11 May Your Gas Stove May Be Making Your Family Sick
People living in the US spend nearly 90% of their time indoors - and almost half of US households use gas for heating and cooking. This combination can expose people to high levels of indoor pollutants and often times, their indoor air quality is way worse than outdoor pollution levels!
Anytime we cook with gas stoves, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide are produced. These levels can be high and unsafe with older, poorly-maintained gas stoves that are not well ventilated. Our indoor pollution levels from gas stoves can reach levels that would be illegal outdoors!
This article talks about the risks to respiratory health from gas stove pollution - especially children who are particularly vulnerable. The Massachusetts Medical Society has linked gas stoves, household air pollution, and asthma in children.
While proper ventilation is essential, it is not the only strategy to prevent these high levels of pollutants.
Safety-Check Your Appliances
If you aren't already getting regular service checks and tune-ups on your home's systems and appliances - now is the time to start! An experienced professional will check all of your combustion appliances (anything that uses gas and can potentially cause harm if not working properly) to ensure that they are not leaking out gas when not in use. You can also consider having a valuable Home Energy Audit that pinpoints sources of high energy use in your home and safety-checks your gas appliances.
Open Your Windows
Dilute indoor air pollutants while cooking by opening up nearby windows. This can help incorporate fresh, outdoor air into your home and send some of the gas stove emissions outside. Even opening windows for a very short time can be effective at diluting indoor pollutants.
Use an Exhaust Hood
A properly installed and well maintained exhaust hood can help vent gas stove pollutants directly to the outdoors. Use an exhaust hood every time you turn on your gas stove! And just because you already have an exhaust hood, that doesn't mean that it is working as it should - or even venting the gases to the outside. Be sure to have a professional like the ones at GreenHomes America check your exhaust hood's efficiency.
Install CO Detectors
If you don't have CO Detectors currently (and you absolutely should!), install ones near the kitchen and near bedrooms. Not only can detecting and fixing low levels of CO help improve your health and indoor air quality, CO detectors can save your life. High levels of CO can be fatal. According to the CDC, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.
Use an Air Purifier
Air cleaning devices can help to control the levels of airborne allergens and particles in a home. They can help reduce the levels of dust, pollen, dust mite and cockroach allergens, some molds, gases, odors and animal dander. Different types of filters work best on different airborne contaminants. Knowing which type of system is best for your home is difficult to determine. Consult a professional to understand which air purifier is the best solution for your home.
GreenHomes America contractors recognize what it takes to create and keep a healthy home. Breathe easy by contacting the experts at GreenHomes America! We've improved the health, efficiency and comfort levels in thousands of homes across the U.S!