Natural gas: a valuable friend
A natural solution to energy needs
Natural gas is classified as ‘fossil fuel’. It is an energy source provided by nature itself, with no need for further processing. Therefore, it is preferable to other sources that require costly and complex production processes. It is a natural solution to every family's and every home’s need for ease and comfort.
Natural gas saves energy typically spent for cooking, producing hot water on demand without any waste, as well as heating the house. A few simple measures is all it takes to use natural gas safely.
The following information, clarifications and tips concern the efficient use of gas at home.
It is easy-to-use and versatile
Natural gas will meet all your domestic needs, from cooking and hot water to heating. Recent technology has also enabled us to use natural gas for air conditioning in the summer.
It is abundant
Global natural gas reserves are large and sufficient to meet long-term energy needs.
It is just right for you
Natural gas means it is no longer necessary to buy and store fuel. You only have to open the valve and there is gas energy available, ready to use. You only have to pay for the quantity of gas you consume, only after you have used it, and it is easy for you to check your gas consumption by just reading your meter.
It is environmentally-friendly
Natural gas is distributed through special pipelines, the same as when extracted from natural underground reservoirs, without any processing. Natural gas is highly energy efficient and has limited environmental impact. Its combustion leaves no traces or residues and it does not produce sulfur compounds that are one of the principal causes of pollution.
It is safe
Natural gas contains no toxic substances. In its natural form, it is colorless and odorless. Its odor is added during distribution to allow people to detect even the slightest leakage. You can have natural gas installed at home quickly and easily by properly trained and legally authorized staff, always in compliance with the regulations in force.
Natural gas at home
When properly used, natural gas ensures the maximum possible level of safety. You only have to comply with the applicable rules and conditions.
An internal natural gas installation consists of a set of pipes, fixtures, appliances and devices (stove, burner, boiler, etc.), installed after the delivery point (gas meter), from the vents in the areas where gas devices are installed to the installation’s exhaust flue. To make sure that gas installations are totally safe, stringent installation requirements have been established, and installers are legally bound to comply with them. These requirements are laid down in the Technical Regulation for Gas Installations with operating pressure of up to 500 mbar, Ministerial Decision No Δ3/Α/οικ. 6598, (OGG, Series II, No 976/28.03.2012)
The European quality mark
Gas appliances fall within the scope of Directive 2009/142/EC relating to appliances burning gaseous fuels and must have the CE marking affixed to them or on their label (the CE marking guarantees that the device meets the safety standards). They must also be suitable for the country of destination (Greece). This means that the Greek installation and connection rules have been complied with and that there is a use and installation manual in Greek, according to the Greek installation requirements.
Individual heating/hot water
Individual boilers meet the needs of an apartment for heating, or heating and hot water combined.
Where used for heating, the device is connected to the plumbing installation of the apartment or private house, i.e. the water pipes used to supply the radiators. Where used for hot water, the device is connected to the hot water supply pipes in the kitchen and/or bathroom.
In the market, you can find individual wall-mounted and floor-mounted boilers.
Individual wall-mounted boilers are typically installed in the kitchen or bathroom or on a balcony. Depending on the combustion air input and the type of flue, the boilers are classified as open or closed type.
Open-type boilers intake air for combustion from the indoor area in which they are installed, and the exhaust gases are vented through an exhaust (the installation area must be properly ventilated). Closed-type boilers intake combustion air from the outdoor environment.
Tankless/storage water heaters
Tankless water heaters are gas-fired devices in which the gas burner functions only when hot water is needed (5 to 18 l/min).
Storage water heaters are preferable where large amounts of hot water are needed. They can store from 40 to 300 l of hot water.
There are stoves available on the market where both the burners and the oven are gas fired. There are also hybrid stoves, where some of the hot plates or the oven work by electricity.
Stoves are typically equipped with an automatic ignition system and must also be equipped with a flame supervision device (FSD), that blocks the flow of gas when there is no flame (thermocouple). Their installation and space requirements vary depending on the capacity of the device, according to the provisions of the Regulation.
In most cases, replacing the burner is the only modification needed to use natural gas for central heating purposes. A boiler-burner system that heats water, is installed in the building’s boiler room. The hot water will then circulate through the radiators. Where the boiler is very old, you must replace it to achieve a higher efficiency rate. A central heating boiler can be combined with a hot water boiler.
Burners are classified as single-stage, two-stage, three-stage depending on the mode of operation used (functioning at one or several capacity levels). They are also classified as atmospheric or pressure burners depending on the gas pressure in the combustion chamber.
All fuels needs a certain amount of oxygen to burn. It is, therefore, important that the areas in which the devices are installed, are of the right size, constantly ventilated (depending on the type and capacity of the device) and provided with suitable flues for exhaust gases, always in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Technical Regulation.
Exhaust gas venting
The product of natural gas combustion is vented outdoors. This is done through dedicated flues (depending on the type of device used), in accordance with the legislation in force.
It is important to regularly check the condition and effectiveness of the exhaust gas venting system, to make sure that it is not blocked by bird nests or other objects. The devices currently available on the market are even safer, as they are equipped with a shutoff system that is triggered if exhaust gas flows back into the indoor area. All the details on the exhaust gas venting system are included in the current Technical Regulation, with which the gas supervisor and installer must comply.
Regular maintenance: a short useful appointment
Inspection: the right practice
The safety of a gas installation depends on proper functioning, proper handling, regular inspection and scheduled (preventive) maintenance carried out in accordance with the operating and maintenance schedule and the up-to-date gas installation file.
The consumer may only "inspect" the installation and must ensure regular maintenance of the devices and piping.
Regular maintenance of gas devices, burner adjustment, boiler cleaning and overall installation inspection will ensure energy savings, optimal efficiency and safety. It is very important to carefully clean the burner (and the heat exchanger) and possibly adjust it to ensure proper combustion (when the flame is not bright blue, but there are persistent yellow tongues of fire). It is also important to verify the effectiveness and proper functioning of the adjustment, safety and control systems/devices, as well as the effectiveness of the ventilation system used in the area where the devices are installed, and of the exhaust gas venting system.
The Technical Regulation also provides for the tightness of the installation piping to be inspected every 4 years by an authorized installer, who should take measures as appropriate, and for the issuing of the inspection certificate.
In addition to that, the exhaust gas must be tested to determine the boiler’s efficiency and the maximum exhaust gas values laid down by law at the frequency of testing specified by OGG No 2654/09.11.2011 regulating matters relating to the functioning of stationary combustion units used for building and water heating purposes.
The technician should record the test and analysis results in the installation logbook to be kept in the installation area, in accordance with the operating and maintenance schedule.
It goes without saying, but the most important thing you should do if you smell gas is to….. be careful. Certainly, there are certain simple rules to keep in mind.
Steps to be taken in case of malfunction or gas odor
Any gas odor should be reported to the Company. Call 10302 free of charge from a landline phone or call 2310 520309 or 2310 520642 from a landline or cell phone. In the event of any other faults or malfunctions, you should notify a technician or in some cases, the Distribution Company.
Steps to be taken in case of gas odor in a building
Open the doors and windows wide, make sure that there is flow of air and avoid any areas where there is an odor of gas!
Do not light a fire, avoid naked flames, do not smoke and do not use a lighter!
Do not use electric switches, sockets, electric bells, telephones or other communication devices in the house!
Turn off the main valve!
Call the emergency service of the Distribution Company from outside the house!
Steps to be taken in case of gas odor outdoors
Call the emergency service of the Distribution Company!
If the gas odor is due to a leak from an underground outdoor pipeline (e.g. pipeline in the yard supplying the inside of a building), the pipeline must be shut off using the shutoff valve.
Close the doors and windows of nearby buildings!
Avoid naked flames, do not smoke and do not use a lighter!
Do not use electric switches, sockets or electric bells!
Inform the tenants of the house, but do not use electric bells!
Steps to be taken in case of gas leakage from gas-fired devices
The staff of the Company: guaranteed ID
All the employees and officials of the Company have a special ID card that you are entitled to check any time.
The employees and officials of the Company are not authorized to receive payments at anyone’s home.
The Company is not responsible for internal installations, does not sell devices, nor does it grant licenses to sell devices, mechanisms or other goods from door to door.
Except in emergencies, interventions to modify or maintain gas meters or installations that are under the responsibility of the Company, are carried out following a call or written notification or after making an appointment.
The Company kindly asks you to report any ‘suspicious’ incidents or visits to its call center 11150 (charge based on the pricelist of your telephone service provider) or 2310 584444 (landline and mobile) so that appropriate action can be taken.
A natural solution to safety issues