Why Gas Furnaces
We’ve noticed our customers use gas furnaces because it never gets too cold for them to operate in Phoenix. You never have to worry about the unit blowing cold air (unless there is a breakdown) since it can operate in colder temperatures. For furnaces, natural gas is combusted to produce heat. Similar to heat pumps, some people like them just because they think they are more comfortable.
How Efficient Furnaces Are
The heating efficiency of gas furnaces is measured in A.F.U.E. (annual fuel utilization efficiency); it scales from around 80% to 97% efficiency. The cost of natural gas in Arizona is around $12 per one thousand cubic feet of gas combusted to produce heat, which is equivalent to producing 1,000,000 B.T.U.’s. A furnace operating at 80% efficiency is going to cost around $14.38 to produce 1,000,000 B.T.U.’s since it is not 100% efficient and there is gas that is not converted to heat. Most of our customers in Phoenix, who have furnaces, use the 80% ones because heat isn’t necessary most of the year and the low equipment cost. Even though the heat pump is more efficient it is actually slightly cheaper for a furnace due to the cost of gas in Arizona.
There Is a Couple Disadvantages
Unfortunately, gas furnaces do carry a few risks. For starters if a leak was to occur and a lot of gas filled your home, the gas could cause an explosion. That’s why natural gas is given an odor, just in case of a leak, you can smell if its leaking so you can have have an expert out to prevent any problems. Another risk is carbon monoxide poisoning due to a malfunctioning furnace, however, carbon monoxide detectors can easily alert you at its soonest presence. Even though there’s some crazy sounding risk, there is low probability either will ever occur so long as you maintain your system and take necessary precautions.