by J Paventi
A gas range can add an element of style to any kitchen, as it just seems natural to cook over an open flame. The flames produced by gas ranges reach higher temperatures than electric ranges, resulting in faster cooking times and a more energy-efficient cooking surface. There are, however, a few things to consider when you're installing a gas range.
Choose the best location. Consult a contractor or natural gas installer to determine what limitations there may be on the placement of a gas line for the gas kitchen range. It's best to select an area away from draft sources, like frequently opened windows or ventilation ducts. Forceful breezes can blow out a gas-range flame and cause a dangerous buildup of gas in the room.
Gas ranges need ventilation. You'll want to install a vent hood above your ranges, which can absorb excess smoke and steam and prevent a smoke alarm from going off. This can affect the location of the gas stove, as many range hoods are designed to dispel smoke, grease and odors from the cooking area outside. If placing your new gas stove on an exterior wall is not practical, consider a filtering range hood that simply removes grease and smoke from the air inside the kitchen.
Check for cabinet clearance. Gas ranges require quite a bit of space below the counter to accommodate service lines and wiring. When choosing a place to install a range, be sure that there is at least 24 inches of space below the counter to fit all the connections and at least 18 inches of clearance above it. You'll also want to be sure that the space surrounding the gas range will not be easily accessible to children.
Gas ranges require proper electric connection. Gas ranges still need electric service. While natural gas feeds the burner's flame, an electric starter ignites the burner. Electricity is also used to power secondary features of the range, like clocks or timers. Most gas ranges require a 15-amp circuit.