Self cleaning ovens and the dangers these can present


Posted April 29, 2020


Using your ovens self cleaning function is one of the alternatives to using harmful aerosol oven cleaning solutions, and perhaps one of the reasons that makes this type of oven so appealing to homeowners.

However, it is important to note that although self-cleaning ovens can be convenient, they can also be dangerous too. In this article, we will highlight the reasons why.

How do self cleaning ovens work?

A self-cleaning oven utilizes high temperatures to consume leftovers without preparing any dangerous oven cleaning chemicals. This particular cleaning procedure converts excess food to ash by exposing it to extremely high temperatures upwards of 900 degrees fahrenheit. With most self cleaning ovens, when the oven is started, it will lock until the cleaning process has been completed and the temperature brought down to milder temperatures. There are two common types of self cleaning ovens which can be found in homes. These are, steam self cleaning ovens and the more traditional high temperature self cleaning ovens. The differences in how both of these function is significant.

In spite of the fact that having an oven which can perform self cleaning is a huge convenience, it also presents hazards and can effect the air quality within your home, aswell as it's occupants. Even by simply enabling the self cleaning mode on one of these ovens, it can lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide.

Respiratory diseases and astma

Anyone living in your household who has a history of upper respiratory disease should avoid being around self cleaning ovens when they are operating a self clean function. While opening the kitchen windows or doors may seem like it helps, this might not be enough to prevent dangerous fumes from causing harm. There is typically a coating within an oven that is able to resist the usual boiling and baking temperatures, but this doesn't effectively resist the soaring temperatures the oven endures during the running of it's self-cleaning function. The fumes generated by this can cause breating problems, coughing, and various other symptoms.

Risk of blowing your control panel or a fuse

If your oven is relatively new, it's likely that it will have heating elements located beneath it's bottom and above the ceiling. Although these hidden elements can make your oven a lot easier to clean and help reduce unwanted drips, they have their negatives. Ovens struggle to ensure that sufficient air is circulating during the self cleaning process. As a result, this can result in a fuse blowing and the burning out of control panels due to the extreme heat.

Not pet friendly

Although not all animals may be affected by the output of fumes, animals that are more vulnerable to Teflon toxicity should be removed from your home when your oven is running its self-cleaning function. Birds in particular, are the most at risk from the fumes.

Buildup of carbon monoxide

It has been widely reported that self-cleaning ovens can generate carbon monoxide during their self clean function. Difficult to detect, carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous for both humans and animals alike. Perhaps the biggest enablers of the carbon monoxide generation are the baked on, charred food inside the oven which cause the dangerous emission to enter the air when exposed to the high temperatures during the self cleaning cycle.

Now that you have a better understanding of the dangers that self-cleaning ovens can present, you can make an educated decision on whether you would like to make use of a self cleaning oven feature. If you are still considering taking a risk and using the self clean feature, it's important to ensure that you properly prepare your oven for cleaning. We would recommend that you read your oven manual to understand what you should do beforehand.

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