Saving Energy – Using Natural Gas For Heating

Purely from environmental viewpoint, using natural gas for heating the home is actually better than using electricity. Because the electricity you use is most likely generated in coal fired power plants. The turbines have efficiencies of order of 30% to 50%. Then there are transmission losses of typically 10 to 15%. Then there is efficiency factor of your heating equipment which will again be something like50% to 60%.
So if burning coal generates total 100 units of heat, out of which only 30 to 50 units gets converted to electricity.

Out of that say 50 units, 45 units reaches your house after transmission loss of 10%
out of that 45, only 20-25 units gets actually converted to heat that heats up your house. Rest goes in your equipments losses fans, inductance losses etc.
Instead if you are using natural gas, then all 100 units of heat generated using natural gas gets used to heat your house.

But if you are using electricity from green sources, that is a different matter. In that case it is better to use electricity.

So far I have not dug into natural gas price data. So I cannot comment on the economy of heating with natural gas vs. heating using electricity. So you have to rely on other sources. When I get time next I will certainly do it.

But while I do that, don’t forget simple and obvious stuff like insulation. Are all your windows insulated? Is fireplace cap closed? Is your attic insulated? Don’t let that heat escape.


~ by Kedar on January 30, 2007.

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