Turn on your exhaust fan while cooking on the stove.

Healthy HouseTM CleanAir Tip

When the stove burner is on, a variety of pollutants are released into the air. These pollutants mainly consist of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Carbon monoxide is a deadly toxin. Carbon monoxide from kitchen ranges is a common reason for elevated concentrations of CO in homes. Carbon monoxide can lead to dizziness, headaches, rapid heart rate, brain damage and even death from high exposure. Orange, yellow flames, or sooty flames, is a good indication of incomplete combustion, which could lead to carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

Carbon dioxide is produced during the combustion. At higher concentrations, CO2 can cause drowsiness, headache, reduced cognition and lead to a “stuffy” feeling in a home.

Nitrogen dioxide is a respiratory irritant produced when nitrogen from the air encounters oxygen from the burner. NO2 affects the mucosa of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract. Continued exposure to high NO2 levels can contribute to development of acute or chronic bronchitis. Low level exposure to NO2 may cause decreased lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and increase risk of respiratory infections, especially in young children.

Exhaust fans should be vented to the outdoors. They should also be properly sized for your stove. Always use your exhaust fan while cooking on a gas range. It will help draw the combustion pollutants out of the home.

Most exhaust fans will emirate a magnetic field when turned on. Because of this, it is good practice to step away from the stove during cooking while keeping an eye on it.

If your stove is electric, combustion pollutants are not released into the air. However, many electric stoves produce a high magnetic field when the heating element cooktop surface is turned on.