If you're building a new home or even considering upgrading your existing home heating system, you're probably considering different fuel options for your furnace or boiler. Most home heating systems in the US utilize one of three common fuel choices: 

  • Grid electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Heating oil

Your choice will often depend on what's available in your area, but you may be lucky enough to live somewhere with multiple fuel options. In many cases, natural gas will be the most efficient choice, but what makes this fuel good for your bottom and arguably a better choice for the environment? Keep reading for three reasons why natural gas is so popular in many cold parts of the country.

1. Lower Energy Costs

When comparing natural gas to electricity, a few pitfalls can make a direct comparison misleading. Electric furnaces are 100% efficient, which makes them look like the cheaper and more environmentally-friendly option, at least at first. However, this statistic is deceiving because the power plant that generates your electricity is guaranteed to fall well below 100% efficiency.

When comparing your energy costs, it's important to look at the efficiency of your gas furnace and the price of natural gas in your area. In many cases, natural gas will be cheaper when considering the cost of generating an equivalent amount of heat. The more efficient your gas furnace, the larger the financial advantage you're likely to see over an electric heater.

2. Less Environment Waste

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, so does it make sense to say that a natural gas furnace is more environmentally friendly than relying on grid energy? Shockingly, the answer to that question is often "yes." While the environmental impact of grid electricity will vary from region to region, natural gas is often a more friendly choice than placing your heating load on the grid.

The reason for this is that the US energy grid consists of many different energy-generating technologies. The mix often favors power plants that rely on fossil fuels, so even a 100% efficient electric furnace may produce substantial CO2 emissions. The difference will be even starker if you live in an area that relies heavily on dirtier technologies such as oil or coal.

3. More Efficient Delivery

Delivery is another concern when comparing natural gas to heating oils or propane. With these alternative fuels, you must rely on manual delivery to your home to receive fuel for your heating system. While these deliveries work fine when necessary, there's added cost and the added environmental impact of using a truck to bring fuel to your house.

Natural gas uses more efficient pipes and pumping stations, ensuring consistent delivery that produces a lower overall environmental impact. While there are good reasons to choose propane or heating oil in certain situations, natural gas offers a far more efficient and reliable delivery method that will ensure you won't need to worry about running out of fuel on a cold winter night.

To learn more, reach out to a heating contractor near you.