It’s time to reduce fossil fuel consumption, but let’s not get rid of our gas heaters yet.
California utilities are encouraging homeowners with big discounts to switch to appliances. Berkeley City Council banned natural gas in new buildings. The California Public Service Commission has been actively working to completely ban gas appliances that change building codes. The CPUC punished the Southern California gas service for recommending changes to building codes to ban natural gas. The Newsom government signed legislation banning small gas-fired generators. Natural gas is no longer the clean energy that our policy makers once considered clean energy, which has been misdirected by a deceptively warmer climate. Climate change has historically been cyclical.
Let’s not limit our options so quickly. There is no doubt that the climate is changing, but the next cycle can turn into colder, sunless days, windless months. I’ve seen the weather in Northern California blowing in all directions. All that is needed is a volcanic eruption in a distant land, and our climate can change again in the cold and humid winters.
Take a good look at the double fan heating in your home.
The basic idea behind dual fuel is that it is a more energy efficient way to heat your home than using natural gas or an electric heat pump. According to many experts, the operation of dual fuel systems costs less than “pure” heat pumps or natural gas systems to operate, avoiding the inconvenience of taking advantage of both.
Dual-fuel systems use a heat pump when it’s “cold, but not too cold” outside. When they get really cold they switch to natural gas. In summer, the heat pump reverses the cooling cycle and turns it into air conditioning.
Here’s a compelling idea: Nowadays a heat pump is more efficient than a gas furnace at higher temperatures. The dual-fuel system uses a heat pump by default on warm days. Natural gas is more efficient for higher heating loads, so the dual fuel system uses gas when temperatures are too low. Most dual fuel systems are configured to heat your home when the outside temperature is above 40 degrees. When it drops below 40, the heat of natural gas enters.
The temperature in Solano County can drop below 40 in the winter, but not as often as you might think. Temperatures drop below 40 mostly from 4 to 7 p.m. This is the time for those who turn off the thermostats at night to get their homes back to their comfort level. It’s easier for most people to get out of bed in a warm house.
Then there is the environmental benefit. Fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide, so the new goal is to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Today, public services provide more energy from windmills, solar and hydroelectric power, and less from natural gas and nuclear. We don’t currently have a nuclear power plant in California that generates our energy.
Many people have added solar energy to their roofs. This will take advantage of the electricity generated from their own solar panels instead of consuming a fossil fuel, when a gas furnace is the only heating component. We all better have opportunities, and prepare for the next one.
Reliable natural gas is something we still need. Permanent power outages can last for weeks. Many have prepared it by adding their own natural gas generator at home and / or in business. Don’t fall for any electrical options until our electrical problems are resolved.
We are not ready to get rid of natural gas; it’s not the devil that many say about carbon dioxide emissions. Natural gas burns cleanly with low carbon.
I don’t work in the natural gas industry, but I’ve worked in the AHT all my life and I think more of us should talk about this push to end natural gas consumption and “not so fast”. Slow down your tour, climatologists blame climate change on fossil fuel consumption. If the “experts” are wrong or if the weather cycles return to colder days or nights, or due to drought or power outages, we still have contingencies that occur as a result of power outages.
– Michael Spier / Vacaville
Keep a natural gas option – Times-Herald Source link Keep a natural gas option – Times-Herald