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Tips for Saving Energy This Winter

It’s wintertime and the weather is getting colder. That also means your energy bill may be increasing a bit for the next couple of months, but there are a few things you can do to keep those costs lower. Check out these tips to save a little energy and money this winter.

  1. Weatherize your windows and doors – You can use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on the inside of your windows to reduce the chill coming from them. For your doors, if you notice a gap or if you feel air coming in from the outside, you can get a weather strip to seal the cracks and keep out drafts.
  2. Adjust your thermostat – This is an important one. You don’t want to be heating an empty house, so make sure you turn your thermostat down when you are not home and when you are sleeping because you won’t need the house to be as warm.
  3. Add a layer before you increase the temperature – Are you relaxing at home in a t-shirt? If you are cold, put on a sweater or sweatshirt before you increase the temperature of your home. You may realize it is not that cold once you add a layer.
  4. Use LED lights for your holiday decorations – A lot of people like to put up festive lights and glowing decorations for the winter holidays because it can make your house feel warmer. This year, spend a couple extra dollars to upgrade those decorations to LED lights and you will save a lot in energy costs.
  5. Check your furnace regularly – It is important to make sure your furnace is clean and properly maintained. If it is, it will work better and more efficiently, which will save you money.
  6. Seal up leaks – You may have small leaks where you have pipes or vents going through your walls. If you simply caulk along those areas it can prevent those leaks and save you energy.
  7. Upgrade those appliances - ENERGY STAR appliances are great for using energy efficiently and saving you energy costs. This can have a more expensive initial cost, but if you are planning on upgrading your appliances anyway, check out those that use energy more efficiently.

The temperatures are dropping, so it is important to be smart about your energy use. If you follow these few tips, it can help you so your energy bill doesn’t increase too much. Have any questions about your energy bill or energy consumption? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

How Does Cold Weather Impact Natural Gas Prices?

With winter in our midst, our concern will be keeping warm. We will be turning on our furnaces and bringing out extra blankets to fight off the cold. Heating our homes can be one of the bigger expenses we run into as far as utilities are concerned, and since everyone is turning on the heat, more natural gas is being used. The question is, how does cold weather impact natural gas prices?

Around half of United States households use natural gas for heating and cooling their household. The price of natural gas is dependent on supply and demand. Therefore, when temperatures outside reach more into the extremes there is more of a demand for natural gas usage. In the winter, your natural gas prices may increase slightly because there is more demand for natural gas so people can heat their homes and keep themselves warm.

The prices of natural gas are also dependent on how much natural gas is in the US natural gas inventories. Inventories start to build up at the end of the winter, but if a winter is long and particularly cold, it can lead to an increase in prices because the demand is high and the inventory is low.

Other weather conditions can also effect the prices of natural gas because they can lead to the disruption of production. Hurricanes and severe weather can lead to the slowing or stoppage of natural gas production. This will lead to the US having less natural gas, so that can also potentially affect the prices. However, most of the natural gas we use comes from the US, so we do have easy access to it, and the supply is there for us.

It is good to know that the price of natural gas can change just so you are prepared in case it happens, but it is also important to remember that natural gas is one of the cheapest, cleanest-burning fossil fuels. Even if prices do change, you are still getting a great source of energy at a good price. 

Factors That Affect Natural Gas Prices

We are all familiar with the flux of prices regarding fuel. There have been many times recently when gasoline prices have increased based on supply and demand, but what about natural gas? This resource heats our homes and gives us energy. What factors affect the change in natural gas pricing?

1. Supply and Demand – Like everything else, supply and demand has any influence on price. That is why in winter months natural gas prices can increase because people use this resource to heat their homes.


2. Weather – Weather also has an impact because it can increase the demand and use of natural gas. Also, severe storms like hurricanes can slow efforts to obtain natural gas.


3. Imports and Exports – This is often a factor regarding sources of energy. However, the United States gets its natural gas predominately from inside its own borders. This means you don’t have to worry much about the imports and exports; with natural gas, we have enough to fuel our country right from our very own land!


4. Competition Among Other Resources – Natural gas prices can be affected by the prices of other energy sources because they are in competition with one another.


5. Natural Gas Storage – The amount of natural gas in storage is also a factor that can affect price. However, natural gas is a great resource because it can be stored. During summer months, when the demand for natural gas is lessened, we replenish and increase storage, so we have plenty of natural gas for when the demand increases.

There are a few factors that can affect the price of natural gas, but overall this is a great resource to use because it has many advantages. We have lots of natural gas in the United States, so we can get the supply we need. Natural gas is also one of the cleanest burning sources of energy and one of the cheapest. There are many reasons why natural gas is a great resource for energy in your house. 

Why Get Your Energy From Us?

We don’t make you pay more than you have to.

At Walton EMC Natural Gas, we make paying your bills easy. For one, your bills are simple and don’t include hidden charges or unexpected increases. We also offer you competitive pricing month after month. And for your convenience, we offer you multiple payment options; these include online billing and bank draft so you can work out a payment that works best for your life.

We give you energy in a reliable way.

Are you on Atlanta Gas Light’s pipeline? If you want to have your home be powered by Walton gas, you have to be on the Atlanta Gas Pipeline. To see if you are, check out this map. The Atlanta Gas Pipeline helps us deliver gas efficiently and affordably to our customers. This pipeline delivers natural gas to more than 1.6 million homes, businesses and industrial facilities.

We are more than just a gas company.

Walton EMC Natural Gas is a company you can trust because we are more than just a company. We are a collection of people you can trust, and we are a part of your community. Walton Gas works to give back to the community we are a part of. In the past, we have been active in charities like Camp Twin Lakes, The Salvation Army and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation. If you have any questions, or you would like to become part of the Walton family, contact us.

Natural Gas Appliances: Owning a Gas Water Heater

Natural gas is known for being used in a furnace or on your stove, but it can also be used for other appliances in your home. One of these appliances you may want to have as a natural gas appliance is your water heater.

There are two main types of gas water heaters: traditional water heaters and tankless water heaters. Both can be great options for your home. Below is a little more information on how these two types of water heaters work.

Traditional Water Heaters

This is a pretty common water heater to have. You will see a large storage tank and on it will be a thermostat gas value that will control the heat of the water. The gas water heater system uses a burner to fuel a flame that heats a plate which heats the water in your tank.

For this water heater, the water will have to be preheated, then once the tank refills, the water will be reheated. The water heats automatically after you have set the proper temperature, so it is not as complicated as it sounds. However, if you have ever run out of hot water in the middle of a shower, it is because the water heater needs to reheat the water.

Tankless Water Heaters

This type of water heater uses gas to warm up cold water on-demand. In this scenario, water isn’t stored, so you don’t run out of hot water. While tankless water heaters cost more than traditional water heaters initially, tankless water heaters can also be more cost effective in the long run as they often lead to lower energy bills. 

When looking into water heaters, you need to know what works best for you and your lifestyle. Both types of gas water heaters listed above are excellent options. The water heater you want depends on your lifestyle, the size of your home and many other factors. Look into your choices carefully before making a decision!

Can Natural Gas Be Stored?

As you may know, natural gas is a fossil fuel that we use for energy in our homes and businesses. It is known as one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels because it gives off half as much carbon dioxide than coal when burned. That makes natural gas a good option for your energy needs. However, you may be wondering about the supply and demand for natural gas and how that all works.

One great thing about natural gas is that after it is extracted from the Earth, it doesn’t have to be used right away. Natural gas is something that can be stored until it is needed. This is important because natural gas is more in demand during winter months because it is often used in heating systems and furnaces. Storage of natural gas can help us to avoid running out of natural gas in the event of an unforeseen accident or natural disaster that could affect the production of natural gas.

How is Natural Gas Stored?

Natural gas is usually stored underground in large storage reservoirs. There are three main types of storage for natural gas underground: depleted gas reservoirs, aquifers and salt caverns. In addition to these three storage options, natural gas can also be stored as liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG is an interesting storage solution as it allows natural gas to take up less space because it is in a liquid form.

Depleted gas reservoirs are the most common form of underground natural gas storage. This is a space where natural gas has already been extracted from. These reservoirs are already capable of holding natural gas because they have before, so this makes them cheap and easy to use and maintain.

Aquifers are more expensive and less desirable as storage for natural gas because there are some unknowns when it comes to them and they are expensive and take a lot of time to make them into adequate storage.

Salt caverns are a very resilient storage option. They can be expensive to make suitable for storage, but they are a great option because they have great conditions to store natural gas.

Natural gas is a great source of energy. One of the many reasons for this is because it can be stored safely until it is needed. For other questions about natural gas, feel free to contact us!

What is Natural Gas?

I’m sure you’ve heard of natural gas, and you probably even use it as a source of energy, but do you really know what natural gas is? When it comes down to it, what is it?

What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is a gas that occurs beneath the Earth’s surface. It is mostly made up of methane, but it also contains small amounts of hydrocarbon liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases. It is both a colorless and odorless gas. Natural gas is a fossil fuel; this means that it comes from the remains of plants and animals that live millions of years ago. These plants and animals were buried and compressed underneath soil and rock, and eventually, these plants and animals became natural gas.

Natural gas is combustible, so we burn it to use for energy. It is known as one of the cleanest burning forms of energy because it emits significantly less carbon dioxide than other fuels like coal.

How do we get Natural Gas?

We have established that natural gas is a gas found beneath the Earth’s surface, so how do we get it out so we can harness it as energy? Natural gas is trapped between large layers of rock beneath the Earth’s surface. Geologists help locate where these pools of natural gas are, then a well is drilled to extract the gas. After extraction, natural gas can be stored until it is needed to provide us with energy.

Even though we probably use natural gas fairly regularly, we may not know too much about it. Hopefully this post helped give you the basics of what natural gas is and how we get it to use it for our energy needs!

What is the Risk of a Gas Leak?

When you are powering your home with Natural Gas, it is good to know all you can about it. With natural gas, people often wonder what the risk of having a gas leak is.

The good news is natural gas is considered one of the safest and cleanest-burning fossil fuels. In the United States, more than 65 million homes use natural gas as a source of energy. That many people would not use a source of energy that was extremely dangerous. However, natural gas leaks are something that have a chance of occurring, so you should be informed about what to do.

The first thing you should know is what causes a gas leak. Most often, gas leaks come from badly maintained or poorly fitted appliances. Gas can escape from a gas hose that goes into your appliance, so that is why you should make sure your appliances are installed properly and maintained correctly.

The problem with a natural gas leak is that natural gas is highly combustible. Natural gas can lead to the risk of a fire or explosion and it can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. However, you will be able to tell if you home has a gas leak by the sulfuric, rotten egg odor. Natural gas doesn’t originally smell that way, but suppliers add that scent so people can tell if there is a gas leak in their home.

If you suspect you have a natural gas leak in your home, you should leave the property immediately. Be sure not to use any electrical device before you do, just get out of the house. Once you are out of the house use a mobile phone or a neighbors phone to call us at 1-877-427-4321.

Odds are, if you install and maintain your natural gas appliances correctly, you won’t have any issues with a natural gas leak, but it is good to be knowledgeable and prepared just in case!

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.

Cost

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!

Performance

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!