You may not think about it much, but your heating system is critical in keeping your home comfortable and warm, particularly during the frigid months of the winter season. Although you have various options in terms of heating systems, some still prefer natural gas to fuel their boiler or furnace systems.
So, if you’re thinking of installing a gas line for your newly constructed home, here are essential things you need to know about gas installation.
1. Gas System Installation: What Is It?
A gas installation refers to a piping system in your home that carries natural gas directly from a boiler or heating system. This system consists of various branching lines, running to individual appliances throughout your home.
2. How Does It Work?
Gas systems use pressure to deliver natural gas to where it’s needed. Natural gas flows from higher to lower pressure. Once extracted, the gas travels along pipe systems to end up in distribution systems and bring it into your home.
The gas passes a pressure regulator to help lower its pressure before entering your home. Here, the pressure becomes slightly higher than outside air pressure when switching on your gas furnace or stove, allowing the gas to flow out of the burner and into a heating appliance to ignite it.
3. DIY vs. Professional Installation
Most people prefer do-it-yourself (DIY) home projects. However, you should never try gas installation by yourself. Only licensed gas fitters can install gas lines and connect the appliances to the gas pipes, including LPG and natural gas appliances and systems.
Going the DIY route can result in improper installation and cause numerous issues, including:
- Weak connection lines
- Poor air quality
- Gas leaks
- Wrong fittings
- High energy bills
If mishandled, gas systems can also cause dire situations such as a fire or explosion. Even worse, it can also expose your family to hazardous gases like carbon monoxide. This is why having a monoxide detector at your home is vital, and hiring professionals for gas leak repairs and regular maintenance must be prioritized.
4. Types Of Gas Piping
Generally, your contractors will present you with several types of gas piping materials to install. Check with your local utility to identify what’s allowed in your area because some utilities restrict some materials. Your gas contractor will let you know of the local requirements, though.
- Galvanized Steel
Galvanized steel is the oldest material used for interior and exterior gas lines. It is known for its durability and energy efficiency. However, it isn’t much used in new residential buildings today due to its labor-intensive nature.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
As one of the most common gas piping materials, PVC is best suited for underground exterior gas pipes, thanks to its durability and anti-corrosive qualities. Moreover, if you’re on a tight budget, PVC is your best option. Yet note that PVC mishandling could cause breakage during the installation and cause severe problems if left unnoticed.
- Black Iron
Black iron is a popular gas pipe material for exterior and interior lines. This material is highly resistant to heat, durable, and fits snugly to form an airtight seal, but it tends to corrode, causing its sealant to weaken and cause leaks in the long term. Thus, if you want black iron as your gas line material, you must also consider regular maintenance to ensure its integrity over time.
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE is somewhat similar to PVC, so it’s also suitable for exterior gas lines. This plastic material is cheap, lightweight, and flexible. However, it is not as durable as steel or iron and may suffer damage from underground materials such as tree roots and rocks.
Copper lines are commonly used for gas lines for water supply systems and as refrigerant lines in HVAC systems. This has outstanding corrosion resistance that ensures stable connections, and can provide service for up to 20 years.
5. Gas Piping Installation Cost
Gas is relatively cheaper compared to electricity. This is one of the reasons why most homeowners choose gas for their heating needs. That said, gas does have a higher initial cost than other systems.
The cost will also depend on how much pipework is involved, how many outlets and appliances you want, ease of installation access (e.g., when pipes need to be installed underneath an existing structure or driveway), and more.
Gas heating systems continue to be a favorite among homeowners because of their numerous benefits, including better energy efficiency, reliability, and consistent temperatures.
If you’re opting for a gas heating system for your new home, we hope this article helped you understand everything there is to know about this type of residential heating system.