Since many homeowners often ask: "Can I use a gas stove as a heater?" we will try to find the answer and show you what we found.
Some will say you cannot use a gas stove for heating, while others think you might be ok (depending on the usage and other factors).
We have seen time and time again that extreme temperatures and power outages are causing many homes to lose power and leaving families to suffer in cold weather.
If you have to rely on electric heating only and don't have other options, you are probably thinking about drastic measures, such as heating your home with a gas stove.
Gas stoves are popular appliances in North American homes. They are powerful and can cook food quickly. However, there are also some environmental and health concerns.
The manufacturers claim gas-powered stoves are safe, but many say they produce pollutants, causing respiratory and other health-related problems.
This happens because gas burns inside your home and releases gases without venting outside.
Technically, a gas stove can be used as a heater, but it is not recommended for several reasons.
Firstly, they are designed for frequent and short-term use only and are not equipped with the safety features such as gas furnaces. This can lead to potential safety hazards such as gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and fire hazards.
Secondly, gas stoves are not designed to heat large areas or rooms and, therefore may not provide adequate heating.
Additionally, prolonged use of a gas stove as a heater can cause damage to the stove, such as warping or discoloration of the burner grates.
On the other side, if you have an electric stove, and even if the energy is produced by burning fossil fuels, the combustion happens far away, at the power plant, without polluting the air in your area or your home.
The amount of heat that a gas stove can produce depends on several factors, including the size of the burner, the type of gas used, and the amount of gas flowing through the burner.
On average, a gas stove burner can produce heat ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 British thermal units (BTUs) per hour. A small burner may produce around 5,000 BTUs, while a large burner may produce up to 15,000 BTUs.
It's important to note that the heat output of a gas stove can also vary depending on the type of gas being used. Natural gas, which is typically used in residential gas stoves, produces less heat than propane gas.
The amount of BTUs you need for home heating depends on several factors, including the size of the space you want to heat, insulation, the outside temperature, and your desired indoor temperature.
A general rule of thumb is to calculate about 20-25 BTUs per square foot of living space for a moderately insulated home in a cold climate. For example, a 1,000 square foot home would require approximately 20,000-25,000 BTUs to heat adequately.
However, it's important to note that this is just a general guideline, and there may be other factors specific to your situation that could affect your heating needs.
It's important to use caution when operating a gas stove and follow all safety guidelines to avoid accidents or injuries.
Indoor gas burning can pose a number of dangers to individuals and their homes.
When they burn natural gas or propane, gas stoves can produce various gases. Since they are not equipped with a venting system, those gases might circulate inside the room and end up in your lungs.
The most common pollutants are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO), both toxic that can cause breathing issues or even worse. This is bad news for over 20% of low-income American families who use a gas range to heat their homes.
As per EPA: No standards have been agreed upon for nitrogen oxides in indoor air. ASHRAE and the US. EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards list 0.053 ppm as the average 24-hour limit for NO2 in outdoor air.
Check out these observations taken by a homeowner who measured the level of NO2 while cooking on a gas stove.
According to his study, after 12 minutes, the monitor showed an over 50% increase of the hourly guideline for the NO2 gas or twice the WHO guideline for the same gas after half an hour of running.
Every gas-burning stove needs three things to function properly: natural or propane gas, oxygen, and venting.
We mentioned before that when a gas stove is burning gas; it releases toxic gases such as NO2 and CO.
Gas stoves use oxygen from the room where they are installed. If your home doesn't have enough air coming in, the flame will burn through the available oxygen. This causes gas to burn improperly, resulting in unstable yellow flames, reduced indoor air quality, asphyxiation, and carbon monoxide (CO) production.
One of the primary dangers is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is produced when fuel is burned, and it can be deadly if inhaled in high concentrations. This is why it is called a "silent killer."
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, confusion, vomiting, and chest pain.
So be cautious, and install a CO detector.
Without proper venting, NO2, CO, and other gases won't go outside but inside the room and your lungs, and depending on the buildup level, could lead to health concerns, even death.
Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are dangerous, and being subjected to high levels can be life-threatening.
Here are some steps to reduce exposure to these harmful gases at home:
As we mentioned before, no federal agency regulates gas stove emissions at this time (2023).
In summary, while it is technically possible to use a gas stove as a heater, it is not recommended due to safety concerns and the potential for damage to the stove. It is recommended to use a dedicated gas heater or another appropriate heating source for your home.
And to protect your home from fire and gas exposure, always turn off your gas stove when not in use and before bedtime.