What You Need to Know About Your Furnace

A natural gas furnace has three main parts that you need to be aware of. The first is your heat source. This is obviously what provides the warmth for your home. The next part is the distribution source, which is what moves the heat throughout your home. The last part is the control system. The control system is your thermostat, and that is what allows you to regulate the temperature and the amount of heat your furnace puts out.

When you own a furnace, there is some regular maintenance you need to perform on it in order to keep it running well for you. Check out the list below to make sure you are performing proper maintenance on your furnace.

Furnace Maintenance

One of the most important parts of furnace maintenance is making sure you clean or replace the filter. How often you do this will depend on the furnace and the filter, but there should be some guidelines when you buy the filter. Replacing your filter is extremely important because if you don’t, it will restrict the heat flow causing your price for heat to significantly increase.

Another piece of easy maintenance is checking your drain line. The drain line is a part of newer furnaces and it can easily dislodge or disconnect, so you will just want to make sure it is in the correct place.

Opening your low returns is the next step in your furnace maintenance. These are probably closed during the hot weather, so you will want to open them for heating season.

Now, you will want to move outside to check your outside venting. This is a PVC pipe that leads out of your house. The only thing you will want to do with this is make sure it is all cleaned out and not obstructed by anything.

You will want to perform these checks on your furnace before heating season. Also, you will want to make sure to have your furnace checked by a professional once a year or once every two years. The professional will do some tests to make sure everything is working properly and you have nothing to worry about.

Happy heating!

Natural Gas Appliances: Owning a Gas Stove

Natural gas is a great option for many of the appliances in your house. Natural gas gives you everything you want and need with your appliances with no compromises. If you are looking into a new gas stove, below are a couple things you will want to consider before making that purchase.


The cost might be the biggest factor in choosing a stove for you. With a stove however, the cost doesn’t just include the upfront cost of the purchase; you will also want to take into account how much it will cost you to operate on a regular basis.

For the original purchase, gas stoves often cost from $800 to $2,300. Operating costs for these appliances are harder to nail down because utility costs can vary depending on the state. However, natural gas is generally pretty inexpensive, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the cost every month. If you want to know more about the price every month contact us and we can help you out!


If you consider yourself a committed chef, gas stoves are a great option for you. This is because gas stoves allow you to do things like charring, toasting and flambéing. You can also change the temperature instantly with a gas stove allowing yourself a precise cooking experience.

Natural gas is becoming a more popular resource because it is fairly inexpensive in addition to being clean burning and easy to use. Natural gas appliances like a gas stove can be a great addition to your house if that is something you are considering!

An Abundance of Shale Gas

Recently, there has been a lot of time and energy spent in the exploration of shale gas. You, like many other people, may be wondering what the big deal is. Before we get too far into that, let’s look at the basics of shale gas.

What is Shale Gas?

Shale gas is natural gas that is found in shale formations. These formations are fine-grained sedimentary rocks. Many shale formations were formed hundreds of millions of years ago.

Where is Shale Gas found?

Many parts of the United States contain shale gas. The deposits of shale gas occur in shale plays. These plays are located in accumulations of sedimentary rock. Around 16 states in the United States are currently producing shale gas.

Why is Shale Gas important?

Basically, the recent success of shale gas production has led to us having much more access to shale gas. With shale gas, our natural gas production has increased significantly. We have known that shale gas was around for a while, but it wasn’t until advances in extraction were made that it became economical to go after shale gas.

Because of these innovations and the production of shale gas, we know have a huge increase in the abundance of natural gas in the United States. This is great news because natural gas is considered one of the cleanest burning sources of energy, and it is used for energy in millions of homes across the United States. 

Natural Gas Prices: Fixed or Variable Rates?

With utilities like electricity and water, you have a monthly bill that you have to pay a certain rate for. Natural gas, however, is a little bit different. With your natural gas provider, you can choose whether or not you want to have a fixed or a variable rate for your usage.

Fixed Rate

A fixed rate is pretty self-explanatory. This is a rate that doesn’t change from month to month. Your contract is usually six months or a year, and you pay the same rate for all of those months. The rate is determined before the customer commits to the agreement.

With fixed rates, it is important to know what your contract entails because you will want to know the contract length and how renewal of the contract works. Also, there may be an early termination fee or cancelation fee if you don’t stick through all of your contract.

Variable Rate

A variable rate is dependent on the current rate for natural gas in the market. In a variable rate plan, you are at the mercy of the market. This plan is subject to price swings, but the price can swing lower and give you a better rate than a fixed rate plan. With a variable rate plan you have the opportunity to have the lower prices, however, there isn’t any sort of protection if prices do rise. With a variable rate, there is no contract. The customer can cancel the service at any point in time.

Before deciding what kind of plan you would like to do, you can do a little research on what the specific prices of each plan are. Here are our current rates for new customers, and if you have any other questions about fixed versus variable rates, contact Walton Gas. 

The History of Natural Gas

Natural gas has been around for millions of years, in fact, sometimes natural gas escaping from the earth would ignite leading to a fire from the earth. This was thought of as a divine or supernatural thing until more recently when we have harnessed the power of natural gas to use as a source of energy.

Around 1785, natural gas produced from coal was used to light streetlights and houses in Britain. This came to America in 1816, but it wasn’t the naturally occurring gas that we use today. This was manufactured, so it was less efficient.

In 1821, the first well specifically to obtain natural gas for energy was dug. This natural gas was predominantly used as a source of light because it was difficult to transport very far. However, after the invention of the Bunsen burner in 1885, people realized they could use gas for cooking and heating.

In the early 1900s pipelines for natural gas started to be built. This allowed natural gas to be transported for people to use in their homes for heating and cooking. Instead of coal that wasn’t as efficient, natural gas in its natural state allowed homes to be heated for cheaper.

Natural gas is now being obtained cheaper and easier than ever. The natural gas industry has existed for over 150 years in this country, and it has been growing and improving ever since it started. Natural gas is now often seen as the fuel of choice in our country and throughout the world. 

Tips for Conserving Energy

We all want to conserve a little energy to make that energy bill go down a little bit. There are several easy ways to conserve energy just by being more conscious about your energy usage.

When thinking about your home appliances, there are a couple easy ways to conserve energy:

1. Use your clothes washer only on warm or cold water settings. If you eliminate or cut down on the “hot” loads you do, it can conserve energy from your water heater.

2. Fill your dishwasher completely before you run it, so you won’t waste water or energy.

3. Replace old appliances with more energy efficient ones. This is not something you have to do all at once because it could get expensive, but if you are looking to get a new appliance anyway, check out appliances with the Energy Star label because they will save energy and prevent pollution.

There are other ways to conserve energy aside from just using your appliances well. Some of those ways could be by making small investments:

4. Try installing low-flow shower heads. These shower heads will help you use less water when you are taking that daily shower.

5. Another good idea to help conserve energy is weatherizing your house or apartment. You can use caulk or weather strips to block air leaks around doors and windows and this can save your precious energy from slipping out the door.

When you conserve energy, you can save money, so keep these tips in mind to save a little bit on energy this fall. 

The Basics of Using Natural Gas for Energy

Natural gas is used to heat about half the homes in the United States. It also generates about 33% of our electricity. Why is natural gas so popular and what are the advantages of using it?

Natural gas is used for energy over coal and oil for several reasons. One major reason is natural gas is “clean burning.” This means that it produces fewer undesirable by-products than coal or petroleum. When natural gas is burned it does emit carbon dioxide, but at only half the rate that coal does. Natural gas is more energy efficient than coal as well; natural gas can better convert heat energy into electrical power.

Another benefit of natural gas is the fact that it is domestic. Pretty much all of the natural gas used in the United States comes from the United States. This is different than oil because about 25% of all our oil is imported from other countries.

Overall, natural gas is one of the cleanest, safest and most useful forms of energy that we have available to us. Walton Gas is a company with real people providing real service. We give you more than just energy, we give you the trust and experience you desire in a company. That combined with competitive pricing is why so many people choose Walton Gas. If you have any questions you can call us at 866.936.2427 or contact us via our website. 

Rising Natural Gas Prices due to Cold Weather

Cold weather brings many things: snow, cautious travels, and rising natural gas prices. The colder the weather, the higher natural gas consumption. About half of the households in the U.S use natural gas as their primary heating fuel, so many businesses and private homes turn their indoor heating on as the outdoor weather gets colder.

With natural gas having limited short-term alternatives, prices reflect the changes in supply as well as demand. A decrease in the supply will push prices up, and most likely discourage production and sales from storage inventories. An increase in the supply will do the exact opposite.

The winter weather will raise the demand for heating, as the summer will bring the need for cooling. This winter has brought many spontaneous storms and unpredictable weather, which results in even higher prices for natural gas, as there was not enough time for the supply to react.

With the cold temperatures this season, it’s important to keep an eye out for wellhead freeze-offs. What exactly is a freeze-off? The natural gas coming up the well pipe includes moisture. When the temperatures outside drop below freezing, the moisture will freeze at the surface, if not properly insulated.

Thankfully, natural gas has kept up with the severe winter storms this season through their consistent production. Hopefully Groundhog’s Day will reveal that we only have a few short weeks to go!

How to Convert Your Home to Natural Gas

Natural gas is the most popular fuel in the United States. Around 56 percent of US households are heated by natural gas. Thinking about converting your home? It’s not as strenuous as it sounds. We’ve broken the process down to five steps. The good news is, most of these steps are done by professionals, all you have to do is make the decision to convert and hire a reliable contractor.

Follow this step by step guide to converting your home to natural gas:

  1. Check for gas availability in your area: You can do this by going online or calling your gas company. Ask every question you can think of. Make sure you ask if installation of the service line is free, because it usually is. Don’t make any assumptions about this process; it’s a big project and you’re going to want to know everything that’s going to happen to your home.
  2. Inquire about options and offers: Talk to your heating contractor about equipment options and special offers. Ask about a furnace for heat and a boiler for hot water. These appliances are generally $1,500 to $3,000; which is a bargain compared to oil systems, which could cost up to $8,000.
  3. Map it out: Your utility company will come map out your property to find the optimal route for the new gas service. They will identify your phone, sewer, water and electrical lines. In addition, you should mark where any underground sprinklers, septic and oil tanks are.
  4. Installation of the service line: It’s time for the service line to be installed from the street to your home. Make sure you ask your company what their services include regarding your yard. Most companies will fill in holes they’ve dug; however, they aren’t responsible for lawn care. Find out what they will do once the project is complete.
  5. Equipment Installation: This is one of the very last steps in converting your home to natural gas. All gas equipment (i.e. your furnace) will be installed in your home.

Sometimes there are special permits that you need in order to convert your home. You’re heating contractor/utility company will take care of this for you. They will figure out what needs to be done prior to installing your equipment. If there is gas near your property, installations can take up to four to six weeks, depending on the permit approval process.

You are sure to save money in the long run by switching your home to natural gas. Check out our other blogs for more information about the benefits of natural gas. 

Natural Gas Appliances

Natural gas may seem like an old-school way to fuel your home’s appliances, but we are here to tell you otherwise. Some people choose to run on electric because they think it’s cheaper and more eco-friendly. It is true that electric appliances can be less expensive initially, but it’s actually costing them more in the long run. According to the United States Department of Energy, natural gas costs 68 percent less, so long as you already have gas lines leading to your appliances. You can see how this would save you money as time goes on.

You may be wondering if natural gas is bad for the environment and we can assure the contrary. Natural gas is considered the cleanest fossil fuel; it is efficient, reliable, economic and environmentally friendly. In fact, natural gas air conditioning is becoming more popular because it is eco-friendly and efficient. It cools your home faster than any other form of air conditioning.

On the warmer side of things, natural gas furnaces have been around much longer and have a popular following because they are known to heat your house quicker than the other methods. The American Gas Association found that 56 percent of U.S. households use natural gas heating.

Other natural gas-powered appliances include water heaters, stoves, dryers, fire places and grills. People prefer gas water heaters for constant hot water and they prefer gas stoves for precision cooking. You can always count on a gas appliance in your home.

With natural gas fueled appliances comes great responsibility. Make sure you are keeping your home safe by having your appliances checked regularly. Keep combustible items away from gas appliances to prevent fires and never keep flammable products in the same room or near appliances that produce heat.

 If you have further questions about the safety of your gas appliances, you can contact your gas company or refer to Walton Gas’ other blog posts.