Gas heater vs. wood stoves – a practical consideration of why gas should be favored over wood and oil in our cities

We just got our first bill from the gas company. We didn’t have gas last year, and we had to warm up the house with electric heaters (2000W each, one per room – and the house was never really warm).

It turns out that our bill is around 28 Euro per month now. We have a constant temperature of 21 degrees, which is just perfect.

Last winter we spent around 145 Euro per month, and the temperature was around 20 degrees or less.

And I am thinking of those houses that are heated by wood stoves or fireplaces and that make the air in our cities so miserable. Wood stoves and fireplaces are so inefficient compared to a good gas system. They warm up too much just the one room where they are placed, while the other rooms are cold and you need an electric heater if you want to warm them up. Just the wood is more expensive to buy than 28 Euro per months, then you add also the electric bill to it, and you see that all that wood burnt is a totally inefficient, highly polluting and costly domestic heating source.

All this to say that if we all had the possibility to install a good gas system, we would all be warmer, spend less money on the long term (especially with government subsidies that help with the initial investment to install the gas system) and would enjoy clean air all winter!

A WIN-WIN-WIN situation.

So why the majority of us doesn’t know of the advantages that such an important upgrade would have? How much longer do we have to wait in order to enjoy Clean Air in our cities?

Gas boilers are much more clean than wood stoves and oil heaters

Surely gas is not the best heating source for the environment and climate. Yet, bigger Greek cities have the infrastructure ready since many years, but the system was never really exploited properly. Athens has gas since the middle of the 19th century.

Gas should be considered as a transition towards fully clean sources of heating such as heat pumps and other sources that use renewable energy. It is way much cleaner than burning wood and oil (see image above), and only slightly dirtier than electricity in terms of Particulate Matter (PM) emitted (I am not talking about CO2 here). So in situations like the Greek reality that has already the infrastructure for it in its bigger cities, gas should be adopted widely.

During the past few years more and more gas heaters are being installed in Athens’ houses, but the government should create better incentives in order to increase even more the conversion from oil or wood to gas and finally completely stop giving subsidies to people for buying oil and wood. These must be penalized and made even more expensive instead, so that gas and then heat pumps will quickly replace dirty energy once for all.

Published by cleanairingreece

CleanAir in Greece is an independent site meant to inform the public about the day to day Air Quality in Greece, with advice on how to protect ourselves from the dangers of Air Pollution

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