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Old 01-17-2011, 08:26 PM
 
Location: About as bad as it gets.
408 posts, read 336,746 times
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Is gas forced air heating common in the Phoenix area or does everyone use a heat pump? It seems like the furnace would provide a much nicer (and quicker) warm air heat compared to the lukewarm air blown by heat pumps... Was just curious about it as I'm sitting here planning my move and it's 19 degrees outside...... the warm air sure does feel good.

On a similar note... whole house humidifiers are almost a staple here in the midwest... we have tons of humidity in the summer, and supplement it into our homes in the winter... how do you fight the dryness?
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
3,387 posts, read 4,212,158 times
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the air that comes out of heat pumps is not "lukewarm" - it's 20-30 degrees warmer than the air inside the house. Electricity is inexpensive during the winter months (we have "tiered" electricity pricing), so there isn't as much benefit to having natural gas. 19 degrees rarely happens in the valley.

I suspect the part of the reason humidifiers are rare is related to how hard the water is - they wouldn't last very long. It's cheaper to buy a new one at wal-mart every year for your bedroom, and toss it when it dies.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:37 AM
 
Location: South Tempe, AZ
14,227 posts, read 17,832,131 times
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Some areas don't have natural gas service at all, so electric heat pumps are the "choice".

Some use humidifiers here, most, I think, get by without. Zippy is correct, with the hard water here, they don't last forever!
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:33 AM
 
537 posts, read 695,228 times
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My experience with having both kinds of heating, is that the heat pump does not dry out the air like the gas furnace does.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
17,599 posts, read 20,962,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
Some areas don't have natural gas service at all, so electric heat pumps are the "choice".

Some use humidifiers here, most, I think, get by without. Zippy is correct, with the hard water here, they don't last forever!
I think humidity feels "yucky" to people who live in the desert for a long time. I know that I feel the slightest increase in humidity. It makes my skin feel clammy or weird or whatever. I can't really put my finger on it but I don't like it.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
138 posts, read 175,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertspiritsteve View Post
My experience with having both kinds of heating, is that the heat pump does not dry out the air like the gas furnace does.
I noticed the same. My last two houses had gas heat and I was always having sinus issues and dry skin in the winter. My current house also had a furnace which I replaced with a high efficiency heat pump and these issues are now very minor. Also, the new heat pump is half the operation expense as the old furnace. No problems at all keeping things warm during our few (barely) sub freezing nights. You need to make sure not to let the house get really cold and then expect the heat pump to quickly bring the temp up 10 degrees. It works better at keeping the temp somewhat constant (I run 66 at night and 72 daytime).
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:25 PM
 
3,367 posts, read 6,324,034 times
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66 at night? Good god that's comfortable? We put the heat at 76 at night.

As for gas vs heat pump...I don't even know what kind we have, how can I tell?
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
138 posts, read 175,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post
66 at night? Good god that's comfortable? We put the heat at 76 at night.

As for gas vs heat pump...I don't even know what kind we have, how can I tell?
66 is nice at night with a heated matress pad (the 3 dogs on the bed helps as well)!

If your natural gas bill goes way up (2x or more) during the winter, then you probably have a furnace. The other typical gas appliances (water heater, dryer, range, BBQ) do not use much more during the winter
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Tokyo (but will always be) Phoenix, Az
926 posts, read 1,085,828 times
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How do I heat? I turn the oven on to bake 350 degrees then place a loaf of garlic bread in.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:10 PM
 
246 posts, read 386,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esnox82 View Post
Is gas forced air heating common in the Phoenix area or does everyone use a heat pump? It seems like the furnace would provide a much nicer (and quicker) warm air heat compared to the lukewarm air blown by heat pumps... Was just curious about it as I'm sitting here planning my move and it's 19 degrees outside...... the warm air sure does feel good.

On a similar note... whole house humidifiers are almost a staple here in the midwest... we have tons of humidity in the summer, and supplement it into our homes in the winter... how do you fight the dryness?
Most homes use a heat pump. Heat pumps work great in the Valley of the Sun, because it does NOT get that cold. The colder it gets, the less efficient a heat pump is. But most heat pumps have assisted heat.
So heat pumps are the best choice for heat in Phoenix, gas is overkill.
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