Does Grilling Affect Your IAQ?

Does Grilling Affect Your IAQ?

As long as it’s done beneath or beside a powerful exhaust fan that’s running, indoor grilling has few effects on IAQ (indoor air quality). However if any of the fumes or gases drift past the fan, they will lower indoor air quality quickly.

Grilling 101

Gas stoves and grills release plenty of noxious gases like carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde, none of which are good to breathe. Although an electric indoor grill doesn’t emit combustion byproducts. the smoke coming off all grills is loaded with tiny particulates, called PM10, which lodge deeply into lungs.

The EPA considers PM10 a serious air pollutant and health hazard. Larger particles are safer to breathe because they’re easier to cough up. The gases that gas stoves and grills emit damage respiratory tissue and may cause liver and nervous system damage.

Grilling Indoors Safely

If you can’t run an overhead or countertop fan to exhaust the gases outdoors, grilling indoors will harm your IAQ. Some kitchen exhaust fans recirculate the air instead of venting it outdoors. It’s better to avoid indoor grilling altogether than breathe the contaminants it creates.

The effects on IAQ will include a higher level of CO in the air, along with the volatile organic compounds released by the gas or charcoal. If you want to grill indoors safely, consider asking your HVAC contractor to help you find a way to do so safely. The V in HVAC stands for ventilation and there are several ways they can make it safer.

Check your smoke and CO detectors before grilling indoors. CO detectors need to be tested monthly since they exhaust batteries quickly.

Placing a grill in the garage to barbecue when the weather is bad also puts you at risk of CO exposure, along with other toxic gases. Don’t bring in a gas or charcoal grill and put it under the kitchen fan to use it indoors.

If you’d like more information about grilling’s effects on IAQ and how to improve it without making a sacrifice, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, providing HVAC services for Monmouth County homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  

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