Many gas ranges in homes produce carbon monoxide for very long periods without the knowledge of the homeowner. Scientists have found that the levels of carbon monoxide inside kitchens is usually high especially when stoves being used do not have a range hoods. Other gases produced alongside carbon monoxide include nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide. Some of the characteristics of Carbon monoxide include:
- Highly poisonous in low concentrations
How a Gas Range Works
Different gases have different burning characteristics. However, in order to get carbon monoxide;
Natural Gas+ Less Oxygen+ Spark= Carbon Monoxide +Water+ 50% Heat
A kitchen oven is known for its production of CO although in mild concentrations. A kitchen range should only produce up to and not exceeding 80 PPM of carbon monoxide in an air free space. However, this limit is usually exceeded in most kitchens due to the continued cooking activities. Kitchen ovens are specifically designed for irregular operations.
In addition, if the kitchen is poorly ventilated, carbon monoxide levels tend to rise very fast exceeding the acceptable carbon monoxide limits. Another reason for the increased levels of carbon monoxide in kitchens is the blockage of the airflow to the gas burners. You can easily notice this by checking the flame’s color. Red or orange flames are a good indication of poor gas combustion.
It is vital that for gases used in cooking, for example propane to closely monitor or conduct a regular inspections of the gas regulator. Skipping these regular inspections results to high chances of increased levels of carbon monoxide production and the risk of fire explosions in the kitchen. Continued operations in kitchens that have gas range that produce high levels of CO may results to serious respiratory complications or fatalities.
Always contact a weatherization technician to perform a series of combustion tests in your residence. This is to determine the levels of carbon monoxide produced in the home and fix the problem.
Remember to always use the kitchen range operating instructions at all times. Ensure the air vents are not blocked and keep the unit clean at all times. In addition, the vent holes at the oven’s bottom should not be covered with foil.
Even in extreme cold weather conditions, do not use the range to heat the home. Basically, ovens are not designed to operate with their doors open. Moreover, using the oven to heat the home without proper ventilation leads to increased levels of CO making breathing difficult for its occupants.
Take the range for regular servicing when the following takes place;
- Presence of red or orange burner flames
- Improper lighting of the burner flames
- Production of soot from the burner flames
- Increased CO concentrations especially when the oven is in use
It is also important to have a range hood in the kitchen when the oven is properly tuned. It helps in exhausting the cooking odors, moisture and greases that come with cooking. Failure to this, be prepared for an occasional indoor air pollution that could lead to serious health complications.
Also read: Are Gas Ranges Better Than Electric?