However, it turns out that having a combustible heat source with an open flame in your kitchen might not be such a good thing — and emphasizing that point may be what eventually persuades consumers to give up the fossil fuel. In January, Stanford University researchers published a study that found that gas ranges leak methane even when they’re off. And while we cook, concentrations of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide can exceed national air-quality standards, according to a 2020 report by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Nitrogen dioxide is linked to increased rates of asthma in children.
“Indoor air quality is something that people are more focused on than I’ve ever seen before,” said Kelly Dougherty, president of FirstService Energy, the sustainability group for FirstService Residential, a property management company. “As we think about where we live and where we work, indoor air quality is becoming more and more important to us.”
The American Gas Association, however, argues that federal agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the E.P.A. haven’t taken any steps to limit the use of gas appliances. “There are no documented risks to respiratory health from natural gas stoves from the regulatory and advisory agencies,” Mr. Meyer said.
There may come a day when induction stoves are the default cooktop, the must-have that turned the rest of our homes onto electric. Right now, they’re is a niche product, accounting for only 3 percent of the ranges or cooktops that Americans use, according to a February Morning Consult survey, which also found that interest in the technology remained flat between 2021 and 2022, with a third of respondents saying they are likely to consider induction. Induction ranges are also more expensive than gas, starting at around $1,000, where gas ranges start at around $500.
“The induction stoves are quite expensive now, but they are going to become more inexpensive very soon because that’s where the market is headed,” said Pallavi Mantha, a senior sustainability consultant at Arup, a sustainability and green-building engineering and consultancy. In the meantime, Ms. Mantha sees a need for more public education so that when someone’s stove breaks, they’ll pause before replacing it with another gas model. “There is definitely a lot of education and outreach that needs to happen,” she said.
But the early adopters are out there — and some of them are finding surprisingly cheap solutions, like induction hot plates, which can cost less than $100 for a single burner. In Jackson Heights, Queens, Alex Armlovich and Erin St. Peter are trying to figure out how to set up an induction hot plate without sacrificing what little counter space they have in their tiny kitchen.
Mr. Armlovich, 31, a senior research associate at the nonprofit Citizens Budget Commission, is excited about the prospect of capping the gas line and no longer having to pay a $17 monthly delivery fee. But Ms. St. Peter, 31, a portfolio manager at the United States Treasury, is trying to figure out how to make it actually fit. The couple could ask the landlord to remove the range from the apartment, leaving a hole in the kitchen where they could slide in a cart or even a dishwasher and put the hot plate on top. But they worry about making too many demands on their landlord.