Imagine you’re sitting at home. You’re watching your favorite show or maybe reading a book, if you like to go old school. Snow is falling outside. Not a bad day at all. Then your power goes out and your first thought is: I wonder when it’s going to come back on? It’s not that hard to imagine, especially after last winter.
But if your home features natural gas appliances, where the story goes from there is much different than if you lived in a home that doesn’t have those appliances. That’s because in the event of a power outage, natural gas – and the appliances that use it – continue to perform when others don’t.
Natural gas offers much more than comfort and performance.
Whether it’s the precise heat from the flame of a natural gas cooktop or the instant warmth of hot water from a natural gas tankless water heater, natural gas is already well known for creating homes people love to live in. When you lose power, that comfort becomes secondary to necessity. During extended power outages, natural gas fireplaces can continue to provide warmth; most conventional natural gas tank water heaters and tankless water heaters with optional battery back-up can keep providing hot water for showers and bathing; and many natural gas ranges and cooktops give you the ability to prepare meals – and perhaps most importantly as we’ve seen in areas of the Southern U.S. – the ability to boil water if needed.
It’s what homeowners are looking for.
According to Tony Marnella, owner of Marnella Homes, a leading green home builder in the area, natural gas appliances are something homeowners are looking for, especially when it comes to cooking. In fact, a majority of the NBGS-certified homes they build feature natural gas in some form. And today, the topic of reliability for these buyers is top-of-mind.
Dependability is important to business, too.
Faced with a power outage of a few days, some homeowners will look to restaurants for food or hotels for temporary lodging. Nelson Holmberg, Community Affairs Manager in Clark County for NW Natural, works with many of these businesses, and they tell him that natural gas is everything to them in the event of a power outage. Without it, their back-of-house operations don’t work. Natural gas allows cooking to continue, keeps boilers running for showers and laundry, and helps keep the heat on – many of the things that are essential to homeowners as well.
What to look for in a natural gas appliance.
There are a lot of manufacturers out there and even more high-quality options. If having the dependability of natural gas is important, there are a few things to check before buying your appliances. First, make sure the gas cooktop or range you choose can operate without electricity, and keep a long-reach lighter nearby to light the burners when the power is out.
Verify your natural gas water heater has a continuous pilot light which can help it provide hot water through power outages. Tankless, on-demand water heaters generally have control panels that require electricity, so look for a model that will work with a battery back-up.
Finally, many modern natural gas fireplaces require electricity to light the pilot. Explore models that feature a battery back-up system for the ignitor.
If you have any further questions about the dependability of natural gas or the products that use it, please visit nwnatural.com.