When it comes to saving money on a home, there are a lot of ways that people can do so. One way is to use natural gas. Not everyone understands what it means to have natural gas help them save on their bills, let alone what natural gas is. However, it’s important because on average it could save households over $800 a year!
Understanding Natural Gas
Before understanding how natural gas can help your home, it’s important to know what it is first. Natural gas is a clean fossil fuel that is both odorless and colorless in its natural state. A lot of the natural gas that is found and used today started off as plants and animals that were microscopic (which means really, really small!) millions of years ago. Living organisms absorb energy from the sun. The energy that they received was stored as carbon molecules in their body. Through natural processes, some of their remains were able to convert into natural gas! It is made up of four hydrocarbon atoms and one carbon atom. What’s especially cool is the fact that natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel. To get natural gas, people rely on advanced technology. It’s very common nowadays to use natural gas. Over half of American households use gas.
How is Natural Gas Measured?
This is going to get a little technical, but it will be able to provide some good insight on just how natural gas can save you money! Natural gas is measured the same way as other types of heat energy. That means that it is measured in British thermal units (Btu). One Btu is essentially worth the heat needed to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree (in Fahrenheit, not Celsius). A cubic foot of natural gas is worth a solid amount of 1,032 Btu! However, on your power bill, it will likely look a little bit different. That’s because a majority of natural gas bills measure the gas in therms. A therm is a unit of measurement that is worth 103,200 Btu. To put that in some perspective, two therms can warm your home for a day. Another example would be that 10 therms can be enough for the average home for five days which includes cooking, space heating, water heating, and more.
Is Natural Gas Safe?
People may have concern that natural gas isn’t safe. Luckily, there are constant improvements in safety within the natural gas industry–not only for the employees handling the natural gas but also for the consumers who receive the gas. For example, there are United States Safety statistics that show continued improvements in employee safety over the past five years. It’s also important for consumers to be knowledgeable when it comes to natural gas safety.
It’s important to know the signs of natural gas. While in its natural state, it is odorless, it is different once it goes into homes. Utilities make the gas smell bad. The smell of natural gas smells similar to rotten eggs. That makes it easy for people in the house to smell gas if there is a leak. Once you know the signs to look out for with a natural gas leak, you want to make sure you know what to do.
If you smell gas, you also want to make sure you avoid making a spark! This includes not lighting a match, not smoking, starting a car, etc. You will want to leave the house immediately and take others with you. If you still smell the gas when you go outside you will need to leave the area until you no longer smell it. Once you are in a safe area, you will need to call someone to report the gas as soon as possible. You can either call 911 or your natural gas utility company. They will provide you with the next steps!
What to Know About Natural Gas Savings
Now that you know the basics about natural gas, it’s time to better understand how you can benefit from it. Natural gas furnaces have a higher annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. That means they can provide more savings for customers! A 97% AFUE Gas furnace costs only $453 every year to run. Even an 80% AFUE Gas furnace costs less to run than the most efficient propane furnace. Natural gas furnaces are two to four times cheaper than the most efficient furnaces like oil furnaces, electric resistance furnaces, and electronic heat pumps.
On average, households that use natural gas instead of electricity in their home for tasks like cooking, drying clothes, heating their home, etc. can save an average of $879 annually. To put some perspective on the amount of savings across the country, the low prices of natural gas have led to savings of nearly $50 billion for customers who chose natural gas over the past four years. The cost of natural gas has been lower than the cost of electricity, fuel oil, and propane since 2010. The projections for this cost expect it to stay that low until 2040!
There are a lot of ways that people can choose to power their homes. One of the most affordable options is natural gas. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and is affordable to consumers. Households can save an average of $879 every year if they use natural gas instead of electricity. Besides being able to help individual households save individually, it’s important to also be aware of how it’s able to help many households across the country. Households that chose natural gas over electricity have been able to save nearly $50 billion over the past four years. The best part? Natural gas has been lower than the cost of electricity, fuel oil, and propane since 2010 and projections estimate that it will stay that way until 2040. If you want to learn more about natural gas and what that means for your household then you will want to get in touch with a local provider.