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What is Natural Gas Used For?

You probably know that natural gas is a source of energy, and you might know that one fourth of all energy consumption in the United States is natural gas. However, you may wonder, other than heating homes, what is natural gas used for?

Natural gas has many different uses other than merely heating a home. Some of these include cooking, drying clothes, cooling a home or building, and even fueling cars.

Cooking

Cooking with natural gas gives you the advantage of precise control of heating your food with burners that can immediately be adjusted. Gas stoves are energy efficient, giving you a cost effective option.

Drying Clothes

Natural gas dryers are always an appliance option if your current dryer is in need of an upgrade. Reducing the amount of shrinkage and static cling you never have to worry about your clothing. There is no need to worry about emissions because natural gas dryers are eco-friendly.

Cooling Your Home

You think of natural gas when you think of heating your home, but cooling it? It’s true! Natural gas can be used to cool your home. There are gas-powered air conditioning units! You can cool your home with efficiency while being environmentally friendly.

Fueling Your Car

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has been explored as an alternative to gasoline for fueling our vehicles. Many commercial fleets have already made the switch to CNG to fuel their vehicles. CNG is an option over gasoline which is better for our wallets and the environment, so be on the lookout for this option!

Those are some of the main uses of natural gas. This is a source of energy that people use more than you think! If you have any questions about natural gas, you can always Contact Us!

3 Ways to Help with Disaster Relief

At Walton Gas we encourage our employees to give back, and as a company we’re actively involved in supporting causes that help people struggling to recover from sudden disasters. We are a community and we help one another. Here are a few ways you can help out with disaster relief.

Red Cross

American Red Cross

When disaster strikes, the Red Cross stands ready to immediately mobilize and respond. They’ve been on the frontlines of disaster relief since 1881, and few organizations do it better than they do. After Irma, the Red Cross is in desperate need of volunteers. By helping out the Red Cross you are helping thousands who have been affected. Come and make a difference today.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army helps and serves hundreds of thousands of people every year, providing necessities to those who need it most. They offer hot meals to the starving, housing to the homeless, emergency financial relief, and so much more. To accomplish this mission, the Salvation Army relies on volunteers like you. Just last year the Salvation Army was able to reach 1.75 million people because of those who volunteered! The Shield of the Salvation Army is one of the most recognized symbols of charity in the world. It gives hope, reassurance and comfort to people during their darkest times. And it starts with people like you. Click here to volunteer.

Habitat for Humanity: Repair with Kindness

The Repair with Kindness program helps qualified homeowners make repairs that are critical to their health and safety, including improved weatherization efforts to better withstand the power of Mother Nature. Repairs include: accessibility improvements, carpentry, roof repair or replacement, storm windows and doors. To learn more about the Repair with Kindness Program click here.

Irma has affected the lives of many of our families, friends, and neighbors. Here at Walton Gas, we want you to know we support you and we, along with our partners at these great charitable organizations, are here for you. If you can afford to offer either your time or financial support to any or all of these ongoing causes, we encourage you to join our support. We’re all Georgia Proud, and there is no storm we cannot overcome together.  

Call Before You Dig

Spring is around the corner so you probably have an outdoor project planned. Maybe you are planting a tree, adding onto your deck or even putting in that new fence.

BUT, before you start digging away on your land, you need to remember to call before you dig.

Georgia state law requires that you call 811 to have your utility lines professionally marked before you do any digging on your property. This is a statewide, toll-free number and your underground utilities will be marked free of charge. When you call the Utilities Protection Center at 811 or 1-800-282-7411, all you have to do is ask for an underground locator service.

This is not a step to be overlooked in your project because if you just start digging without this knowledge, you could run into gas lines, electric lines or even water pipes, which could have some serious consequences.

Call or visit georgia811.com if you have any additional questions or concerns about digging on your property. As long as you call before you dig, you should be safe to start on your outdoor spring projects. Happy spring digging! 

4 Myths About Natural Gas

There is a lot of information that floats around about the sources of energy we use on a daily basis. Unfortunately, some of that information is incorrect. There are some common myths associated with natural gas, so we wanted to clear those up for you right here.

Check out common myths about natural gas below:

  1. Natural gas is dangerous – This isn’t exactly true. Yes, natural gas will ignite, but only when there is a high enough concentration of natural gas AND there is an ignition source.
  2. Natural gas is bad for the environment – Natural gas is actually is the cleanest burning of all the fossil fuels.
  3. Natural gas will be gone soon – In recent years, we have uncovered even more natural gas within the United States borders. We have plenty of access to this resource domestically, and it is not something we are running out of soon.
  4. Natural gas is toxic – This is not true. Natural gas is non-toxic or non-poisonous. You don’t want natural gas to displace the air in a small space, but exposure to low levels of natural gas is not harmful to your health.

There is a lot of debate on what exactly is the best source of energy for us to use, and there probably always will be debate on that subject. However, we know that natural gas is a good resource because it is safe, clean burning, reliable, efficient and so much more. If you have questions about natural gas, come talk to us. 

Natural Gas Alarms

Natural gas, while a great source of energy for your house, is also highly combustible. That is why some people add a natural gas alarm to their house as an added precaution in case they would have a natural gas leak.

Why use a natural gas alarm?

In its natural state, natural gas is odorless, so natural gas companies add mercaptan to give it a smell. This odor is often compared to the smell of rotten eggs. If you do smell this smell in your home, it is an indication that you may have some sort of natural gas leak.

Some people also like to add a natural gas alarm to their house as an added precaution. The alarm is meant to detect a natural gas leak before the amount gets too harmful, so it may alert you before you smell anything in your house.

What do you do if your natural gas alarm goes off?

Like previously stated, this alarm will go off before you are in any great danger, so don’t panic. The first step would be to open your windows to allow the natural gas to dissipate if possible. You will then want to turn off your natural gas and leave your house. Next you will want to contact your gas company to have someone come check your house for a gas leak.

Natural gas is overall a very safe source of energy and about half the households in the United States use it to heat their homes. However, it is good to be prepared and ready so you can prevent potential problems from happening. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

What is Compressed Natural Gas and Why is it Important?

You may be using natural gas to heat your home because about half the people in the United States are. They use natural gas for many reasons because it is one of the safest and cleanest sources of energy and also because the majority of the natural gas we use we get from the United States.

So why don’t we use natural gas for more than just heating our homes?

The good news is we are working on it. Recently, the United States has been looking into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative to gasoline for our vehicles. CNG is odorless, colorless and tasteless and it comes from natural gas wells drilled in the United States. Natural Gas powers millions of vehicles in the world, but not that many in the United States.

Exploring CNG for use in automobiles is important because CNG costs about 50% less than gasoline or diesel and it emits up to 90% fewer emissions than gasoline does. CNG is better for our wallets and the environment. Also, we have an abundant supply of CNG right here in the United States. This means that we don’t have to worry about costs of buying it and importing it like we do with petroleum.

You may be wondering about the safety implications of using CNG as a fuel for our vehicles, and the good news is there are strict safety standards for CNG vehicles to make them just as safe as gasoline powered vehicles.

Interested in CNG? Do some research and find out if a CNG vehicle is for you. At Walton, we know that natural gas is a great source of energy for your home, so it might be something to look into for your vehicle as well. 

How Can I Invest in Natural Gas?

You may have heard that natural gas is a fast-growing source of energy, and about half the households in the United States use natural gas to heat their homes. This is true, which makes natural gas a great resource and also a possibility for investment.

Ways to Invest in Natural Gas

There are three main ways to invest in Natural Gas. These are ETFs, Futures and Stocks.

ETFs are funds tracking the equity of natural gas producers or the price of natural gas. A couple different options of ETFs are the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), which invests in front month futures contracts or the Teucrium Natural Gas Fund (NAGS), which spreads exposure across multiple maturities to look at prices more long-term.

Futures for natural gas are traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The market for natural gas futures is very liquid. This means trading is very active throughout the week, especially on Thursdays when the Department of Energy releases its weekly natural gas storage report.  Natural gas holds the second-highest volume futures contract in the world.

Stocks are a great investing option if you don’t want to directly deal with futures contracts. In the case of stocks, you can get indirect exposure to natural gas by investing in companies explore fuel types. Some companies focus purely on natural gas and others engage with both natural gas and crude oil.

Investing in natural gas could be something that is well-worth your time and money. It may be something to explore in further detail if you are interested. 

How Does Natural Gas Get to Your Home?

Over half of the households in the United States use natural gas to heat their homes, but some of them may not know how it is that their home gets heated.

You probably know that natural gas is extracted from deep underground. When natural gas is extracted, however, it doesn’t have to be used right away. Natural gas can be stored underground in large storage reservoirs, so gas companies can safely store gas until it is needed.

When natural gas is needed to fuel your home, it is delivered to your home through an underground pipeline. The pipeline in Georgia is called the Atlanta Gas Light pipeline. This pipeline was started over 150 years ago and it now supplies more than 1.6 million homes, businesses and industrial facilities with clean and efficient energy.

As the natural gas travels your way through the Atlanta Gas Light pipeline, it has to pass through a city gate. This gate reduces the pressure of the gas, and it also adds the odorant to the gas to give it a smell for safety purposes. As the gas enters the meter at your home, the pressure level of the gas has been reduced one more time to make it a safe and usable level for you.

As you turn on your heat and appliances, the gas is there to fuel your home and it passes through the meter to measure your use. There are several steps on your way to getting efficient energy, but we at Walton make sure you get the energy you need! If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact us!

Natural Gas Appliances: A Gas Dryer

You may have heard that natural gas appliances can be very energy efficient. This is often true, so even though the initial cost of the natural gas appliance may be a bit more, you can save energy and money in the long run. If you are thinking about upgrading your dryer, think about making it a gas dryer.

Buying a Gas Dryer

Unfortunately, a dryer is one of the least energy efficient appliances, but you can help matters by choosing one with good energy efficiency. Gas dryers are known to be energy efficient. When looking at a gas dryer, the price is going to be somewhere between $350 and $1,600. The cost on a monthly basis is going to depend on the gas prices in your area.

As far as a gas dryer goes, you need a gas line as well as space for outdoor venting in order to install a gas dryer. Since this process requires a gas line, it is recommended that you hire a technician to install your gas dryer.

Advantages of a Gas Dryer

There are a lot of reasons to go out and buy a gas dryer. One of those is energy efficiency. Another is the fact that you can dry your clothes very quickly and often for less money. Gas Dryers also sense when your clothes are dry and they are able to reduce the amount of wrinkling because the heat dissipates quickly.

If you are upgrading your appliances this year, try for energy efficiency with a gas dryer. 

Natural Gas Appliances: Benefits of a Gas Fireplace

There is something iconic about curling up on your couch in front of a fire. It makes your house really feel like home. That may be why fireplaces are one of the top features new homeowners want.

A warm fire on a cold night is great, and what’s even better is a warm fire that is easy to start, needs no tending and requires no cleanup. Sounds perfect, right? All of that is possible with a gas fireplace.

There are many benefits of owning one, so if you have always wanted a fireplace, it might be something to look into. Three of the main benefits heat, convenience and flexibility are listed below.

Heat

One big reason people get fireplaces is for the heat they produce. Your furnace costs a lot to heat your house, and with a furnace, sometimes you are heating rooms you don’t need to. With a gas fireplace, you can still use your furnace, but you won’t have to use it as much so it can save you money on heating your house. If you put your gas fireplace in a family room or a living room that you are in a lot, you can make sure that room is warm for you, your family and your guests.

Convenience

Another reason people get gas fireplaces is there is a great deal of convenience associated with them. Wood burning fireplaces take a great deal of time an energy to start and maintain a fire. With a gas fireplace, you simply flip a switch or push a button and the fireplace is turned on and you can keep it at the temperature you want it to be.

Flexibility

Gas fireplaces are also able to fit flexibly into your home. You can pick the fireplace that is best for your home. One of your options is an insert, for this you can use your existing wood fireplace and chimney and you can simply insert in a more efficient gas fireplace. If you don’t already have an existing fireplace, don’t worry, you can purchase a built-in gas fireplace that doesn’t require a chimney and it can just be placed wherever you want it to be as long as you have that natural gas connection.

With gas fireplaces there are a wide variety of styles and designs as well as sizes and even temperatures options. If you dream of being able to gather with family and friends around your own fireplace, you may want to consider a gas fireplace.