More than half of the households in the United States use gas and several homes around the world use it, too. Are you getting ready to move into a new apartment? Well, one of the things you should ask about is the source of energy–whether it’s gas or electricity.
Some apartments will use both however, gas seems to be a popular option because it’s more efficient, especially with space heating and cooking. Gas would also save the day if your area experienced a power outage for whatever reason. Let’s explore what uses gas in an apartment.
1. Cooking Stove
When it comes to cooking, you can’t beat using a gas stove. You can easily and quickly change and control the temperature on a gas stove, unlike an electric stove whose cooking plate takes time to cool or heat up. Professional chefs worldwide swear by gas stove cooking especially because they have faster cooking time and this helps them get food orders out of the kitchen as fast as possible.
Baking with gas is not so different from using electricity. Some users will swear by them while others will prefer an electric one. Some people will argue that electric ovens generate more heat, which will result in well-baked goods. The gas ignition in gas ovens will create moisture making it humid and causing a bit of charring with some baked goods. That said, other users have succeeded in using it. When you get accustomed to using a gas oven, you can make it work for you.
3. Space Heater
Who doesn’t want a warm toasty home during the coldest months of the year? Gas heaters will offer you a reliable and energy-efficient solution with consistent warmth throughout your home. In most areas, gas heating will cost you much less than electric heating. However, the gas costs in your specific area and the efficiency of your heater matter. New models are much more efficient than old ones.
4. Water Heater
A hot, steamy shower is what most people look forward to in the morning to jump-start their day. Although the initial cost of a gas water heater is much higher than an electric one, the gas option will make up that difference in price within about a year especially because the monthly energy costs are lower. Other benefits are that it heats water faster and has high-energy efficiency models on the market.
5. Air Conditioner
During hot summer months, having an air conditioner will make your apartment more habitable. The new developments in natural gas air conditioning technology provide higher energy efficiency and reliability than the older systems. In some apartments, you will find already installed air conditioners while in others, it may not be the landlord’s responsibility to provide an air conditioner but you can install one with written permission from the landlord.
6. Clothes Dryer
A gas clothes dryer will help you get the job done with powerful and consistent heat. If you usually rely on Mother Nature to dry your clothes, gas dryers come in handy when it’s cold and rainy. Some gas dryer models come with wrinkle prevention functions, moisture monitoring sensors, a sturdy motor for fast spins, and a steam refresh cycle. The gas dryer you choose for your apartment should be based on your space, personal style, preferred features, and budget.
For obvious reasons, apartments can’t have a fireplace with a chimney. That’s where a gas fireplace comes in, providing the same benefits in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way. It will help you save on heating bills, especially during winter. It also makes for an amazing focal point in the design of your living room. The great thing about gas fireplaces is that, unlike electric fireplaces, they have a real flame, offering you an authentic fireplace feel.
8. BBQ Grill
If you enjoy hosting and treating your guests to grilled steak, a gas BBQ grill will work great. Some apartments are strict about their tenants owning grills and rightfully so as it’s only a safety measure. For those who can have a grill at your apartment balcony, the area must be an open space (no privacy or weather enclosures) weather and properly ventilated as the grill will create an open flame which can be dangerous.
What Uses the Most Gas in a Home?
Homes use gas to power various appliances and equipment but over 50% of the gas is for heating and air conditioning. These two seasonal functions are energy-intensive however they vary significantly from one geographic location to another. The structure and size of the home plus the equipment used also varies.
Home heating systems come in two main types: radiant and convective. Radiant home heaters operate through direct heat radiation. Convective heating works by warming and then circulating the air in a room. Floor heating also uses conduction via direct contact.
Different scenarios call for different forms of heating. Convective heating is best for small rooms while large rooms with high ceilings heat up best with a combination of convective and radiant heating. Radiant heating is best for bathrooms.
How Much Does Gas Cost Per Month in an Apartment?
The cost of gas per month in an apartment can vary from anywhere between $30 and $150 depending on which state you’re in. If you live in a state that’s cool most of the year, you may not need air conditioning which tends to consume a huge chunk of the gas cost during hot months in most states. Also, the cost of gas per unit varies for different areas.
The cost of gas will also depend on whether your apartment uses gas for every appliance or both gas and electricity. Cooking gas on its own in an apartment shouldn’t cost more than $15 per month. On average, gas heating will cost about $40 per month.
What Makes a Gas Bill High?
For most apartment dwellers, the gas bill is one of the highest home expenses. Sometimes your gas bill will get high and you may not understand the reason. In some cases there may be changes in the way you use the gas while in others it may look like you’ve maintained the same usage but still racking up a high bill. Here are some other reasons your gas bill is high:
The weather in your location is one of the main reasons your gas bill is high. Heating and air conditioning are the two biggest uses of gas so you can imagine what it’s like for households in climates where summer and winter can be extreme. In the summer, your air conditioning will be on most of the time and in the winter you’ll need heating throughout the season, result – high gas bill.
2. Old and Inefficient Appliances
Many homeowners would rather repair home appliances than replace them because it’s generally a cheaper option. Repair has its place but when an appliance has worked over 10 years, it may need replacement to save energy. When appliances age, their energy efficiency drops significantly mostly because of malfunctioning devices and aged parts. For example, a clothes dryer with an aging thermostat will continue the drying process even after the clothes are already dry.
3. Apartment Size
If you have to keep your whole apartment warm, you’ll use less gas to warm a one-bedroom apartment than a 2 or 3-bedroom apartment. Your gas heating system will work harder to spread heat around a larger space. The same goes for water heating. Usually with more bedrooms, there are more people living in the apartment. This means more hot showers, more washing and drying, more cooking, and so on.
4. Opening Doors and Windows (with Heating and Air Conditioning)
When your heating and air conditioning system is on, it’s best to keep the windows and doors to the outdoors closed. This ensures that the warm or cold air stays trapped and circulating within the house for an effective desired result. However, once in a while you may have to leave the house or your kids will want to go and play outside. If you forget and leave the door open, the air will escapes faster and you’ll use even more gas.
5. Gas Rate Changes
The amount on your bill might be high simply because the supplier increased the rate. In some cases, you may receive prior notice while other times you may not be aware when that happens. You have to ensure that you’re looking at your bill critically so you’ll be able to tell that the rate per unit is higher than it was a couple of months before.
6. Inaccurate Readings
Sometimes the people responsible for reading your meter may not be able to access it for one reason or the other. Maybe your door was locked, no one home or tough dogs on the loose. This will result in an estimated and not actual reading which may be higher. Your gas bill may also be determined by a prediction on how much you will use without using meter readings. Taking the readings yourself would be helpful with this.
What’s Included in a Gas Bill?
Different energy companies provide different gas bills. The main information may be the same however the layout will be different. Usually, the first thing you’ll see is your account details, the amount due for gas, and the expected due date.
After this, you’ll see a breakdown of the amount you owe with specific details about how the supplier arrived at that total amount. Items you’ll see here include your meter reading, your gas usage, and then the supply charges.
Do All Apartments Use Gas?
Although gas is now a popular energy source, not all apartments use it. Some complexes, especially those built several years ago use electricity fully. Some apartment owners and renters prefer electricity because they consider gas dangerous. The open flames when cooking and the possibility of a gas leak make some people nervous.
Some apartments use a combination of gas and electricity where some devices run on gas while others run on electricity, and then others run on gas fully. Apartment management or landlords of buildings that partially/fully run on gas should provide their tenants with safety measures and protocols to follow in case of anything so that their lives and the building is protected.
Does a Gas Bill Include Hot Water?
There’s nothing like a specific hot water bill. The water heats up using a specific type of energy whether it’s electricity or gas. So the gas bill will include the units used to heat up the water. If the shower in your apartment constantly runs hot water, it will affect your gas bill. To prevent this from happening, turn down the hot water heater setting.
What Utilities Do You Pay for in an Apartment?
The utilities you pay for in an apartment will vary from one complex to another. Some apartments will have the landlord or management paying certain utilities like water and garbage collection while others do not.
Some landlords will charge you a rental amount that includes all the bills. This means you won’t be paying any bills directly. Ask your landlord beforehand what utilities you’ll be paying for. It is usually included in the rental agreement/lease. Most times, apartment dwellers will pay for:
- Air conditioning
- Water & Trash (usually covered by landlord)
There are various tips and tricks you can use to minimize your bills but most importantly what you’ll need to do is create a budget for them and then put a specific amount from your paycheck away each month to cover these costs.
How Much Do Utilities Usually Cost in an Apartment?
If you’re moving into an apartment, you will want to find out how much you’ll spend on utilities each month so that you can plan ahead and budget for gas, cable, internet, electricity, and so on. Generally in the United States, apartment renters will spend between $100 and $150 per month on utilities. The cost of utilities will vary due to many factors including geographical location and appliance usage. Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of utilities per month across the United States.
- Electricity – $110.76
- Water – $70.39
- Natural gas – $72.10
- Internet – $60
- Cable TV – $85
- Trash – $14
- Total estimated cost – $398.24