There are several ways to provide your home with heat: electric heaters, oil, heat pumps, geothermal heat, and solar panels all come to mind. However, few heating sources can combine the qualities of being cost-effective, energy-efficient, and a clean, reliable source of heat like natural gas heaters. While the cost of natural gas has been spiking in recent years, it's still a reasonably affordable fuel source in many areas of the country. Despite their publicity, many of the newer alternatives still aren't up to economical and practical standards. Natural gas heaters have been used for central heating for decades, but there are many other home uses for this heat source.
Natural Gas Heaters for Your Patio
Patio heaters can be run on any number of fuel sources (propane gas, kerosene, butane, etc.), but you should probably start by looking at natural gas. Natural gas heaters are ideal for patio heaters if your natural gas is reasonably priced and you already have a natural gas line in your home. Of course, these are two big questions and why propane and kerosene patio heaters are out there. If the conditions are right, natural gas is usually superior. Be sure to shop around for the best patio heater and read all the manufacturer's guidelines for proper use.
Natural Gas Heaters and Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more popular in homes, as they create savings through energy-efficiency. Natural gas heaters are one of the most common tools to instantly heat your water and avoid the problems associated with hot water tanks. The one downside to tankless water heaters is that there's commonly a limit to the flow rate of your hot water. In other words, while the supply of hot water never runs out, the instant water heaters can't produce enough hot water to take a shower and run the dishwasher at the same time. To alleviate this you can install one large central water heater or multiple, point-of-use heaters. Natural gas produces a lot more hot water than electric heaters, but they can't simultaneously supply hot water to separate devices, unless you install multiple heaters. For this reason, natural gas heaters are best installed with a point-of-use design.
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Other Uses of Natural Gas Heating
Grills: Grills offer the same choices and benefits of natural gas as patio heaters. The best part of a natural gas grill is that you can hook the grill up to your gas line and you'll never need to refill a tank.
Fireplaces: Many homeowners love their fireplace but prefer to circumvent the added hassle of actual wood. Natural gas will give you the same cozy heat source without the soot and inconvenience of firewood. You'll still need to provide your fireplace with adequate ventilation.
Oven Ranges: Most homeowners prefer natural gas oven ranges over their electric counterpart. Gas ranges offer greater cooking versatility and can still be used when the power goes out.