Gas stoves leak significant amounts of methane when turn on. But a new report shows that they leak gas even when they are turned off, per The Washington Post.
- The small study, which was published on Thursday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, used cooktops, ovens and broilers in 53 homes in California and found that those stoves emit between 0.8 and 1.3 percent of natural gas.
- The researchers used plastic sheets to seal off kitchens in private homes and rental properties. They recorded emissions over five-to-10-minute periods when the stoves are off.
- Over a 20-year period, emissions from stoves in the country could have the same effect in heating the planet as half a million gas-powered cars, according to the study’s estimates.
“People are so attached to their stoves,” said Eric D. Lebel, a senior scientist at the nonprofit research institute PSE Healthy Energy and lead author of the study. “There’s something human about cooking on a gas stove, over an open flame.”
- Lebel said that it's damaging health and climate, all at once.
- “Simply owning a natural gas stove, and having natural gas pipes and fittings in your home, leads to more emissions over 24 hours than the amount emitted while the burners are on,” said Stanford Professor of Earth Sciences Rob Jackson, one of the study’s authors, per NPR.
According to The New York Times, there were more than 40 million gas stoves in American households in 2015, the last year this data was recorded.