangerous?
Let’s start by differentiating between natural gas and propane stoves. Most of the research on “gas stoves” focuses on natural gas, but there are significant differences between these two fuels.
An often-cited Stanford study involved 53 natural gas stoves and found issues with leaks of harmful agents, particularly methane. Methane is the primary component of natural gas, but propane is methane-free — you don’t need to worry about it with a propane stove.
Do gas stoves emit particulate matter?
Particulate matter are microscopic solids or liquid droplets so small that we can inhale them. They can cause health problems. All cooking produces particulate matter, regardless of energy type. Iain Walker of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab notes that “anything with a red-hot element is going to generate particles. That includes most stovetops, ovens and even small appliances like toasters.”
How can you reduce exposure to particulate matter? Anytime you’re cooking —whether you use gas, electricity or another energy source — use your kitchen range hood to vent particulate matter and any other airborne pollutants. If you don’t have a range hood, open a nearby window. Additionally, Dr. Ravi Kalhan of Northwestern University has recommended in a New York Times article that an air purifier with a HEPA filter can considerably improve air quality in the kitchen.
Should you consider an electric stove?
Much of the gas stove debate implies that households should switch to electric stoves. But in addition to being expensive and lowering your cooking performance, switching to electric stoves presents new safety concerns. A National Fire Protection Association study 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.
One thing we recommend you do is to arrange propane equipment maintenance, including for your stove. A licensed technician can ensure your propane burners are working efficiently and safely.
If you need any assistance with the propane equipment in your home, don’t hesitate to contact the Frank Lamparelli team.