Gas vs Electric Stove: Which Is Better?
Which is better: gas or electric stove? The natural gas vs. electric stove debate has intensified in 2023 as policymakers consider new product safety regulations.A federal ban appears unlikely at this time, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking for solutions to address indoor air quality hazards associated with gas-fired cooktops. Are gas stoves bad for your health? Below we highlight the latest research surrounding gas stove emissions.
Are Gas Stoves Dangerous?
Some consumers may ask, “Are gas stoves bad for your health? Do gas stoves cause cancer?” New research suggests 12.7% of current childhood asthma in the United States is attributed to gas stove use. The National Cancer Institute partially funded the research behind that conclusion.Research commissioned by the American Gas Association, meanwhile, found no causal relationship between gas-fired cooking and childhood asthma. The AGA is a lobbying group that represents more than 200 natural gas utilities. It describes safety as a “core value” for the natural gas industry.Cooktops or appliances that use natural gas may emit benzene, a highly flammable liquid that can cause leukemia.
Is Electric Safer Than Gas?
Electric and gas ranges may both produce ultrafine particle pollution, but gas stove emissions can be more hazardous for your health. Gas stoves may emit the following pollutants:
- Carbon monoxide
- Nitrogen oxides
Do gas stoves cause cancer? Research shows that long-term exposure to benzene can cause leukemia. Considering benzene is a known human carcinogen, its presence in natural gas has alarmed a group of scientists who recently studied the issue in California.The gas vs. electric stove debate also raises the issue of fire safety. Research suggests that electric stoves present a higher risk of cooking-related fires than gas stoves.Traditional electric stoves use coil burners, whereas modern electric stoves use induction technology for cooking. Induction creates an electromagnetic field around the burner — a process that can potentially interfere with cardiac pacemakers.
How To Reduce Gas Stove Health Hazards
You may reduce gas stove health hazards by doing the following:
- Have your stovetop annually inspected for potential gas leaks
- Use an exhaust fan when cooking or make sure your range hood vents to the outdoors
- Consider opening windows to promote fresh air and ventilation when cooking
- Cook at lower temperatures if possible
Is Gas Cheaper Than Electric?
Yes, natural gas is cheaper than electric energy. Natural gas costs $12.09 per million British thermal units compared with $41.79 for electricity, according to a recent U.S. Department of Energy notice on residential energy sources. Using natural gas rather than electricity for household cooking nets an average annual savings of $1,041, according to the AGA.
Environmental Impacts of Gas vs Electric Stove
As mentioned earlier, gas stoves may emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and other air pollutants. The annual impact of gas stove methane emissions in the United States is similar to 500,000 cars emitting carbon dioxide, according to one study.The potential climate impacts of gas stoves have prompted some policymakers to encourage electrification across the nation. Developers in some cities, for example, are not allowed to install natural gas infrastructure when constructing new buildings. Such policies at the local level have forced homebuilders to embrace electrification as the cost of doing business in certain jurisdictions.
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