Opinion | Your Gas Stove May Be Killing You. How Much Should You Worry?

In homes that already have electric cooktops, switching to induction can be relatively easy. But in my home, like millions of other gas stoves, getting an induction range would require extensive electrical work and capping my existing gas line. Induction cooktops also tend to cost a bit more than comparable gas cooktops (but new tax credits could change that). Plus, you don’t have to completely replace your range to mitigate the health hazards of gas cooking – it’s a very good idea to upgrade your range hood and keep it on if you have one.

It’s no surprise, then, that induction cooktops have had trouble catching on. According to a Consumer Reports survey, only about 3 percent of American homes have them.

“It can be quite complicated and expensive, and I’m not sure it’s worth it for a lot of people,” said Liam McCabe, a journalist for energy consultancy leader EnergySage who often writes about his own efforts to modernize his home from gas to gas Electricity. McCabe said the article he wrote for Consumer Reports about his switch from gas to induction was headlined “Do-gooder pays through nose to boil water a little faster.”

McCabe also pointed out that cooking is not the place to significantly improve your home’s environmental impact. heating and cooling is. On average, about half of the energy consumed by American homes is used for space heating and air conditioning; another 20 percent goes into hot water preparation. Everything else – lighting, cooling, TVs, computers, drying clothes and cooking – accounts for less than 30 percent of the average household’s energy use.

Instead of buying an induction cooker, you might make a lot more sense spending your money on a heat pump, an underrated and somewhat magical electrical device that can replace both a gas-powered oven and an air conditioner. But there may be an even easier and cheaper thing to do first: weather-sealing your home. Ed May, a partner at environmental consulting practice bldgtyp, told me that many of the ways to improve your home’s environmental impact are “not all that exciting,” including “a lot, a lot of insulation.”

So, sure, your gas-powered stove could get you. But it’s the Blast Furnace that could pose a greater threat. And don’t forget to isolate.

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