Courtesy Trail Appliances.

Making the switch

Gas stoves offer more control to home cooks

If your trusty old stove is on its last legs, it might be time to consider a switch to a range powered by natural gas.

“All your chefs use gas ranges. It’s so easy to control your heat for cooking. It’s instant on and instant off,” said Peter Voelk, owner of Lone Star Plumbing and Heating. He explains that over time there are also cost savings from using natural gas for cooking instead of electricity.

“We’ve had a gas stove for years in our home and we just love it. I wouldn’t know what to do with an electric stove anymore,” he said.

Voelk adds many styles of ranges are available that exclusively use gas for all cooking functions. There are also dual-fuel ranges with gas stovetop burners but a traditional electric element oven.

Here’s some advice from Voelk on how to switch to gas cooking:

Hire a professional
Installing a gas line to a range requires a gas permit, which can only be issued by the City of Calgary to a licensed gas fitter. Voelk says this is not a project for a do-it-yourselfer or a well-intentioned friend to try and tackle.

“It’s a pretty volatile fuel, and there’s potential for a fire or explosion, so you certainly want someone who knows what they are doing,” he said.

All your chefs use gas ranges. It’s so easy to control your heat for cooking. It’s instant on and instant off.

Check if the installation is possible
“You don’t want to buy a gas stove and then find out you have no way of getting a gas line to it,” said Voelk.

Have the gas fitter come out to do a quick check and see if there are any potential problems before you buy the appliance. They can also confirm there is sufficient clearance between the location of the range and kitchen cabinets, as set out in building codes. If there are clearance issues, Voelk says it might be possible to move a cabinet higher or install protective stainless steel cladding.

Install the gas line and range
Voelk says the gas fitter will typically connect to the main gas line in the furnace room first. The next step will be to run the high-tech gas line through the basement and up a floor to the kitchen. He says if the basement is developed with ceilings and walls already drywalled, there is the option of running the gas line outside the house and then into the kitchen to a range if positioned against an outside wall. Once the new line is tested and approved by a City safety codes officer, the range will be hooked up by the gas fitter.

Cook safely with gas
Voelk says you are required to have a carbon monoxide detector in the home with a gas range. The detector should be installed near the bedroom. He says it is recommended that the range fan above the stove vent directly outdoors, rather than recycling air back into the kitchen.

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