Friday, December 19th, 2014

Why You Should Not Use Your Stove or Oven to Heat Your Home

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Using a stove or oven to heat your home when your household heater is faltering or failing puts you and your family at risk for serious health and safety hazards. Cooking appliances are the leading cause of residential fires in the United States, and whether your stove or oven is powered by natural gas or by electricity, using it as a heater puts your family in danger. Gas-fired cooking appliances pose additional dangers that can result in grave health consequences and even death.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Any fuel-burning fixture or appliance can emit harmful gases when not properly used or maintained. Incomplete fuel combustion produces carbon monoxide, an invisible, odorless gas that cannot be identified without a carbon monoxide detector. The gas impairs the body’s ability to take in oxygen and can quickly lead to flu-like symptoms, unconsciousness or death. People exposed to carbon monoxide while sleeping can die without experiencing any symptoms. Around 30,000 Americans are sickened by carbon monoxide poisoning each year. 

Other Health Effects of Improper Cooking Appliance Use

A recent study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that more than 60 percent of households who operate gas burners without venting range hoods and fans are exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde. Because people who use their stove or oven as a heater are unlikely to keep ventilating fans operating, their exposure to these harmful substances is even greater. Other pollutants released into the air during incomplete combustion include benzo(a)pyrene and radon, carcinogenetic substances that can lead to lung cancer.

Proper Home Heater Operation

Regular preventive maintenance services are necessary to keep fuel-burning heaters working safely and efficiently. Seasonal inspections and tune-ups ensure that any harmful by-products created during the combustion process are being safely vented outside of your home. Without regular care, the corrosive elements produced during combustion can cause leaks, cracks and holes that allow fumes to seep into your home’s living areas. New research from the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle shows that carbon monoxide can even pass through the porous material used to finish walls and ceiling in most American homes.

Affordable Heating Options

Only appliances and equipment specifically designed for space heating should be used to keep your family warm when outdoor temperatures fall. Today’s modern heating systems are much more energy efficient than earlier models, and most homeowners find that a replacement quickly pays for itself through reductions on their monthly energy bills. High efficiency heaters come with features that protect your family from safety hazards and that offer you a higher level of comfort too.

At Ellis Air Conditioning and Heating, we believe that no family should go without safe and adequate heat due to an immediate lack of funds. We offer an array of financing options that make installing a new heater affordable. We’ll work with you to help you find the financing plan best for you. For more information, contact the experts at Elliss Air Conditioning and Heating today.

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