Electricity and natural gas, the two giants of the home heating and cooking world; but which one is better for your home? That is the question that a lot of people seem to be asking themselves. Whether a person is planning on building a new home or are just considering remodeling their current home the decision of what kind of heating and cooking system you will have is an important one. There are many pros and cons to both of these things making the discussion a bit heated, pun intended. Our goal today though is to help inform those who are looking to replace their current system or are thinking about installing one in their new construction home. We don’t plan to fan the flames at all, we just hope to educate and inform. We do not advocate one over the other, we simply want to help homeowners to make a more informed decision.
The first thing to consider: location
Out of all the factors that come into play when choosing gas or electricity for your home location is the most important. Depending on your location everything we say from here on out may not apply to you. This variation in all of these factors comes from terrain, local laws, and proximity to gas or electric plants. That being said, the facts and ideas that we present here tend to be the average here in the United States. So really what you need to do is to analyze your specific pros and cons before making any decision, but at least no you will know what to look for.
Let’s start off by examining natural gas. Natural gas has been a part of the American household for a long time and almost every home from here to Maine and back again has used it at one point or another. There are plenty of good reasons to use natural gas in your home, but there are also many cons as well. Here are a few of those pros and cons.
The Pros of Natural Gas
Natural gas is not expensive
Let’s get right down to it, the biggest deciding factor for people when they are making a decision is price so let’s talk about it first. When you compare natural gas to electricity, the difference is pretty big. Now location has a big influence on cost as well. This is because different companies work in different locations will charge different amounts depending on the way their company is structured, how many customers they have and how far away from their suppliers they are.
Natural gas is easy to use natural gas in your home
Because natural gas has been used in American homes for over a century, every contractor and construction company knows how to outfit a house with natural gas. Not to mention almost all existing homes will have a been made to accept natural gas. So, it really is easy for a homeowner to get natural gas into their home.
Natural gas can be stored
Storing energy and fuel is almost as important as harvesting it in the first place. If you can’t store it, or can’t store it for long, you will find a bigger need to balance the supply and demand of your product. Thankfully natural gas can be stored, it can be shipped making it easier and less expensive to get from a factory to a customer.
The Cons of Natural Gas
Natural gas is explosive
Natural gas is fuel, which means it burns and it is a gas so it can be compressed and trapped in on spot pretty easily. This is not a problem for storage of natural gas, but it is a problem if it decides to fill your home. Another quality that it has over other fuels is that it burns fast, so if it starts to build up in your home and something ignites it the entire house could either be blown to smithereens or just burst into flames.
Natural gas is poisonous
If a person were to inhale too much natural gas they would die. There is no getting around that fact. This alone makes it one of the most dangerous things we bring into our homes. If there is a gas leak and it doesn’t ignite like in our example above, it will poison those inside. Natural gas, in its natural state, is odorless and tasteless so if one is breathing it in they will have no idea what is happening until they start feeling lightheaded and sick. You should always have gas detectors in your home if you use natural gas, talk to your local hardware store for some help. They can point you in the right direction.
Natural gas is not a sustainable energy source
Natural gas, just like gasoline and other natural resources, is not a renewable resource. Eventually, it will run out. This won’t happen for a very long time, but it will happen eventually. This alone makes it a bit of a dodgy resource to work with since we could run out of it.
Natural gas, when burned, can have a damaging effect on the environment
Burning most fuels can have a bad effect on the environment, so natural gas isn’t the only culprit. Now, your one home may not have the biggest impact when it comes to using natural gas, but it is still a negative impact nonetheless.
Electricity is a newer player in the world of heating a cooking in the home. Though it is new it has found to be just as good as natural gas and is beneficial to the consumer in areas where natural gas is not.
The Pros of Electricity
Electricity is safer
When it comes to explosions and inhalation, electricity is pretty safe. It is not without its dangers however. Those mainly happen when you are fiddling with the wires, don’t schedule regular checkups for your electrical systems, or stick something into the wall socket that you shouldn’t be. Electricity will not be a problem if you allow a professional to fix any repairs or checkout any concerning things.
Electricity can have a better effect on the environment than gas
There are some stipulations to this. Electricity is a clean energy source when it is used, but it can be harmful to the environment when it is being produced. If you buy your electricity from a company that uses renewable methods to generate electricity then it will have a significantly lower effect on the environment than natural gas. However, if it is produced in a coal plant then it is almost as bad as natural gas if not worse.
Electricity can be produced in renewable ways
We kind of eluded to this earlier, but electricity can be generated many ways and some of those ways are cleaner than others. Some of them have little to no impact on the environment while others may be as harmful a natural gas plant.