App version: 0.1.0

Gas vs Electric Stove: Which Is Better?

Gas vs Electric Stove: Which Is Better?
Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
Sulaiman Abdur-RahmanUpdated February 8, 2023
Share this article:
Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Which is better: gas or electric stove? The natural gas vs. electric stove debate has intensified in 2023 as policymakers consider new product safety regulations.A federal ban appears unlikely at this time, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking for solutions to address indoor air quality hazards associated with gas-fired cooktops. Are gas stoves bad for your health? Below we highlight the latest research surrounding gas stove emissions.

Are Gas Stoves Dangerous?

Some consumers may ask, “Are gas stoves bad for your health? Do gas stoves cause cancer?” New research suggests 12.7% of current childhood asthma in the United States is attributed to gas stove use. The National Cancer Institute partially funded the research behind that conclusion.Research commissioned by the American Gas Association, meanwhile, found no causal relationship between gas-fired cooking and childhood asthma. The AGA is a lobbying group that represents more than 200 natural gas utilities. It describes safety as a “core value” for the natural gas industry.Cooktops or appliances that use natural gas may emit benzene, a highly flammable liquid that can cause leukemia.

Is Electric Safer Than Gas?

Electric and gas ranges may both produce ultrafine particle pollution, but gas stove emissions can be more hazardous for your health. Gas stoves may emit the following pollutants: 
  • Benzene
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Nitrogen oxides
Do gas stoves cause cancer? Research shows that long-term exposure to benzene can cause leukemia. Considering benzene is a known human carcinogen, its presence in natural gas has alarmed a group of scientists who recently studied the issue in California.The gas vs. electric stove debate also raises the issue of fire safety. Research suggests that electric stoves present a higher risk of cooking-related fires than gas stoves.Traditional electric stoves use coil burners, whereas modern electric stoves use induction technology for cooking. Induction creates an electromagnetic field around the burner — a process that can potentially interfere with cardiac pacemakers.

How To Reduce Gas Stove Health Hazards

You may reduce gas stove health hazards by doing the following:
  • Have your stovetop annually inspected for potential gas leaks
  • Use an exhaust fan when cooking or make sure your range hood vents to the outdoors
  • Consider opening windows to promote fresh air and ventilation when cooking
  • Cook at lower temperatures if possible

Is Gas Cheaper Than Electric?

Yes, natural gas is cheaper than electric energy. Natural gas costs $12.09 per million British thermal units compared with $41.79 for electricity, according to a recent U.S. Department of Energy notice on residential energy sources. Using natural gas rather than electricity for household cooking nets an average annual savings of $1,041, according to the AGA. 

Environmental Impacts of Gas vs Electric Stove

As mentioned earlier, gas stoves may emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and other air pollutants. The annual impact of gas stove methane emissions in the United States is similar to 500,000 cars emitting carbon dioxide, according to one study.The potential climate impacts of gas stoves have prompted some policymakers to encourage electrification across the nation. Developers in some cities, for example, are not allowed to install natural gas infrastructure when constructing new buildings. Such policies at the local level have forced homebuilders to embrace electrification as the cost of doing business in certain jurisdictions. The state of New York adopted a similar policy on the state level in 2023.

Do Any Regulations Ban Gas Stoves?

As mentioned above, some cities have banned the installation of natural gas infrastructure in newly constructed buildings. The state of New York passed a similar policy on the state level in 2023. Such bans are seen as a way of phasing out gas over the long haul, because residents in older buildings are still allowed to use their preexisting gas cooktops.As the gas vs. electric stove debate intensifies, federal policymakers appear willing to do something about the issue of indoor air pollution.“Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous,” Alexander Hoehn-Saric, chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, said in a January statement. The CPSC, he added, is “looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards” but has no proceeding to ban gas ranges at this time.

Is Gas Better for Cooking?

A chef in many cases may prefer gas stoves, especially when preparing culinary specialties involving high temperatures. Having direct access to a flame can provide better results for grilling, roasting, and searing. A traditional electric stove with its coil burners is generally not as effective for preparing large quantities of food in the shortest amount of time.But a gas stove vs. an induction stove, however, may be another story. Some chefs have embraced induction after using the next-generation electric appliance and discovering its high level of precision, according to published reports.

Cost of Replacing Gas Stove With Electric Range

The cost of replacing a gas stove with an electric range can cost thousands of dollars in parts and hundreds of dollars in labor. Induction stoves can easily cost upward of $2,000, while hiring an electrician to set up an electrical circuit could exceed $400. Consumers who buy electric stoves may be eligible for an $840 rebate and an additional $500 if they are switching from gas to electric. This rebate incentive program is part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a new climate law signed by President Biden.

Ways To Pay for Home Electrification Projects

If you’re interested in switching from gas to electric, here are some ways you may finance your home electrification project:Recommended: Revolving Credit vs. Installment Loans

The Takeaway

Gas stoves may be ideal for cooking pan-seared steaks, but they are not the best appliances for indoor air quality. Traditional electric stoves are not well suited for professional food preparation, but they don’t leak methane or benzene. Upgrading to an induction range may provide consumers with chef-grade kitchenware without the climate emissions baggage.If you’re interested in ditching natural gas in favor of next-generation induction technology, Lantern by SoFi can help. You may explore personal loan offers and use the funds for remodeling your kitchen.Compare personal loan interest rates with Lantern.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cheaper to cook with gas than electric?
Should I change my gas stove to electric?
Why do chefs prefer a gas stove?
Photo credit: iStock/Michelle Mahlke-Sloniecki

About the Author

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman writes about personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and other personal finance topics for Lantern. He’s the recipient of more than 10 journalism awards and served as a New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists board member. An alumnus of the Philadelphia-based Temple University, Abdur-Rahman is a strong advocate of the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
Share this article: