There are many bills that a renter or homeowner must pay, but one of the most expensive can be utilities. Utilities provide a way for people to heat and cool their homes, as well as heat up hot water, dry clothes and cook food. Some of these utilities are run by electricity, while others use some form of gas or alternative for fuel. In most urban areas, heat is provided in the form of natural gas. In many rural areas, there may be a choice of propane or natural gas, or the consumer may only have the option of one. There is also other heating alternatives, such as geothermal units or wood burning stoves.
Natural Gas for Utilities
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, domestic natural gas prices can be varied based on a variety of factors, but mainly by supply and demand. Natural gas is a limited resource that is used in millions of households across the United States. Consumers can reduce their use of natural gas in order to reduce their utility bill by switching major appliances to electric, such as dryers, ovens or water heaters. They can also turn down their heat during the winter or use electric heaters. In it's natural form, natural gas has no odor or taste. When there is a gas leak, consumers often smell a foul odor because mercaptan is added to it by the distributors.
Many people that live in the country will find that the only option available to fuel the home is through propane. This type of gas is often used to fuel smaller personal items, such as propane grills. The propane tanks can be purchased at a local gas station or mini-mart. Propane tanks that fuel the home are much larger and hold hundreds of gallons of propane at a time. The tank is then connected to the home to give a direct line in for fuel. Propane prices fluctuate based on many different factors as well, including the price of natural gas itself.
Alternative Options for Home Heating
People that have more room in their yard may be a good candidate for a geothermal unit. This type of unit uses a complex system to move and heat water through underground pipes in order to heat the home. It harnesses energy by creating electricity, which may create an increase in electric bills, but a huge decrease in fuel bills. The initial investment on a geothermal unit is quite high, but the overall savings is tremendous for long-term homeowners. Some people prefer to install other heating sources, such as a wood burning unit. While these units are highly effective and save the homeowner money, it requires a lot of physical work to keep the wood stocked on a regular basis.
To learn more, contact a company like Apollo Propane Inc.