If you don’t remem­ber from sci­ence class, there are sev­er­al types of gases.

  1. Heli­um
  2. Fre­on
  3. Water Vapor
  4. Hydro­gen
  5. Hydro­gen Sulfide
  6. Propane
  7. Oxy­gen
  8. Ozone
  9. Nitro­gen
  10. Nat­ur­al Gas
  11. Air
  12. Car­bon Dioxide

Propane is heav­ier than air and nat­ur­al gas is lighter than air.  When nat­ur­al gas is cooled to ‑260 degrees F it becomes a liq­uid.  The nat­ur­al gas that we dig out today was formed about 100 mil­lion years ago.  It was formed when lay­ers of decom­pos­ing plant and ani­mal mat­ter were exposed to intense heat and pres­sure under the Earth­’s sur­face.  Nat­ur­al gas is odor­less when it is in it’s pure state. Nat­ur­al gas was dis­cov­ered in Amer­i­ca as ear­ly as 1626 when French explor­ers dis­cov­ered natives ignit­ing gas­es that were seep­ing into and around Lake Erie.  William hart dug the first suc­cess­ful nat­ur­al gas well in the U.S. in Fre­do­nia, New York in 1825. The Unit­ed States cur­rent­ly has more than 900,000 oil and gas wells. Since 2010 we have drilled more than 130,000 wells. A few years ago the U. S. con­sumed about 7.28 bil­lion bar­rels per year of petro­le­um prod­ucts which is about 19.96 mil­lion bar­rels per day.

Nat­ur­al gas has many uses in your home.  The most obvi­ous use is for heat­ing your home but it is also used for oth­er things.

  1. Cook­ing with nat­ur­al gas:  A gas stove pro­vides bet­ter tem­per­a­ture con­trol and uses less ener­gy than an elec­tric stove.
  2. Heat­ing Water: Gas hot water tanks are more eco­nom­i­cal to run than elec­tric hot water tanks. They heat water faster than electricity.
  3. Light­ing a fire:  Nat­ur­al gas fire­places can give you con­trol over the flame and can be turned on immediately.
  4. Dry­ing your clothes:  Nat­ur­al gas dry­ers can save you up to 50% in ener­gy costs com­pared to elec­tric dryers.
  5. Cool­ing your home:  Yes, that’s right, cool­ing.  Gas pow­ered A/C units have low­er oper­at­ing costs than elec­tric ones.

List­ed below is what you can expect to pay annu­al­ly using nat­ur­al gas appli­ances in an aver­age home:

  1. Pool heater-$400
  2. Out­door yard light-$320
  3. Water heater-$275
  4. Gas log fireplace-$80
  5. Dryer-$75
  6. Free stand­ing range-$45
  7. Out­door grill-$20

The annu­al cost to heat an aver­age home will be between $1000-$1200 depend­ing on the effi­cien­cy of your fur­nace.  If you use oil the aver­age cost for heat per year is about $2200. Typ­i­cal­ly, it is cheap­er to use nat­ur­al gas as opposed to using propane to heat your home.

The Unit­ed States has enough nat­ur­al gas to last about 85 years.  This is an esti­mate.  How long our nat­ur­al gas sup­ply will last depends on our rate of con­sump­tion.  It is impor­tant that we con­tin­ue to find ways to use renew­able ener­gy sources but that is a blog for anoth­er day!

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