When it comes to owning a home, there are a variety of maintenance needs that a homeowner must tend to. In some cases, due to time restraints, a homeowner might take the easiest path to complete the necessary maintenance. Typically, no one wants to scrub and clean every appliance in their home. Also this is the same when it comes to a mess in the oven. Using the self-cleaning feature on your oven is usually the top choice. However, it might not be the best. When you use the self-cleaning feature, the oven produces carbon monoxide which is poisonous to people and pets.
Let’s take a look below at what this all means.
What Is A Self-Cleaning Oven?
Self-cleaning ovens are ovens that come with a feature called self-cleaning. This added feature is meant to help degrease and remove cooked food that has burnt into the bottom or sides of the oven. Self-cleaning uses an increased amount of power and builds the temperature up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit so that it can melt away the spilled food and grease. You must use proper ventilation in your home when using this feature. Carbon monoxide gas is released as a by-product of the self-cleaning oven.
How Does It Work?
Believe it or not, a self-cleaning oven feature is popular for most homeowners. The idea is that self-cleaning will turn grease and spilled food into ashes, which makes for a very easy clean-up. Let’s take a look below at what’s involved.
- Turn on the oven – Turning on the oven and setting the cycle to self-cleaning is the first step.
- The oven heats up – Once the cycle is set, the oven will begin to heat up to extreme temperatures.
- The food cooks – As the temperatures heat up, the food and grease left in the oven are zapped to small ash particles.
- While it cleans – While the self-cleaning feature works, toxic gas will emit from the oven. Even though the oven is sealed tight with insulation, the gases can escape.
- Ventilate or leave – Stay outside your home and ventilate the kitchen by opening your doors and windows.
Why Are They So Dangerous To Use?
Just like anything related to danger, there is a list of reasons why you should not use an oven’s self-cleaning feature. Let’s take a look below at what those reasons might be.
- Possible carbon monoxide poisoning – When the food is being cooked to an ash reduction, the burning food produces carbon monoxide gas. You could suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning effects if the area isn’t well-ventilated during the self-cleaning cycle.
- High likelihood of respiratory or asthma issues – Although the Teflon coating inside your oven is safe when you bake or broil food, it can heat up to over 600 degrees Fahrenheit during the self-cleaning cycle. The Teflon will then release toxic fumes into the air. The fumes are known to cause flu-like symptoms. Coughing, wheezing, sweating, chills, and difficulty breathing are all possibilities.
- Danger to your pets – Although your dogs and cats can be taken outside with you to avoid the fumes, some pets, like birds, cannot. Birds have a unique respiratory tract that can deliver high oxygen levels for flight. If the air is filled with toxic gas, the respiratory tract can also deliver those toxins throughout the bird’s body and cause death.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know how a self-cleaning oven could be deadly to you or your pets, take some time to read up on oven cleaners. Some oven cleaners can be toxic to you and possibly cause damage to your kitchen countertops. Be sure to read up on the various types of oven cleaners to determine which ones are safe and toxin-free.
Next, using your oven’s self-cleaning feature can cause fumes and gases to be released. It is also possible that smoke will be released through damaged insulation in the oven. Having your home fully ventilated with your ceiling fans working should help. Keep in mind that if your oven is smoking, it is typically from burning food.
Lastly, while you are reading about the maintenance of your self-cleaning oven, this might also be a good idea to read the manufacturer’s directions on what you can and cannot put down a garbage disposal. Knowing this information will save you from having a potential clog in your plumbing or a leak in your sink.
When Do I Call A Professional?
If you aren’t sure what to do with your oven’s self-cleaning feature, it might be a good idea to avoid using it altogether. Also, call on your local oven service technician, and they can recommend some alternatives to the self-cleaning feature.
Although the self-cleaning feature is a nice option for cleaning your oven, there are other options for making it look brand new. Before using any appliance features in your home, you should read the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines for their product. Reach out to Waypoint Inspection to conduct a ventilation and appliance inspection during a full home inspection in your home in Tampa and Central Florida.