FAQs: Using Natural Gas in My Home

Blue natural gas flames with question marks

How do I know if my home uses natural gas?

Natural gas is carried underground through a pipeline, so it can be tough to tell whether a home uses natural gas – and, if it does, which appliances are fueled by it. To check, look for a blue flame when you turn your stove on. If you see one, your home is equipped for natural gas. If not, you may still have natural gas fueling other appliances, including your water heater and furnace (learn how to check if they use natural gas here). As a new home buyer, you can also look at real estate listings for more information. 


Does natural gas improve my home’s value?

Having your home powered by natural gas can increase its value on the market. In fact, homes fueled by natural gas have a 6% increase in market value and are more attractive to 70% of homebuyers. An added bonus? Homes with natural gas tend to be more energy efficient and are easy to manage, leading you to lower utility bills. Learn more about the difference between natural gas and electric and the appliances in your home that can be powered by natural gas. Plus, see how you can save energy by pairing these appliances with smart home technologies.


What are natural gas appliances?

Many home appliances can be powered by natural gas, including natural gas dryers, water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, grills, outdoor lights, pool heaters, ranges and ovens.

Natural gas appliances run more efficiently than appliances powered by electricity. For example, many natural gas dryers can dry two loads of laundry in the same amount of time that it takes an electric dryer to dry one load.

If you already have natural gas appliances in your home, we have tips to help you maintain them and maximize energy efficiency. Check out our natural cleaning method for natural gas ovens and rangeslearn how to drain sediment from your water heater tank, and play an interactive game that provides information about the home appliances that use the most energy.


I’m going on vacation. What should I do with my natural gas appliances?

Here are the top to-dos to check off your list before leaving your house for an extended period of time:

  • Adjust your water heater: Turn your water heater to the pilot or “vacation” setting, and see a potential savings of 15-25% on your gas bill. And don’t worry; it should only take 20 minutes to warm up once you’re back in town!
  • Adjust your thermostat: Follow SCANA Energy’s thermostat settings for every season and set yours at the recommended “away” temperature.
  • Turn off your water valve: Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to ensure there are no plumbing leaks while you’re away.
  • Unplug appliances: Save energy – and protect against power surges – by unplugging any non-essential appliances, like toasters, printers, dryers, and any other natural gas hogs.
  • Snuff the pilot light: Pilot lights are ignition sources for natural gas appliances, and they could present potential hazards should a fire occur in your home. Snuff them to be safe (and don’t worry, relighting them is easy!).


What are the advantages of cooking with natural gas?

Natural gas provides the ability to cook at precise temperatures thanks to its instant heat and fine degree of temperature control. In addition, natural gas appliances distribute heat evenly, ensuring your favorite dishes are prepared perfectly every time.

Cooking with gas can also help you save energy and money. Because natural gas is a cost-efficient energy sourcenatural gas appliances tend to come with lower operating costs than their electric counterparts

Clean your natural gas range in 10 minutes or less, naturally remove remnants of food from your natural gas oven, and scrub off soot from your natural gas grill in 10 simple steps. 


Which appliances use the most natural gas?

Be careful: household appliances can guzzle up energy usage in your household (even when you’re not using the appliances)! Be on the lookout for these energy hogs in your home:

  1. Furnace: You can save big by keeping a mindful eye on your thermostat’s settings. In fact, a programmable thermostat can be one of the best ways to lower your energy bills
  2. Vented Gas Logs: Not only do these logs hog a lot of natural gas, they also send heat up your chimney.
  3. Ventless Gas Logs: While these produce heat more efficiently than vented gas logs, they still use a large amount of natural gas. Ensure they’re running most efficiently by cleaning and inspecting your natural gas fireplace regularly.
  4. Water Heater: We’re not saying to start taking cold showers, but lowering the peak water temperature can also help lower your natural gas bill. Plus, while you’re checking out your water heater, you may want to drain your sediment for maximum efficiency.
  5. Space Heater: While small, this appliance’s energy usage is big. Further, they can pose a safety risk and are estimated to be involved in 85% of home heating fire deaths. 

My natural gas water heater isn’t working. How can I fix it? 

No one wants to end a long day with a cold shower. Luckily, if your natural gas water heater is not warming up, there are a few simple fixes you can explore before calling a professional.

One likely scenario is that the pilot light on your water heater has gone out. While this can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from flooding to a strong draft, it’s simple to relight on your own. Learn how here.

You may also need to increase the temperature on your natural gas water heater, particularly if you set it to the “Vacation” setting before a long trip. Alternatively, if you haven’t drained the sediment in your water heater for a year or more, your appliance may not be performing optimally.

If these fixes have failed to warm your water after 20 minutes, you may need to contact an HVAC professional or a plumber. 

See All Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Other questions? Call the SCANA Energy Contact Center at 1-877-467-2262 Monday through Friday from 7am to 8pm and Saturday from 8am to 5pm. You can also contact us on Twitter at @scanaenergy Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

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