PERC: Cooking with gas is safe, affordable

July 21, 2022 By    

When a national media outlet makes a case for electric induction stoves, citing the “perils of cooking with gas,” the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) pays attention – and doesn’t let arguments against gas stoves stand.

In a column for The Tennessean, PERC President and CEO Tucker Perkins responds to the New York Times column “The Case for Induction Cooking,” which claims residential gas stoves emit harmful indoor air pollutants and posits the electric induction stove as a solution.

Perkins argues the “science falls short when it comes to legitimate health risks associated with residential gas stoves” and recommends proper ventilation to improve indoor air quality when cooking with any stove.

While primarily directed at natural gas, negative media coverage about gas stoves endangers propane’s future, especially where state and local governments debate gas ban legislation that would prohibit all gas hookups, including propane, in new construction.

That’s why Bryan Cordill, director of residential and commercial business development at PERC, wants propane marketers to learn the facts about gas stoves and educate their communities about the benefits of cooking with propane.

He emphasizes that:

  • The food cooked, and the manner in which it is cooked, affect indoor air quality – not the fuel. Food with high fat content or a lower smoke point reduces indoor air quality when cooked, regardless of the range fuel.
  • The manner in which you exhaust effluents from the kitchen impacts indoor air quality. Construction techniques increasingly favor a tight envelope for homes to improve heating and cooling efficiency, so optimal ventilation over the range becomes critical.
  • The cost of a 30-in. electric induction range starts at more than $3,000, whereas many gas ranges cost $750 to $900. It’s not equitable, says Cordill, to ask consumers to make a change from gas to induction, especially because the change does not directly improve indoor air quality.

Oftentimes, says Cordill, consumers consult builders and HVAC professionals about their ranges before they speak to their propane marketers. So strong relationships between propane marketers and local contractors ensure consumers hear these messages about gas ranges.

“I always come back to the propane marketers being engaged in their marketplace with good partners,” says Cordill. “That’s HVAC contractors, plumbers and a general level of engagement so that if there’s a question from a homeowner or homebuyer about the range, [the marketer] is already in conversation with the professionals that customer is asking.”

PERC has commissioned a study from GTI Energy that, once peer reviewed and published, will add to the scientific literature about how cooking affects indoor air quality. Initial results demonstrate that food, not fuel, impacts indoor air quality when cooking.

Defend gas stoves

These talking points from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) can help propane marketers respond to negative coverage of gas stoves in their communities:

⦁ According to the California Air Resources Board, cooking reduces indoor air quality, no matter what kind of stove is used.

⦁ Better ventilation is the answer to air quality concerns.

⦁ Electricity is inefficient, delivering only 32 percent of energy used from generation to the home.

Learn more about these talking points from PERC’s “The Truth About Gas Stoves & Air Quality,” a one-page fact sheet available in the Resource Catalog on

Meet a local tradesman

Darryl McDonald is a licensed tradesman and consultant who teaches apprenticeship programs for the Associated Builders and Contractors in Sterling, Virginia. He has worked with local propane professionals to incorporate propane instruction into the association’s plumbing, HVAC and gas-fitting apprenticeship programs.

To combat the electrify-everything movement, he encourages builders, propane professionals and other tradesmen to work together to ensure high-quality, code-compliant installation of gas appliances like ranges:

“Propane is very safe and clean, with a low carbon footprint. And it must be installed according to manufacturers’ and local jurisdiction specifications. When you do that, you resolve a lot of these [indoor air quality] issues,” says McDonald regarding the indoor air quality debate.

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