By: June Mathews
More and more homeowners in Trussville and surrounding areas are rethinking their backyards. Instead of just a place for the kids to play, these formerly landscaped areas are becoming additional living space where family and friends gather to socialize, entertain, or simply relax.
Over the past decade, the movement to bring the indoors to the outdoors has consistently risen. A 2016 national survey of professional builders revealed that the availability of outdoor living space had become a significant factor in the sale of new homes, as well as in the resale value of older homes, and that most of the respondents had either added or were considering adding outdoor rooms to their portfolios.
The outdoor rooms of today, however, are a far cry from the days when outdoor living meant a grill and portable lawn furniture on an open patio. These spaces have evolved to include full kitchen setups and eating areas, fireplaces, fire pits, patio heaters, gas lights, hot tubs, pools, and more. As a result, consumers are enjoying vacation-like luxury only a few steps away from their own back doors – and they’re finding that the ideal fuel for keeping their outdoor spaces functional is natural gas.
“Not only is natural gas affordable and clean, it’s dependable,” said Mike Strength, general manager of Trussville Gas & Water. “Unlike a supply of wood or propane, natural gas doesn’t have to be periodically replenished, and when electrical outages occur, natural gas is still available.”
Natural gas is also in bountiful supply. Recent studies revealed more than 100 years of natural gas availability in the U.S. alone, plus more gas reserves that haven’t even been touched.
Less costly compared to other fossil fuel energy sources, natural gas also produces lower greenhouse gas emissions than other fuels while achieving higher levels of energy efficiency. As a result, natural gas has become an important tool in the suite of emission-reducing options in the United States and will continue to benefit our nation as states move to further reduce carbon dioxide emission.
As you and your builder or contractor plan your outdoor space, consider these advantages to using natural gas appliances:
- Natural gas outlets make installing and moving appliances almost as easy as plugging and unplugging electrical appliances. And when you’re ready to shut down for the winter, disconnecting and storing your outdoor gas appliances takes little time and effort.
- Automatic shut-off valves for outlets prevent gas from flowing unless an appliance is correctly connected.
- Grills can be connected to your home’s existing natural gas line. They start with the push of a button, are ready to cook in minutes, regulate heat easily, and allow you to cook at several temperatures at the same time. Grills can be permanently mounted, built into a surround or attached to a cart for ease of movement.
- Gas fireplaces are available in many sizes and styles and can be surrounded by a variety of materials, including granite, tile or stone. They’re easy to operate and can be built into a patio or deck.
- Similar to a campfire, a natural gas firepit radiates heat in a complete circle. In addition to providing a realistic look without the hassle of chopping or carrying wood, firepits can also be equipped with cooking options.
- Patio heaters can radiate heat 20 to 25 feet in all directions and can be free-standing, installed in-ground, or mounted to a post, wall, ceiling or another suitable surface. They start with the push of a button and feature heat controls.
- Pool and spa heaters can heat water seven to ten times faster than an electric heater.
- Gaslights add style and ambiance to outdoor spaces, as do natural gas-fueled lanterns, torches and pathway lighting. During power outages, they add security to your property. An added bonus: They don’t attract insects.
For more information about natural gas availability, call Trussville Gas & Water at (205) 655-3211 or visit www.trussville.com.