Most people don’t give a great deal of thought to the energy used to supply power to their homes until they are faced with an outage as a result of a weather event or an accident such as a transformer being knocked out or a pilot light going out. Since the utility bill is often one of the larger monthly expenses remaining after housing or a car payment, it is useful to know exactly what sources of power are most readily available to supply our homes with energy.
Electricity is far more than what turns on the lights in your home. In most cases, electricity also powers kitchen and other household appliances and may also be the power source of a home’s heating and cooling system. When we speak of power outages, we are most often referring to an interruption in the electricity supply, which accounts for most of the power consumption in the typical home. Conventional sources of electricity include coal-fired power plants, hydroelectric facilities and nuclear plants. Try it out and Click Here.
Natural gas became popular as a home heating source when the price per unit dropped in the 1990s. Although natural gas has come back up in price in recent years, many homes continue to have gas furnaces supplying heat to their homes in winter. One important advantage of natural gas over electricity is that, in the event of a power outage during a winter storm, the gas heating is typically unaffected, as are a gas water heater, stove top and oven. Many homeowners also appreciate that natural gas accounts for a lesser amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere than that which is given off by coal-fired power plants to produce electricity.
Fuel oil is much less commonly used across the United States than it was 50 years ago, although many homes in the Northeast continue to heat their homes with fuel oil in the winter. The advantages of fuel oil are similar to those of natural gas, particularly in regions with harsh winters and an ongoing risk of downed power lines during an ice storm. One significant disadvantage of fuel oil over other power sources for home heating is the need to have an underground storage tank on your property and to have supplies of the oil delivered to your home on a regular basis. Whether fuel oil costs more than natural gas depends largely on the fluctuating prices of each commodity, but online calculators are available to help homeowners determine which is the better option in long run.
Whether you are shopping for a home, considering a change in your home’s source(s) of energy or simply wish to know more about why your utility bill fluctuates from one season to the next, understanding how your home is powered will enable you to make sound decisions for your lifestyle, your wallet and even the environment.