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 and is, therefore, preferable to other sources which require expensive and complex production processes before they can be utilised. It is a natural solution to every family and every home’s need for ease and comfort.
Natural gas will help save energy spent on cooking, producing hot water on demand without any waste, as well as heating the house whenever and however needed. A few simple measures are all that is needed for it to be used perfectly safe.
The following is information, clarifications and tips on 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 made it possible to use gas for air conditioning in the summer.
It is abundant
Global natural gas reserves are huge and sufficient to meet long-term energy needs.
It really is tailored for you
Natural gas means it is no longer necessary to buy and store fuel. You will only have to open the valve and there will be gas energy available, ready to use. You will only have to pay for the volume of gas used, only after you have used it, and it will be easy for you to check gas consumption by just reading your meter.
It is environmentally-friendly
Natural gas is distributed via specific pipelines, just as it is when extracted from natural underground reservoirs, without any intermediate processing between extraction and consumption. Natural gas is highly energy efficient and has limited environmental impact, as its combustion leaves no traces or residue and it does not produce any sulphur compounds, which are one of the principal causes of pollution.
It is safe
Natural gas contains no toxic substances. In its natural form it is colourless and odourless. Its odour is added during distribution, to allow people to sense even the slightest leakage. You can have gas installed at home quickly and easily, always in accordance with the regulations in force, by properly trained, legally licensed staff.
Natural gas at home with many guarantees
When properly used, natural gas ensures the maximum possible level of safety. You have only to comply with applicable conditions and rules.
An internal natural gas installation consists of a set of pipes, fixtures, appliances and devices (stove, burner, boiler, etc.). These are all installed after the delivery point (gas meter), through vents in the areas where gas devices are installed, and up to the installation’s exhaust flue. To make sure that gas installations are totally safe, stringent installation requirements have been established, and installers are required by law to comply with them. These requirements are laid down in the Technical Regulation for Gas Installations with an operating pressure of up to 500 mbar, Ministerial Decision No Δ3/Α/οικ. 6598, (Government Gazette, Series II, No 976/28.03.2012)
The European quality mark
Gas devices 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 there are instructions for use and installation provided in Greek, which conform to Greek installation requirements.
Individual heating/hot water
Individual boilers will meet the needs of an apartment for heating, or both heating and hot water.
Where used for heating, the device is connected to the plumbing installation of the apartment or single-family home, 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.
One will find mostly individual wall-mounted, as well as floor-mounted, boilers available on the market.
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 obtain 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 obtain 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 in which 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 fitted with an automatic ignition system and must be provided with a flame supervision device (FSD), which 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, which 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, it needs replacing, 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 burners based on the mode of operation used (functioning at one or several capacity levels). They are also classified as atmospheric or pressure burners based on the gas pressure in the combustion chamber.
All fuels require a certain amount of oxygen to burn. It is, therefore, important that the areas in which the devices are installed, are 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 the combustion of natural gas is vented into the outdoor environment. 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 fitted with a shutoff system which 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 habit
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 should have the devices and piping regularly maintained.
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 an inspection certificate should be obtained from EDA (Gas Distribution Company).
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 Government Gazette 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, which must be kept in the installation area, in accordance with the operating and maintenance schedule.
It may seem obvious, 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 smell of gas
Any smell of gas should be reported to EDA THESSALONIKI - THESSALIA. Make a toll-free call to 10302 from a landline phone or call 2310 520309 or 2310 520642 from a landline or cell phone. In the event of any other failures or malfunctions, you should notify a technician or in some cases the Distribution Company.
Steps to be taken in case of gas smell in a building
Open the doors and windows wide, make sure that there is a flow of air and avoid any areas where there is a smell 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!
Close the main valve!
Notify the emergency service of the Distribution Company by calling from outside the house!
Steps to be taken in case of gas smell outdoors
Notify the emergency service of the Distribution Company!
If the smell of gas can be attributed to a leak in an underground outdoor pipeline (e.g. pipeline in the yard supplying the inside of a building), the pipeline must be closed 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!
Notify 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 EDA THESS: guaranteed ID
All the employees and officials of EDA THESS have a special ID card, which you are entitled to check at any time.
The employees and officials of EDA THESS are not authorised to receive payments at someone’s home.
EDA THESS is not responsible for internal installations, does not sell any devices, nor does it grant licences 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 the responsibility of EDA THESS are carried out following telephone or written notification or after making an appointment.
EDA THESS kindly asks you to report any ‘suspicious’ incidents or visits to its call center (11150), so that appropriate action can be taken.
emergency number: 10302 (available on a 24-basis)
A natural solution even to safety issues