Housing is expensive in one way or another. That is why people often look for ways to save. Luckily, there are many opportunities out there that can help people get the savings they are looking for. One opportunity in particular is natural gas. If you are a part of the people that don’t know what natural gas is or don’t know how it can help your home, you’re not alone. What’s important to know is that it could save you over $800 per year on average!
Let’s Talk About Natural Gas
Aside from its more cost-effective nature and how it could benefit your home, you should first understand what natural gas is. A lot of the natural gas that is found and used today, surprisingly, started off as plants and animals millions of years ago. These plants and animals were very very tiny (also known as microscopic). The way it works is that living organisms absorb solar energy. The energy they receive gets stored in their bodies as carbon molecules. Then, thanks to natural processes, some of their remains were converted into, you guessed it, natural gas!
Natural gas is made up of four hydrocarbon atoms and one carbon atom. Natural gas requires advanced technology to obtain. In its natural state, it is also the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, being both odorless and colorless. Today, natural gas is widely used, with more than half of all American households using it.
Measuring Natural Gas
Without getting too complicated, we’ll go over how natural gas is measured and how much money you could save by using it. Natural gas is measured just like other forms of heat energy. This unit of measurement is known as the British thermal unit (Btu). One Btu is roughly equivalent to the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature by one degree Fahrenheit for one pound of water. One cubic foot of natural gas equals 1,032 Btu.
Yet, when you check your power bill, it will look slightly different. This is because most of these bills measure natural gas usage in therms rather than Btu. A therm is the equivalent of 103,200 Btu. To put that in context, two therms can keep your house nice and warm for an entire day. So, if we do the math, 10 therms are enough to power a typical home for five days. This includes all energy consuming processes like cooking, space heating, water heating, and other activities.
Is Natural Gas Safe to Use?
It’s normal for people to be concerned about the safety of natural gas. However, the natural gas industry is constantly looking for ways to improve employee and customer safety. For example, the United States Safety statistics show that employee safety has improved steadily over the last five years. Meanwhile, consumers should also work to increase their safety awareness.
How Can Consumers Be Knowledgeable?
Recognizing natural gas warning signs is essential. Even though it is odorless in its natural state, once it enters homes, the smell of natural gas changes because of the utilities. Your part is to make sure you know what to do once you detect a natural gas leak.
The good news? The smell of natural gas is almost impossible to ignore because it smells like rotten eggs. So it should make it easy for people in the house to smell gas if there is a leak.
Additionally, if you smell gas, please make sure you don’t start a fire! This includes using a lighter, starting a car, smoking a cigarette etc. Leave the house immediately, and of course, take others with you, making sure you keep moving until you can no longer smell the odor. As soon as you’ve reached a safe area, call 911 or your natural gas utility to report the gas leak. From there they should be able to advise you on what to do.
What You Should Know About Natural Gas Cost Savings
Now that you are familiar with the basics of natural gas, let’s discuss how you may use it to your advantage! The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of natural gas furnaces is higher. As a result, customers will receive even greater savings! It only costs $453 per year to operate a 97% AFUE gas furnace. In fact, an 80% AFUE gas furnace would still be cheaper to operate than the most efficient propane furnace. Natural gas furnaces typically cost less than the most energy-efficient furnaces such as electric resistance furnaces, electronic heat pumps and oil furnaces.
Families can save an average of $879 annually by using natural gas in their homes instead of electricity. They should be able to pay less on things like heating, drying clothes, cooking, etc. To put the savings in perspective, customers who chose natural gas over the previous four years saved nearly $50 billion in total. Since 2010, the price of natural gas has been less expensive than the prices of propane, fuel oil, and electricity. In fact, the estimates for this cost predict that it will remain at that level until 2040!
People have a variety of options for supplying energy to their homes. One of the least expensive solutions is obviously natural gas. Additionally, it is one of the most cost effective fossil fuels and has the purest burning quality. By switching from electricity to natural gas, households can save $879 annually on average.
Aside from being able to help individual households save, it’s also essential to understand how it can help many households overall across the country. For instance, over the last four years, those who opted for natural gas over electricity have saved close to $50 billion.
Natural gas has become more affordable than electricity, fuel, and propane since 2010. The good news continues because predictions and forecasts indicate that this trend will continue until 2040. If you want to better understand natural gas and what it means for your home, you’ll need to get in touch with a local provider. They can provide you with more information and necessary details.