Updated: Jul 19
I bet you're cooking at home lately more than you ever thought you would. You may have developed a few new dishes to deal with the extended closing of your local favorite indoor eateries. That is wonderful. Covering new territory with the mind is always better when it involves eating! Now, while you were cooking, did you turn on that exhaust fan? If you did, you're probably in the minority. That fan is noisy and it removes the aromas of good food, no doubt, but here's the grit. Unless you're cooking with electricity, you should definitely run an exhaust fan while cooking. That so-called clean, 'natural' gas, or LPG cook-top or oven has open flame, and aside from being an instant fire hazard to anyone cooking in loose fitting clothing, a flame always implies carbon monoxide (CO). Have you noticed the black film that builds up over time on the bottom of your pots and pans? That is carbon. It is also on a grill that needs cleaning, a direct result of carbon burning. But there's more insidious stuff going on here than just that. Combustion of methane or LPG fills the indoor air with pollution from toxic airborne synthetic methane by-products and CO. Whether it's your grill, cook-top, wall oven, range, or even a so-called ventless fireplace or heater, you are breathing levels of CO that are recognized as unsafe.
FACT: Multiple studies have shown indoor air quality falls dramatically while cooking or heating with unvented methane or LPG (source).
FACT: 100% efficient and odorless electric stovetops and ovens will simply have none of that.
One of my favorite jobs Vara USA® has done for me is update my kitchen counter cook-top. Yes, I had Vara USA® remove a perfectly working methane burning cook-top and install a clean, sleek, radiant cook-top. A new feed was run from the main electric panel to support the update, and the methane pipe was turned off and capped. Why buy methane when I can make my own homegrown electric with Vara USA® installing a VARASOLAR™ system? Yes, there were some growing pains. An open flame does heat a bit faster, but faster isn't always better with food, right? My pots and pans are much cleaner, and as I cook, the only odor I detect is the food itself. I run the exhaust fan when I feel I'd like to, not because my gas cook-top requires it just to breathe fresh air in my own home! The radiant cook-top is a breeze to clean, and although it does require some care to avoid cracking, over eight years, my top has survived the worst of it and still looks and works great.
Vara USA® has made this update a plus, plus, plus situation. I use the clean electricity I produce to cook, and while I'll likely never be an Emeril Lagasse, my food and cooking experiences are better overall. I feel great I no longer use nasty methane in this process and have reduced my financial support of the fossil fuel industry. Natural gas providers promote their product as cheap, but check your bill and you'll likely find two thirds of every bill is delivery line fees; pipe fees, service charges, etc. I drove demand for my own Vara USA® installed solar generating plant which in turn gave me the foundation to request for additional PV capacity with my utility. Even my girlfriend, who had been resistant to the cook-top change finally admitted that she actually prefers the electric cook-top now. She is cooking more challenging meals than ever and wonders when I can get the wall oven changed over as well!
Next up: I'm not alone! 'Cause we all get in hot water more often than we think, solar can help with that hot water experience in more ways than one, and in turn, get you off or reduce your methane or LPG use there as well!