Propane stoves are safe for your home.

gas stoves Caroline county, md Propane opens a lot of doors in terms of high-end gas appliances and amenities. Homeowners regularly speak to our team members in Dover, Chestertown and Lewes about the products their propane tanks can power beyond boilers, furnaces and water heaters.

One product we’re getting more questions about at Poore’s Propane and Oil is the propane stove. There’s been a lot in the news lately about gas stoves and air quality, and we want to help you separate fact from fiction.

Gas Stoves — What’s the Debate?

When people express concern about gas stoves, the issue at hand is generally not the environment outside but rather harmful pollution inside the home. The reason for this indoor air quality concern is a group of recent studies showing the potential for indoor air pollution hazards associated with using natural gas stoves.

Let’s take a moment to look at these studies and determine what they mean for the propane appliances in your kitchen.

”Gas Stoves” versus propane stoves

One prominent study came out in December 2022 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It concluded that “12.7% of current childhood asthma nationwide is attributed to gas stove use.”

Their use of the term “gas stoves” refers mostly to natural gas stoves. But propane and natural gas are not the same fuel, and their chemical differences are noteworthy. Much of the debate about indoor emissions hinges on methane leaks. Natural gas is almost entirely composed of methane gas, but propane is methane-free.

What about particulate matter?

Another concern with gas stoves is particulate matter, defined by the US. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as microscopic solids or liquid droplets so small they can be inhaled and cause health problems.

All cooking produces particulate matter, whether it involves a natural gas, propane, wood or electric stove. Indeed, propane is better than many other options since it emits virtually no particulate matter. Nonetheless, it’s important to have proper ventilation around any stove, regardless of the energy source.

Ventilation is key.

In addition to methane and particulate matter, studies have highlighted other emissions concerns. A 2022 Stanford study found that natural gas stoves (again, not propane) “co-emitted health-damaging air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) … into home air and can trigger respiratory diseases.” A 2016 study at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that natural gas stoves emitted considerable nitrogen dioxide.

Overall, the best solution seems to be investing in good ventilation around your stove, whether with a hood and fan or by keeping windows open. Additionally, Dr. Ravi Kalhan of Northwestern University suggested in the New York Times article that an air purifier with a HEPA filter can largely mitigate the level of nitrogen oxides in homes.

The gas stove debate continues.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the health debate surrounding gas stoves is ongoing and far from settled. 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.”

And there are other health concerns involving electric stoves. A 2020 National Fire Protection Association study found that electric ranges cause household fires at a rate 2.6 times greater than gas ranges.

Propane stoves offer a superior, restaurant-quality cooking experience that our customers love. If you have any questions about the safety and efficiency of propane equipment, reach out to the Poore’s team.