Thursday, August 29, 2013

Is Natural Gas Good for the Environment?

Natural gas is known as a clean-burning, efficient means of providing energy in a variety of industrial and residential settings.

It heats homes and powers appliances such as gas hot water heaters, cookers, and more.

We know that it's versatile, but is it good for the environment?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, like coal or oil, but it has a far less negative impact than either of those fuels or, in fact, electricity. Because of it's density, it takes less natural gas to create energy than other types of fuels, meaning it causes less environmental pollution. It's said to produce up to 75 percent less greenhouse greenhouse gas emissions than using electricity. Thus, while natural gas does have some of the same disadvantages as other fossil fuels, it takes a large step in the direction of being more earth-friendly.

Natural gas is also safe to use in your home or business. The distinctive smell of natural gas (naturally odorless) is added by producers in order to make leaks detectable and increase safety. Australia is at the forefront of gas safety, with some of the toughest emissions standards in the world. Products that are AGA certified are safe to use in any building and gas heaters produce very little indoor emissions when properly flued.

Unflued heaters cause very low levels of emissions. If you have an unflued gas burner in your building and you or other inhabitants are sensitive to these levels, there are several ways to minimize the small amount of discomfort caused by the combustion process.

1. Make sure that the heater is the appropriate size for the space. A heater that's too large can cause an excess of fumes.

2. Choose a heater that has an electronic ignition and an automatic shut-off.

3. Make sure that your heater is AGA certified and installed by a licensed tradesman, according to building code and by manufacturer's specifications.

4. Make sure the area where the burner is located is properly ventilated.

5. Make sure to read and understand all of the warranties and other important information located in the instructions and users manual.

6. Don't use small gas heaters overnight in sleeping areas.

7. Make certain gas ranges are properly ventilated and hooded.

Following these simple guidelines will allow you to safely enjoy the efficiency and other benefits provided by using gas. Natural gas is a clean, affordable alternative that works hard to give you the warmth and power you need, wherever it's available. Your local gas wholesaler can help you with installation of natural gas supply lines or appliances for heating, cooking, and more.

photo credit: D.H. Parks via photopin cc
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