How to deal with gas stove air pollution when you’re a renter

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Taran Volckhausen

Former Communications Associate, The Public Interest Network

If you’re paying attention to the news, you probably have heard about a growing concern over gas stoves and indoor air pollution. While more than one third of Americans burn gas to cook their food, using this common kitchen appliance can release dangerous pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, benzene and methane, directly in the home. Cooking with gas relies on combusting methane. Even cooking with gas for a short time can lead to unhealthy indoor air pollution that far exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) safety standards for outdoor pollution.

While homeowners who have gas-burning stoves have the option to switch to electric, renters don’t have direct control over the type of appliances used in their kitchen. But that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done to protect your health. This article provides tips on how to mitigate the risks and keep you and the people you live with safe as a renter in a home with a gas stove.

The most important way to reduce indoor air pollution from gas stoves is to ensure proper ventilation. If your gas stove range has an exhaust fan, it’s important to turn it on before you start cooking. You should run the exhaust fan before you start cooking and keep it on for several minutes after you’re done. Not all gas ranges, however, have exhaust fans. In this case, you should consider opening a window before you start cooking to remove contaminated air from the kitchen. 

Another way to protect indoor air quality when using a gas stove is to consider buying air purifiers with HEPA and carbon filters. If you use these air filters in the kitchen, it can help remove some of the harmful particulate matter from the air and make it healthier to breathe.

Ultimately, the healthiest option is to keep your gas stove turned off and to use an electric alternative instead. One way you can do this is cooking with electric appliances, such as toaster ovens and air fryers, to limit the amount of cooking you need to do on your gas range. Another option is to buy an induction hot plate. 

The popularity of induction stoves has also grown recently, as the newer, magnetic heating technology boasts unbeatable energy efficiency and safety and heats up even faster than gas with the same level of precise temperature control. While purchasing a new electric induction stove or range is not possible when you’re renting, there is still the option to purchase a portable, countertop induction burner, which can be found for less than $100.

If you’re concerned about gas stove indoor air pollution and want to convince your landlord to switch to induction stoves, here are some steps you can take: 

  • Remind them that the federal Inflation Reduction Act provides rebates to upgrade to electric or induction home appliances.
  • Provide data and studies that show the harmful effects of gas stove indoor air pollution, and how induction stoves can help improve indoor air quality.
  • Highlight the safety benefits of induction stoves to your landlord: Induction stoves are generally considered safer than gas stoves because they don’t produce open flames or emit harmful pollutants. 
  • Explain how switching to induction stoves can benefit not only their tenants, but also the wider community by reducing air pollution.
  • Be persistent: Don’t give up if your landlord is resistant to change. Keep discussing the benefits of induction stoves and how they can help improve indoor air quality.

To convince your landlord to switch from gas stoves to induction stoves, it’s important to be informed, persistent and respectful. By highlighting the benefits and addressing any concerns, you may be able to help your landlord see the benefits of making the switch to clean, healthy induction cooking for you and other tenants too.


Taran Volckhausen

Former Communications Associate, The Public Interest Network