I recently had a discussion with a friend who recently replaced his
kitchen range. He said that he didn't even consider natural gas
because the price has taken a dramatic jump in the past year, making
electric cooking much cheaper. His perception of the relative cost
may or may not be true - I don't know (although I suspect that NG is
and will continue to be more economical for the foreseeable future).
The discussion went off on a tangent regarding the efficiency of a
gas range vs a gas furnace. Given that gas burners heat the kitchen,
they obviously take some of the load off of the furnace (cooking
during the heating season is assumed here). But an intriguing
thought occurred to me - since the range is not vented to the outside
like the furnace is, all of the heat generated by the burning gas
remains in the house. This means that the more you cook, the lower
your gas bill should be, even with un ultra high efficiency furnace.
Is this true? Should I encourage my wife to bake more cookies for
the purpose of saving energy? Can it be that simple?
Granted, there's a downside to heating your home with the kitchen
range. But is my speculation valid?
Yes it is more efficient to heat the kitchen with a range instead of a
furnace. The range is 100% efficient. all the heat goes inside the
However, heat distribution will be uneven, the kitchen will be warm
when the rest of the house is cold
The gas flame produces two primary products of combustion, carbon
dioxide and water vapor. Both can cause problems in large enough
It also produces some carbon monoxide.
I would like to ask how you like living inside a chimney??
For ocasional use, the stove is fine. It depends on your climate. But
if you use it for only heat source, you may make humidity high enough
to cause condensation on windows and window sills, which could promote
mold. You will increase the CO and CO2 levels in the house as well as
depletw oxygen levels. It depends on how loose your house construction
is and how big your burners are, as well as the size of your house.
No simple answeres here without more information.
Ask Nick Pine, he loves doing supposing and calculations.
Don't misunderstand, I would never consider using my gas range to
heat the house. These were simply questions to satisfy my curiosity.
So baking cookies will, indeed, lower my gas bill!
Which will be cheaper depends on a large number of factors including
things like how well his pans fit the burners. In any case it is not likely
that he is going to save anything over pocket change between the two.
I wonder if your friend knows that a lot of electrical power is produced
from natural gas.
This one is much the same. There are many factors involved. Modern
furnaces are 90% and more efficient. With the disadvantages like the ones
Stretch pointed out, it would be very difficult to make up that 5-10%
On thing not asked, but should be added for those who may consider this
a good idea, check with your local fire department and their experience with
people using stoves and ovens for heating their homes.
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